One of the highlights of a visit to Strahan is an intimate eco-tour to the tiny Bonnet Island which lies in the entrance to Macquarie Harbour. Those who take a daytime Gordon River Cruise will spot the lighthouse which has been helping boats safely navigate through the narrow entrance of Macquarie Harbour, known as Hells Gates, since the 1890's. A twilight cruise however, provides a whole new perspective of Bonnet Island.
At dusk, a boat trip to Bonnet Island gives you the opportunity to see the spectacular sunset as you travel across this huge inland sea. You will also see the twinkling lights from all the lighthouses in the area and learn about the lives of early lighthouse keepers. There are local wines and cheeses to further enhance your experience too!
Once on the island, the main purpose of your trip will become evident. Using red flashlights so that you do not hurt their eyes, you can watch the colony of little penguins return to their nests to feed their young. At the right time of year, you can even expect to see babies and adolescents. The best part about the Bonnet Island Experience is that it is unobtrusive and small-scale, with the welfare of the birds being paramount at all times.
If you wish to experience a little penguin parade which allows you to be up close and personal without crowds and hoopla, joining the Bonnet Island Experience is essential. You will definitely consider your close encounter with these magical critters to be one of the best things to do in Strahan and a memorable part of your Tasmanian travels.
Bookings can be made via the Strahan Activities Centre and are strongly recommended to avoid disppointment. Key information for the Bonnet Island Experience is as follows:
- Group size: Maximum 11
- Catering: Soft drinks, Tasmanian wine and cheese platters
- Clothing: We recommend you bring a jacket, beanie and any other warm clothes you feel you need as the temperature can drop significantly at night
- Torches/flashlights: Provided
- Departure time: Flexible and generally 1hr prior to sunset. Please check in with the Strahan Activities Centre to confirm
- Duration: 2.5 hours