Our story

Life on the river

Cruising on the Gordon River hasn't always looked this way. We are incredibly priviledged to be part of our river's history, to share her stories and to help preserve this magical place for generations to come.

Couple at the Tasmanian Wilderness near Gordon River Cruises

It all started with our iconic Huon pine - a native species of tree found in abundance along the Gordon River. 

Known for its unique floating properties, Huon pine was highly sought after during early Europen settlement for boat building and furniture making. Remote camps were established along the river for the piners who worked tirelessly to harvest the incredible resource. 

When the families of row-in-row-out workers wanted to visit, the only way was via river transport. River cruising was a real necessity.

The word quickly got out about the mesmerising reflections, still, dark waters and deep rainforest. The beauty had to be seen to be believed. And so, in 1896, the first leisure cruise on the Gordon River set sail. 

Aerial View of the Gordon River near the Gordon River Cruises
Cruise ship at Gordon River near the Gordon River Cruises

In the late 1970s we almost lost our river forever. Legislation was passed for the construction of a dam to create electricty, ultimately drowning pristine river, flora, fauna and endangered species, breathtaking ravines and rapids and untouched Huon pine and myrtle beech forest. 

Australians protested and voted against damming the river. It's known as one of the most significant environmental campaigns in Australian history.

In 1982, the region was inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage - a treasure to be protected for the rest of time. The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area meets 7 out of 10 UNESCO criteria - an achievement only shared with one other world heritage site on the planet. 

 

We have two magnificent vessels that were specially built with the environment and your comfort in mind: Spirit of the Wild and MV Sophia

We proudly launched our state-of-the-art Spirit of the Wild in 2018. She is unlike any vessel to cruise on the Gordon River, featuring a hybrid system that ensures a quiet and smooth cruise through temperate rainforest in 'Whisper Mode'. 

Our high-speed MV Sophia caters for 11 passengers and is perfect for more intimate fishing charters and small tours of the area.

 

Sophia Vessel at Gordon River Cruises

Our crew know the secrets of the Gordon River and Macquarie Harbour. We love sharing our stories and providing our guests with an unforgettable experience in the UNESCO Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness Area. 

We have been awarded 'Tasmania's Best Guided Tour' at the 2018 Tasmanian Hospitality Association Awards and Gold in the Tasmanian Tourism Awards in 2018 and 2019.