Strahan on the shores of Macquarie Harbour is the tourism hub for the West Coast with plenty of things to see and do both in the town and close by.
Macquarie Harbour is a huge shallow inlet with multiple tour companies running tours exploring the harbour, the penal colony at Sarah Island and the Gordon River that feeds into the lake. The Gordon River in particular is absolutely spectacular with thick rainforests creating amazing reflections on the water and plenty of wildlife to spot from sea eagles to the elusive platypus.
Strahan was an important shipping link and ship building port during the colonial era in part due to the Huon Pine that was found on the banks of the Gordon and Franklin rivers. You can still purchase salvaged Huon pine and finished woodworking pieces from shops in the town.
North of Strahan is Henty Dunes which is a great spot to explore on foot and even better if you have a fat bike.
A Brief History of Strahan
The West Coast was first used as a penal colony by the British at the beginning of the 1800's with Sarah and Grummet Islands in Macquarie Harbour first being settled in the 1820's.
The township of Strahan was later settled in the 1870's and 1880's as an important link for the mining and forestry industries on the West Coast. The town played an important role in the development and now preservation of Huon pine in particular.
Our Local Tips
- Go on a cruise around Macquarie Harbour and up the Gordon River to Heritage Landing.
- Check out the wood shops in the town and the Huon pine used for many of their products.
- Try some of the local sea food, it's caught fresh from the harbour and off the coast.
- Catch the West Coast Wilderness Railway between Strahan and Queenstown to see the amazing rainforest up close.