Tasmania’s Western Wilds
Follow historical pathways, discover the stories of Tasmania’s early pioneers and get immersed in unique wilderness experiences.
Tasmania’s stunning western area is much more than the rough and lonely coastline it is famed for. This six-day Western Wilds tour is full of discovery.
What to anticipate
A intriguing tour with stunning sceneries
Unique nature getaways paired with best quality Tasmanian produce
Experience the Western Wilds by vehicle, boat and rail
Duration: 6 days
Distance: 1172 kilometres (728 miles) (728 miles)
Nearest major city: Hobart
DAY 1: HOBART TO LAKE PEDDER
Leaving Hobart behind as you begin on your Western Wilds excursion, follow the Derwent River as you travel through historical hop producing territory and on to Mount Field National Park (approximately a 1.5-hour drive) (about a 1.5-hour drive).
Take the short walk to Russell Falls or drive farther on to Lake Dobson as you journey through the glacier-sculpted terrain. If extreme activities are more enticing, go on to Maydena (approximately a 40-minute drive), home to Maydena Bike Park.
This enormous world-class mountain biking park includes paths to accommodate most levels and a complete rental fleet of bikes and safety gear.
The Western Wilds are beckoning so keep travelling west, leaving the thick forest behind as you drive one-hour into the weather sculpted Southwest National Park and arrive at Lake Pedder.
Spend the night at Pedder Wilderness Lodge and enjoy the views in this untamed area while warming yourself in front of the fire.
DAY 2: LAKE PEDDER TO LAKE ST CLAIR
Leaving Lake Pedder, retrace your ways back to Westerway where you will turn towards Ellendale and drive through to the Lyell Highway before continuing your trip west.
Stop for a break at the historic Hydro Electric Commission town of Tarraleah (just over a two-hour drive) and read about the early pioneers who labored in hard circumstances constructing dams and installing the complex piping that today feeds Tasmania’s electrical system.
Leaving Tarraleah and traveling west for 45 minutes, enjoy the high country beauty, stopping at The Wall in the Wilderness sculpture to learn about the individuals who formed the Tasmanian Central Highlands.
A short drive down the road will lead you to the unique wilderness accomodation Pumphouse Point on the edge of Lake St. Clair.
Go for a walk on the Frankland Beaches or put your feet up with a glass of great Tasmanian wine and enjoy the magnificent lakeside views and surrounding mountain ranges.
DAY 3: LAKE ST CLAIR TO WILD WEST COAST
If you are feeling energetic, make the best of an early start and enjoy one of the short treks Lake St. Clair has to offer before hitting the road and continuing your trip west.
Driving towards the west coast from Lake St. Clair will present you with beautiful wilderness vistas as you journey just under two hours through the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage region.
Make a brief stop at the Iron Blow Lookout in the ghost town of Gormanston before descending to Queenstown, formerly said to be the world’s wealthiest mining town.
Spend some time learning the history of this rugged old town and its surprising delights such as the Paragon Theatre.
Continuing from Queenstown, travel around 40 minutes west to arrive in Strahan, your last destination for the day. You will have plenty of time to explore this vibrant tiny harbourside town set on the beaches of Macquarie Harbour.
Feeling adventurous? Book in an afternoon from Queenstown with RoamWild for some off the beaten track experiences, giving you a fantastic insight in to the local history and untamed landscape.
Strahan ATV Adventures can also cater for the adrenaline-seekers in your group and will ensure a wonderful time. For excellent environment, stay the night in Strahan Village and enjoy the delicious local seafood buffet at View 42° Restaurant and Bar.
DAY 4: STRAHAN
Strahan has a rich historical background and has long been the entrance to explore Tasmania’s West Coast. With much to occupy your day you won’t be stuck for things to do, and there are alternatives to suit every budget. One must-do experience is a trip on the award-winning Gordon River Cruise.
Relax aboard their new Spirit of the Wild purpose built catamaran as you journey through Macquarie Harbour and out to the notorious Hells Gates before floating past Sarah Island and along the Gordon River.
Enjoy this trip in top class luxury with professional local guides when you journey deep into Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage region.
Strahan is also home to Australia’s oldest running play, ‘The Ship That Never Was’. Telling a genuine account of the final escape from Sarah Island, this dramatic and funny narrative is an iconic experience and perfect for young and old.
Evening session timings are 5.30pm everyday, September through to May at the Richard Davey Amphitheatre on the riverfront. Finish your day with a drink at the local favourite, Hamer’s Hotel.
DAY 5: STRAHAN TO CORINNA
Spend a relaxed morning seeing some of the local craftspeople with a coffee break at the Cove Gallery and Café.
If that doesn’t suit your fancy, the historic West Coast Wilderness Railway is a terrific chance to take in stunning landscapes only accessible by steam train while hearing to tales from its building during the mining boom.
Half and full-day tours are offered departing Strahan with activities appropriate for all ages.
An afternoon journey to Corinna (just under two hours) will take you northwest and deeper into the West Coast wildness and Tarkine Reserve, home to Australia’s biggest stretch of temperate rainforest.
This lonely hamlet stationed on the banks of the Pieman River was originally a base for prospectors during the gold rush, holding the Tasmanian record for the biggest gold nugget to be found, weighing in at a massive 7.5 kilograms (16.5 pounds) (16.5 pounds).
There are various lodging alternatives at Corinna, all handled by the same operator so reserving is straightforward but suggested ahead to visit.
DAY 6: CORINNA TO NORTH WEST COAST
Before you hit the road, take the time to admire the environs at Corinna.
There are various short hikes into the jungle, including highlights such as the wreck of SS Croyden, now situated at the entrance of Savage River. The Pieman River Cruise is another fantastic river ride and the historic Arcadia II, a beautifully restored 17-metre (55-foot) boat fashioned from Tasmanian Huon wood is an attraction all in itself.
There are many of driving possibilities from Corinna after you have taken the Fatman barge over the Pieman.
For some more secluded and wild views, try traveling farther north into Marrawah (approximately a two-hour drive) where exposed and rough coasts meet lush green farmland pasture, contrasting the two primary businesses on this area of the coast.
Pre-booking accommodation in Marrawah is also suggested, with a stop at the local bar for a chance to hear some wild stories from local fisherman who pioneered the Tasmanian rock lobster and abalone industries.
Spend your final day enjoying the 5.5-hour trip back to Hobart, or opt to fly out of Launceston, which is just 3.5 hours from Marrawah.
Topic: Tasmania’s Western Wilds
I am arguably the most popular Australian writer of all time. I am from the town of Karrinyup in rural Western Australia. When I was young, I was fascinated by the unique landscape of Australia, and I decided to support himself by writing books about the Australian landscape.
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