Is Strahan Worth Visiting? 14 Reasons To Head West


If you’re wondering if Strahan is worth the drive from Hobart, then I’m here to tell you, yes it is! Strahan was unlike anywhere we visited in Tasmania, feeling truly remote but with a number of great attractions within a close proximity.

Here are my top reasons with Strahan is worth visiting:

  • The Natural Beauty
  • The History
  • A UNESCO rainforest
  • Unexpected Attractions
  • Amazing Day-trips
  • Relaxation

It is definitely a place we’ll visit again if we’re on Tasmania, here are the reasons I think you should visit too…

OUR AUSTRALIA CREDENTIALS

The Reeves have lived for over 5 years in Melbourne, with little Gracie being born here. We have travelled extensively, picking up lots of tips about how to make the most of this incredible country.
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Ben Reeve
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Visit For The Natural Beauty

1) The Drive From Hobart

Driving across from Hobart, most of the time is spent surrounded by huge trees, meaning very few views, but when you burst out the other side you get shots like the below (taken beside Lake Burbury) which gives you a taster of that you’re in for.

a road with big mountains shrouded in mist behind it. lake burbury tasmania

Be sure to stop off at Nelson Falls just before leaving the forest for your first glimpse of amazing Tasmanian wilderness.

2) Hogarth Falls

Hogarth Falls is a beautiful 1.5km walk from the car park in Strahan and is the easiest way to get into the huge forests that surround the village.

It is an easy and short walk, but instantly transports you into the Tolkein-esque world of deepest, darkest Tasmania before finishing at Hogarth Falls themselves.

a couple in the distance on a mud forest path surrounded by huge trees and with a sun star in the top right corner. hogarth falls walk in tasmania

Little gems like this right on the doorstep are exactly why Strahan is such a great place to visit.

3) Macquarie Heads

Located about twenty minutes from Strahan, this long stretch of sandy beach looks out to the mouth of the Macquarie Harbour.

a lighthouse on a small island with a beach in the forground picture behind some tufts of grass. macquarie heads in tasmania 1

4) Penguins at Bonnet Island

There is a colony of penguins which live out in Macquarie Bay on Bonnet Island.

a small white lighthouse with a staircase to the right of it on a rocky island. bonnet island on tasmania

Accessible by a tour, this windswept rock at the mouth of the harbour contains only the penguins and a small lighthouse. It is a perfect place to see the natural, rugged beauty of the harbour and the wildlife that lives here.

Visit For The History

5) Strahan Village

Strahan Village is a picturesque harbour town nestled on the coast. The town has a rich history dating back to the early 1800s when the area was first explored by European settlers. Originally known as Long Bay, the town was renamed Strahan in 1892 after the Governor of Tasmania at the time, Sir George Cumine Strahan (I have some Tasmania facts that are a bit more interesting here).

colourful harbourside buildings with trees behind. strahan tasmania

During the late 1800s, Strahan Village became a bustling port town due to its proximity to the local mines and timber industries. The town was also a key hub for the shipping of goods and supplies to other parts of Tasmania and Australia. However, with the decline of the mining industry in the early 1900s, the town’s fortunes waned, and it became a quiet backwater.

In the 1980s, Strahan Village started to become a tourist destination, mostly thanks to the Tasmanian Wilderness area being awarded UNESCO Heritage Site Status in 1982. Many of its historic buildings were restored (the post and custom office is a great example) and the development of tourism infrastructure.

a big brick building with grey columns the symbol of the british queen and writing suggesting it is a post office and custom office. located in strahan tasmania

6) Sarah Island Tour

Sarah Island is a small island with a big history. It was once a brutal penal colony during the early 19th century, where convicts were sent to work in the timber industry, building boats from Huon Pine trees brought down the Gordon River. Today, the island is a popular tourist destination which can be visited as part of the Gordon River Cruise, or on separate tours.

sarah island tour

I visited Sarah Island as part of a guided tour of the island, led by our enthusiastic guide who brought the island’s history to life. We explored the ruins of the former prison, including the solitary confinement cells, the old bakery, watch tower and the remains of the barracks where the convicts lived, all whilst hearing stories of those who lived here.

Visit For The Rainforest

7) The Gordon River Cruise

This is the jewel in the crown of Strahan, the unique and almost unbelievable beauty of a cruise down the Gordon River. When asking ‘is Strahan worth visiting?’ a Gordon River Cruise is the answer that makes it into a comprehensive yes!

a wide river surrounded by trees and mist in the distance gordon river in tasmania

Take one of the whisper-quiet electric boats, first out into the Macquarie Harbour, then through the mouth of the Gordon River and up as far as Heritage Landing. Out on deck it feels like being lost somewhere up the Amazon, the river surrounded by some of the biggest trees I’ve ever seen with only the squawks of parrots and cockatoos as a soundtrack.

Occasionally when travelling I have one of those out-of-body experiences, knowing that I need to soak every second up as I may never be anywhere quite like this every again. I had one of those on deck, and it was my favourite experience of our time on Tassie.

Visit for Some Unexpected Attractions

8) The West Coast Wilderness Railway

If you’re looking for an alternative way to see the rainforest, then the West Coast Wilderness Railway is perfect.

Taking an old mining line between Strahan and Queenstown, there are a few routes available on both diesel and the more traditional steam trains.

a station with a red corrogated roof and rusty train tracks in front of it constrated against a pure blue sky. west coast wilderness railway in strahan tasmania

As you travel on this historic railway, you’ll experience stunning scenery, fascinating history, and a chance to get off and walk a small loop in the rainforest. It’s a must-do experience for anyone visiting Strahan.

9) Henty Dunes

It turns out there’s a little slice of the desert only a quarter of an hour from Strahan.

Henty Dunes are formed thanks to the strong sea winds that blow all the way from South America, pushing the sand into huge dunes for 15km along the coast.

a large sand dune with grass on the top and trees in the background. henty dunes tasmania

Hire a board from Strahan to turn your trip into a tobogganing experience, or stumble your way up their steep sides to be transported into a landscape not expected this far south.

10) The Ship That Never Was

This was perhaps the most unexpected part of our trip to Strahan.

Interactive, funny and completely unique, ‘The Ship That Never Was’ is a play put on by the local Round Earth Theatre Company and is the longest running play in Australia.

a play taking place on a wooden ship the ship that never way strahan

I won’t ruin the plot, but it was truly worth the time, with elements to keep all ages interested including lots of audience interaction (I know, I find the idea of that terrifying too, but honestly, it was brilliantly done.

Visit For Amazing Day Trips

If you are looking for a great day trip while visiting Strahan, you are in luck. There are plenty of amazing destinations within a short drive from Strahan that are definitely worth a visit. Here are three of the best:

11) Queenstown

Located just over an hour’s drive from Strahan, Queenstown is a historic mining town that is definitely worth a visit. We made the mistake of driving straight through on our way to Strahan, but we headed back on a day trip and it was beautiful The town is surrounded by stunning mountain ranges and is home to a number of interesting attractions, including the Galley Museum, which showcases the town’s mining history, and the Paragon Theatre, which is one of the oldest operating cinemas in the world.

a walkway with railings on stilits over the edge of a mountain range. iron blow lookout tasmania

Just outside Queenstown you’ll also find Iron Blow Lookout (pictured above) – a walkway above a deep, turquoise-water filled mining crater and Horsetail Falls, from which there are great views back down the winding mountain roads to Queenstown.

12) Cradle Mountain

If you are a nature lover, you simply cannot miss a visit to Cradle Mountain. Located about two hours’ drive from Strahan, this national park is home to some of the most stunning scenery in Tasmania. You can take a hike around Dove Lake, which offers stunning views of Cradle Mountain, or you can take a guided tour to learn more about the park’s fascinating flora and fauna.

a mountain with twin peaks with a lake in front. cradle mountain in tasmania

If you are feeling adventurous, you can also take a helicopter tour over the park, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness.

13) Montezuma Falls

If you are looking for a bit of adventure, a trip to Montezuma Falls is a must. This stunning waterfall is located about an hour’s drive from Strahan and can be accessed via a scenic walking track. The track takes you through beautiful rainforest and offers stunning views of the falls.

If you are feeling brave, you can also take a dip in the natural swimming hole at the base of the falls.

Visit To Relax

14) Come Down For Air

The Tasmania Tourist board were marketing the island under the tagline ‘Come Down For Air‘ last year.

No where is this sentiment more true than in Strahan.

Tasmania is a pretty isolated place anyway, but Strahan takes this to another extreme, being about as far away as you can get from the two main cities of Hobart and Launceston.

With the main attractions being outdoor-focused, the Wi-Fi poor, the pace of life slow and the countryside beautiful, escaping from modern life is a very big reason to visit Strahan.

Is Strahan Worth Visiting? (I Hope You Have Found The Answer!)

I hope this article has helped you figure out whether you should visit Strahan, it’s a resounding yes from me!

Let me know in the comments down below if you felt the same.

the reeves family picture

AUTHOR – BEN REEVE

Reeves Roam, is a first-hand travel blog. The Reeves have lived in the UK, South Africa and Australia and have travelled extensively in Europe and Southeast Asia.

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Thanks – Ben, Becca and Gracie

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