Western Wilderness

Our suggestions for the best itineraries to make the most of holidays in Tasmania's Western Wilderness.

WEST COAST – 3 NIGHTS / 4 DAYS

DAY 1 – TRAVEL TO STRAHAN

Pack the car with great local Tasmanian produce to snack on and hit the road towards the West Coast. On the way to Strahan visit towns rich in mining history and experience first-hand the challenges faced by the regions mining pioneers at the West Coast Memorial Pioneers Museum in Zeehan and the Heritage Centre in Rosebery. Stop at Tullah and the beautiful Lake Rosebery along the way and enjoy a spot of fly fishing.

Overnight – Strahan

DAY 2 – STRAHAN

Start a day-long adventure with a cruise across the vast waterway of Macquarie Harbour to see Hells Gates and the mighty Southern Ocean beyond. Follow the tannin-dark Gordon River through the riches of the rainforest to a 2000 year old Huon Pine, before a visit to Sarah Island for a vivid history of early convict heritage.

When the boat docks take an aromatic stroll through a wood-turning workshop and shop for beautifully crafted native timber souvenirs and gifts. In the evening enjoy ‘The Ship That Never Was’, a dramatic pantomime re-enactment of convict escape and intrigue that has become Australia’s longest running play.

Overnight – Strahan

DAY 3 – STRAHAN

So many options, so little time! Why not try:

  • A fishing excursion on the harbour
  • A scenic floatplane trip over the mighty Gordon and Franklin Rivers
  • A relaxing steam train journey to Dubbil Barrel on the West Coast Wilderness Railway
  • Visit Ocean Beach where the Roaring Forties winds have crossed 20,000 kilometres of ocean to cleanse and purify Tasmania’s longest beach

In the evening, kick-back and enjoy a meal of local seafood snug and warm in the pub, while watching the fishing boats laden with craypots dock at the wharf.

Overnight – Strahan

DAY 4 – DEPART STRAHAN

Depart Strahan, enriched and relaxed, with tales to tell and magical memories that truly seem out of this world.

WEST COAST – 5 NIGHTS / 6 DAYS

DAY 1 – TRAVEL TO LAKE ST CLAIR

Start your West Coast escape with a visit to the Central Highlands. Derwent Bridge is the gateway to the Western Wilderness and is home to ‘The Wall in the Wilderness’ – a great carved frieze three metres high depicting rural life and history. One of Australia’s most ambitious and satisfying art works that will be 100 metres long when completed.

Special beyond words, Lake St Clair lies at the southern end of the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park and is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The sleeping water of Australia’s deepest freshwater lake dozes beneath the rugged magnificence of snow-capped peaks and is fringed by pretty coves, beaches and forest.

Pumphouse Point, sitting on Lake St Clair, is Tasmania’s newest wilderness retreat. A unique boutique accommodation venue seeped in history and luxury – the perfect spot to snuggle in for the night.

Overnight – Lake St Clair

DAY 2 – LAKE ST CLAIR TO QUEENSTOWN

Head west to Queenstown and be amazed at the uniqueness of the rugged yet spectacular mining environment. A rich mining history has left a visible legacy on the rugged hills that surround the character-filled town.

Make sure you arrive before 9am (check the timetable for days and times) to ensure you catch the half-day West Coast Wilderness Railway journey to Dubbil Barrel and return. Sit back in comfort as you travel the steep grades of the rack and pinion and your guide brings to life the stories of the railway and its resilient people.

On your return to Queenstown spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the coffee shops, art studios, museums and the historic post office before settling in for the night.

Overnight – Queenstown

DAY 3 – QUEENSTOWN TO TULLAH

Visit other towns rich in mining history on your way to Tullah. Rosebery is home to the Heritage Centre and Zeehan the West Coast Pioneers’ Museum. The Pioneers’ Museum is spread across thirteen galleries with exhibits of exotic mineral crystals, flora and fauna. Find fascinating accounts of past greatness, the vagaries of fortune and the spirit of resilience that lingers on.

Then, in a dramatic contrast to the scarred hills of Queenstown, go on a wilderness walk through dense, wildlife-inhabited forest to disused tramlines and mineshafts, lookouts and waterfalls, including Tasmania’s highest – Montezuma Falls. It is peaceful meandering at its best. Drive through deep wilderness to Tullah, at the southern edge of the Tarkine wilderness and stay overnight next to Lake Rosebery in stunning surrounds.

Overnight – Tullah

DAY 4 & 5– TULLAH TO CRADLE MOUNTIAN

Cradle Mountain, a walkers’ and photographers’ paradise, is your next destination. Towering above the lakes that adorn its base, Cradle Mountain is a must-see symbol of Tasmania you simply have to take your time to enjoy over the next two days.

Wrap up warm for the popular Dove Lake Circuit walk which is suitable for all ages, while the 20-minute Enchanted Walk passes a cascading river, wombat burrows and magical old-growth forest. Fly over Cradle Mountain on a scenic charter flight or take a guided trail ride and experience the area on horseback. From the awe of the mountain to the intimacy of another icon, the Tasmanian devil; take a guided tour through the Devils@Cradle sanctuary for the transformative experience of being close to one of Tasmania’s local cuties.

If you feel like some indoor time be pampered at Waldheim Alpine Spa or view the amazing images at the Wilderness Gallery – there’s no shortage of inspiring sights and experiences in this Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

When you are done soaking up the clean fresh mountain air each day indulge in some fine wine and food by the fireside at either Cradle Mountain Lodge or Cradle Mountain Hotel.

Overnight – Cradle Mountain

DAY 6 – DEPART CRADLE MOUNTAIN

Your last day…can you believe it? Make the most of the journey to your departure point by including a visit to mural town Sheffield and then Latrobe to taste some of Tasmania’s finest chocolates at the House of Anvers. If time permits enjoy a beer at the Seven Sheds Micro Brewery and if you are departing from Launceston be sure to continue on with tasting stops along the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail at Ashgrove Farm Cheese and the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm.

Make sure you grab some goodies to take home and share with your friends whilst you tell them all about your West Coast Wilderness adventure.

WEST COAST – 7 DAYS

DAY 1 – HOBART TO LAKE ST CLAIR

If flying into Hobart, head off along the Lyell Highway through New Norfolk on your way to Derwent Bridge and the southern end of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Claire National Park.

Time your arrival to visit the ‘The Wall in the Wilderness’– a great carved frieze three metres high depicting rural life and history. See the sculptor at work on his project that will be 100 metres long when completed.

Just five kilometres away is the special beyond words Lake St Clair. The sleeping water of Australia’s deepest freshwater lake dozes beneath the rugged magnificence of snow-capped peaks and is fringed by pretty coves, beaches and forest.

Pumphouse Point, sitting on Lake St Clair, is Tasmania’s newest wilderness retreat. A unique boutique accommodation venue seeped in history and luxury – the perfect spot to snuggle in for the night.

Overnight – Lake St Clair

DAY 2 – LAKE ST CLAIR TO QUEENSTOWN

Continue your westerly travels into the Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park taking time to stop at the many short walks and lookouts along the way. The Iron Blow Lookout is a must see.

From the rugged wilderness to Queenstown’s lunar landscapes – the contrast is breathtaking. A rich mining history has left a visible legacy on the rugged hills that surround this character-filled town. Join Queenstown Heritage Tours to explore the century old Hydro Power scheme of Lake Margaret. See the still working original machinery that was used to harness the power of running water to power the Mt Lyell Mine when it was first built in 1912.

Explore Queenstown’s main street, coffee shops, art studios and museums, and take a short walk up the steep Spoin Kopf lookout that provides a great view over the town and its infamous gravel football oval.

Overnight – Queenstown

DAY 3 – QUEENSTOWN TO STRAHAN

Begin the day with a drive to Strahan and a fantastic array of activities to choose from;

  • A fishing excursion on the harbour
  • A scenic floatplane trip over the mighty Gordon and Franklin Rivers
  • A relaxing steam train journey to Dubbil Barril on the West Coast Wilderness Railway
  • Visit Ocean Beach where the Roaring Forties winds have crossed 20,000 kilometres of ocean to cleanse and purify Tasmania’s longest beach

In the evening, kick-back and enjoy a meal of local seafood snug and warm in the pub, while watching the fishing boats laden with craypots dock at the wharf.

Overnight – Strahan

DAY 4 – STRAHAN

Start your day early with a cruise on the magnificent Strahan Harbour and the renowned Gordon River discovering the wonders of this World Heritage listed area and the early convict stories of Sarah Island.

Back on shore, shop for local timbers and wood crafts and plan for a 5.30pm viewing of Tasmania’s longest running play, “The Ship that Never Was”. This entertaining account of a convict escape from Sarah Island is performed daily next to the West Coast Visitor Information Centre and is Australia’s longest running play.

Overnight – Strahan

DAY 5 – STRAHAN TO CORINNA

Depart Strahan and head towards to Zeehan this morning. It is hard to believe this town was once Tasmania’s third largest population centre though evidence of its rich history is well preserved throughout the town and at the West Coast Memorial Pioneers’ Museum.

Take the road to Corinna, located at the southern most point of the Tarkine. Experience this restored mining town with environmentally aware services and contemporary comfort in the heart of the wilderness. Cross the Pieman River on the vehicle punt before enjoying a leisurely paddle in kayaks or a walk through the amazing temperate rainforest.

Overnight – Corinna

DAY 6 – CORINNA TO CRADLE MOUNTAIN

On the way to Cradle Mountain ensure you stop in Waratah to admire the waterfall in the middle of town and experience the old miner’s ‘Stamper Mill’ in action.

Cradle Mountain, a walkers’ and photographers’ paradise, is your next destination. Towering above the lakes that adorn its base, Cradle Mountain is a must-see symbol of Tasmania you simply have to take your time to enjoy it.

Take a walk around Dove Lake, view the Devils at Devils@Cradle sanctuary, be pampered at Waldheim Alpine Spa or view the amazing images at the Wilderness Gallery – there’s no shortage of inspiring sights and experiences in this Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Overnight – Cradle Mountain.

DAY 7 – CRADLE MOUNTAIN TO LAUNCESTON

Time to catch up on anything you missed the previous day and then a leisurely trip to Launceston to catch your flight home.

You can make the most of your journey by including a visit to mural town Sheffield and then Latrobe to taste some of Tasmania’s finest chocolates at House of Anvers. Continue on with farmgate tasting stops at Ashgrove Cheese and the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm.

Then it’s time for home and a chance to share your amazing west coast experience with friends and family.