The Balance of Strahan
the town is not just for the elite traveller, it also caters for families and backpackers.
The Federal Group is something that you are bound to experience in Tasmania’s prime tourist destinations and Strahan is no exception.
The Group is Tasmania’s main tourism operator and its largest private sector employer. Its brand, Pure Tasmania, simplifies Tasmanian destinations, making them accessible for travellers on a schedule.
Pure Tasmania’s advertising campaigns are classy and sensual and they hone in on some of the things that make Tasmania so unique. It highlights the state’s premier tourist destinations and then delivers accommodation and fine dining right on the tip, plus comfortable tours into the heart of Tasmania and beyond.
In a small, isolated place like Strahan, the Federal Group has flourished: turning the main drag into a place of luxury and indulgence.
But the town is not just for the elite traveller, it also caters for families and backpackers.
Strahan is located on the mouth of the Gordon River. It has a strong mining, logging, convict and hydro history and has always been the gateway to the west coast, well before road and aerial access.
Today, its essence is fishing and tourism and rightfully so with the rich tannin waters of the Macquarie Harbour mirroring the beauty of the olden-style town and its craggy green surrounds. Its dark waters host salmon and trout farms and the delicious produce appear on many a menu throughout the state.
Strahan is the strongest survivor of the west coast towns. Its hues are the brightest because of its current thriving condition. However, the surrounding ghost towns are full of history and past riches woven by communities made of strong people who managed to tame parts of the wild west. The west coast is still isolated from the greater populated areas of Tasmania. At times its access roads ice up and its waters rage. This history is one well worth exploring.
The distinct balance of Strahan, however, is indebte to its back streets and gravel roads that offer a glimpse into the not-too-distant past. There are many camping sites on Ocean Beach and Macquarie Heads as well as back street supermarkets and accommodation.
Things to Do
Most tours that explore Strahan’s historic surroundings via rail, water and air are operated by Federal Group contingents. They include the West Coast Wilderness Railway, the Gordon River Cruise, Strahan Marine Charters, Jet Boating, the Bonnet Island Experience and the Gordon River Scenic Flights. Each of these activities offer an exciting way to explore and, depending on your budget and interests, all are well worth exploring. World Heritage Cruises also operate morning and afternoon cruises on Macquarie Harbour and visiting Hell's Gates.
Other draws of the town include:
- Walking tracks that lead you through curtains of Sassafras, Huon and Myrtle to discover waterfalls and rivers, plant life and local critters.
- 4WD-friendly beaches waiting to be claimed for a picnic, fishing, cricket, or bird-watching spots.
- Playground BBQ areas situated on the banks of the river, close to the town where the sandy beaches meet shallow river beds: offering shade, shelter and fun for the little ones.
- Kayak hire to explore the cool, calm waters.
- Sand boarding at the state’s most spectacular sand mounds at Henty Dunes, located a few kilometres out of town.
- The Ship That Never Was: Australia’s longest running play about convict history.
Driving to Strahan is a holiday on its own. Whether coming from the north or the south of the state, you will encounter the many faces of Tasmania. These include the rural plains of crops and livestock, the uniform pines and bare patches of logging, giant mounds and craters of mines and the luscious greens of the rainforest shrouding and hugging the roads.
Do not expect to travel at speed for much of the drive, but rather sit back and take in your surroundings –pay attention to all road signs and keep in mind there are trucks and many other vehicles that frequently travel this road who would appreciate the opportunity to pass.