Tasmania Journals

Australia's Great Southern Island (The Wild West)

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An April 2002 trip to Tasmania by Ozzy-Dave

World Heritage Rainforest Photo, Tasmania, Australia More Photos
Quote: The Great Southern Land has a Great Southern Island. Tasmania is Australia’s island state, as geographically diverse and unspoilt as any settled land. And with just 500,000 people sharing a space the size of Ireland there’s plenty to explore. The Wild West is a heady mix of wilderness and history.

Australia's Great Southern Island (The Wild West)

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Overview

World Heritage Rainforest Photo, Tasmania, Australia
Quote:
From the cosy seaside villages and fertile farmlands of the north, the road west cuts a swathe through rugged mountain and forest country. Its destination is Tasmania’s Wild West; an arresting mix of history, raw beauty and environmental conflict that galvanised a nation: 1. Walk on the Wild Side; indulge in some of Australia’s most awe-inspiring wilderness on walks and hikes to suit all ages. 2. A Western Oasis; revel in the civilised splendour of Strahan, where history and modern-day tourism have conspired to create the "Best Little Town in the World." 3. Up the River, Back in Time; travel through history with the convicts and explore primeval World Heritage ra...Read More

Gordon Gateway Chalets

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Hotel

Gordon Gateway Chalets Photo, Tasmania, Australia
Quote:
In a Nutshell Strahan township occupies a collection of streets above the village centre on the north side of the harbour and that’s where most services and accommodation is found. To the south, around Risby Cove and only a kilometre from town, a tangle of streets access a bushland ridge that overlooks the harbour, catching the sun for most of the day and providing unobscured sunset views when the weather obliges. It’s here you’ll find some of the best accommodation options, including the award-winning, self contained units of Gordon Gateway Chalet. All the Comfy Details… We arrived in town without a reserv...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 26, 2002

Gordon Gateway Chalets
Grining Street
Tasmania, Australia
(03) 6471 7165

Strahan Sights & Attractions

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Attraction | "The Simple Things Are Free"

Strahan Sights & Attractions Photo, Tasmania, Australia
Quote:
Traveller’s Rap There are many activities to keep you busy around Strahan, but most will give your credit card a beating. River cruises, wilderness seaplane trips, helicopter flights, dune buggying and sandboarding, even ocean kayaking. They all cost. But don’t overlook the simple things. The area is rich in history and accessible wilderness, and there are plenty of things to do that don’t cost a cent. Within a short drive from town are sensational beaches, skyscraper-size sand dunes, unspoilt rainforest waterfalls and rainbow-coloured villages. Pack a picnic and come on a journey – it’s all free… The Experience…...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 26, 2002

Strahan Sights & Attractions
Western Tasmania
Tasmania, Australia

The Long and Winding Road

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Attraction

The Long and Winding Road Photo, Tasmania, Australia
Quote:
Traveller’s Rap The journey from Tasmania’s north coast to the west is an event, not just a drive from A to B. On a good day it will occupy a morning or afternoon. In bad weather you can write off the whole day. Prepare for inspiring scenery; this is Tasmania at its most rugged and magnificent. Brooding peaks frame impenetrable forests and thickly grassed plains where lakes and ancient rivers document history. Towns are few and the space is vast. This is the gateway to the Wild West. The Experience… "It’s about eight inches," said Karen, wrestling with the map."More, if you count all the squiggly bits." This was my navigator’s assessment of how far ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 25, 2002

The Long and Winding Road
Western Tasmania
Tasmania, Australia

Strahan - The Best Little Town in the World Photo, Tasmania, Australia
Quote:
Traveller’s Rap Dwarfed by Macquarie Harbour, large enough to accommodate all the navies of the word, Strahan was founded in 1883 as a port to service the booming inland mining towns and lucrative timber industry. Today it’s a laid back tourist town, gateway to World Heritage Historic Sites and Wilderness Areas and entertaining 100,000 annual visitors with a comprehensive menu of outdoor pursuits and, some say, the cleanest air in the world. The Roaring 40s lash the treacherous coastline year round and the next stop west is South America, more than half a world away. The Experience… It feels like a Wild West town. That’s my first memory of Strahan. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 26, 2002

Strahan - The Best Little Town in the World
Western Tasmania
Tasmania, Australia

Port Arthur

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Attraction | "Penitentiaries, Pollution and Politicians"

Port Arthur Photo, Tasmania, Australia
Quote:
Traveller’s Rap The Strahan Visitor Centre is an attraction in its own right. Opened in 1992 this architectural gem is a showcase of innovation and a benchmark for the tourism industry. It includes an award-winning exhibition called West Coast Reflections that documents 40,000 years of the West Coast’s colourful and sometimes tragic history, and a beautifully designed amphitheatre staging Tasmania’s longest running play – a true story you won’t want to miss! The Experience… Vanessa greets us with a smile, explaining the purpose of the centre and the exhibition, "Its intention is to interpret history. The Southwest is a unique place, and the people ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 26, 2002

Port Arthur
Port Arthur Historic Site
Tasmania, Australia

Gordon River Cruise

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Attraction | "Up The River - Back In Time"

Gordon River Cruise Photo, Tasmania, Australia
Quote:
Traveller’s Rap Even if you’re on a budget, set aside A$55 (kids A$25) for this unique experience. Awesome natural beauty, history and theatre combine to provide a memorable cruise in a landscape that defies superlatives. A state-of-the-art, environmentally sound catamaran takes you from the high-tech present day world of fish farming through the convict past to primeval World Heritage Rainforest – all on a harbour so big it makes Sydney’s look like a bathtub. The Experience… World Heritage Cruises have been entertaining travellers since 1896. The same family still runs the show and today Guy has the wheel an...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 26, 2002

Gordon River Cruise
World Heritage Cruises
Tasmania, Australia
+61 3 6471 7174

The Wild Highway

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Attraction

The Wild Highway Photo, Tasmania, Australia
Quote:
Traveller’s Rap From the north, it’s a long and winding drive along the Murchison Highway to the west coast. The only other access to Tasmania’s Wild West is from Hobart in the south, along the Lyell Highway. It takes around 5 hours to drive the 300 kilometres and it’s a wild ride. 56 kilometres of the road cuts through the Franklin–Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, a region dominated by dramatic mountains, temperate rainforest and steep gorges. Start early and allow a full day; there’s ample opportunity to stop the car and explore the pristine wilderness. This is the Wild ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 26, 2002

The Wild Highway
Lyell Highway
Tasmania, Australia

Lake St Clair

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Attraction

Lake St Clair Photo, Tasmania, Australia
Quote:
Traveller’s Rap It’s a long drive from the west coast town of Strahan to Hobart and Lake St Clair, at the southern end of Tasmania’s most famous national park, marks the halfway point. It’s a spectacular way to break your journey. 2,500 feet above sea level and Australia’s deepest at 550 feet, Lake St Clair is grand and romantic. Surrounded by mountains and eucalypt forests, its abundant wildlife, wildflowers and wilderness is a haven for nature lovers. The Experience… Hot soup and fresh damper. Yes! We’d been travelling for five hours already, stopping for several ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 26, 2002

Lake St Clair
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
Tasmania, Australia