Stories of Tasmania's wild west and our wilderness cruises from Strahan
Tasmania's west coast is a place like no other. The wilderness here is rugged and the stories that have forged the characters of today run as deep as the cool water of the Gordon River.
Strahan is the western launchpad to the UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and we are here to help you explore it.
After a long morning exploring the waters of Macquarie Harbour with us you're probably feeling a little worn out - and perhaps don't have the time or energy to tackle the longer Montezuma Falls or Kelly Basin walks. We've put together a list of 'afternoon fillers', a small list of activities that will keep you entertained between docking and dinner.
Above & Beyond: Seaplane in Strahan
We’re really excited to have Hobart-based seaplane company ‘Above & Beyond’ operating from Strahan this weekend. The seaplane will arrive on the west coast on Friday morning and will be available for local scenic flights on Saturday from approximately 11AM (31 October). With a water take-off and landing on Macquarie Harbour, the flights will take in views of Strahan, the harbour, the UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and the rugged coastline of the west.
Wilderness Cruises in Tasmania
Tasmania is home to some of Australia's most intriguing wildlife and spectacular wilderness scenery. At Gordon River Cruises, we are fortunate enough to cruise in the UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area on a daily basis and share this place with guests from across the world. If you can't make it to the west coast, below are some of our favourite wilderness cruises showcasing the different regions of our beautiful island state.
3 reasons why a Gordon River Cruise should be part of your spring itinerary
Spring has sprung, which means there's no better time to dust of your hiking boots, grab the camera and pack your bags, and venture to the west coast! No trip to the west coast is complete without cruising the mighty Gordon River and Macquarie Harbour with Gordon River Cruises. It’s a place of rich history, with stories to be told – from the Aboriginal tribes of 40,000 years ago, to the environmental protests of the late 20th century. Here are a few reasons why Gordon River Cruises should be a part of your spring itinerary.
Sarah Island | Hell on Earth
Just a short trip outside your comfort zone, at the last stop before the gates to hell lies the town of Strahan, on the shores of Macquarie Harbour. Our harbour is home to a number of small islands, one of which is the infamous ‘Sarah Island’. Known to Aboriginal people as ‘Langerrareroune’, but called ‘Sarah Island’ by the British who operated a penal colony on the site back in the early 1800s. The island is remote and isolated. The perfect location to house convicts to ensure their continuous captivity it would seem…
Tranquility on the river - The Spirit of the Wild experience
As we get back into the full swing of cruising on the Gordon River, we took the opportunity to sit and chat with one of our Skippers, to hear about what he sees as special about the west coast of Tassie, the Gordon River and the experience he and the Gordon River Cruises team delivers each day.
Gordon River Cruises Reopening
After a lengthy hiatus, we are excited to be back cruising the Gordon River and Macquarie Harbour from 10 July 2020. We sat down with General Manager, Geoff Eyers to talk about the break and some of the changes the team has put in place to deliver the same multi award-winning experience amidst Coronavirus safety regulations.
Spirit of the Wild - Tech Specs
There’s generally a lot of interest from our guests, fans and the public, in our state-of-the-art cruise vessel, Spirit of the Wild. Given we all have some extra time on our hands at the moment, we thought we’d ask the General Manager of Gordon River Cruises for his take on what’s special about our vessel, why she noteworthy and how he came to understand the high-calibre technology she uses.
Well done Amanda!
We’re really proud to have progressed one of our own young stars through the ranks at Gordon River Cruises, to the point that she’s now driving our state-of-the-art vessel, Spirit of the Wild. Amanda Sansom has been with Gordon River Cruises for some years and her story is one of dedication and passion. This progression to driving Spirit of the Wild is a big deal and has taken a lot of dedicated, hard work. We took a few minutes to ask Amanda to share some of her experiences with us.
Award-winning Spirit of the Wild named Tasmania's best
2018 was a huge year for Gordon River Cruises.
After the Hobart build and launch of Spirit of the Wild, a vessel unlike anything else operating commercially in the southern hemisphere, we commenced quiet cruising with electric motors on the Gordon River, creating an unparalleled experience never before available in this magical place.
Spirit of the Wild welcomes the THA aboard
Although Gordon River Cruises is best known for venturing into the UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area to explore the Gordon River, we do play host to a number of events and functions closer to our home base of Strahan throughout the year.
Spear Green Design awarded Best Marine Interior Designers for 2018
We are excited to announce that Spear Green Design (SGD) – the designers of Spirit of the Wild – have been awarded Best Marine Interior Designers for 2018 by Baird Publications / Work Boat World. This award was in recognition of three of their major projects in 2018 – including the Gordon River Cruise vessel - Spirit of the Wild.
New Gordon River Cruises terminal opened in Strahan
The new Gordon River Cruises vessel, Spirit of the Wild is now cruising in Tasmania's west and is offering our guests the opportunity to experience the Gordon River as they haven't before.
New Gordon River Cruises terminal opened in Strahan
New Strahan terminal sets scene for upgraded cruise experience
The RACT has celebrated the official opening of the new cruise terminal in Strahan, which will set the scene for the new Gordon River Cruises vessel to come online in the middle of the year.
World first experience for Gordon River Cruises - silent drive
In early 2018 Gordon River Cruises will be launching a new vessel which will be the most environmentally sensitive vessel of its type in Australia. The new vessel will enhance the overall experience of the cruise and ensure it remains one of the best eco-tours in the country. And today we are excited to reveal an exciting world-first feature for the cruise – silent drive.
Finalists in the Tasmanian Tourism Awards 2017
We are excited to announce that Gordon River Cruises has been chosen as a finalist in the Tasmanian Tourism Awards 2017. Completing an award submission was a long and involved process for the team so it’s great to see our hard work and dedication paying off.
Cannibals And Lighthouses: Colourful History Of Hells Gates And Cape Sorell
When visiting Strahan, it is essential that visitors take a tour of Bonnet Island in order to appreciate the contrast between the area’s turbulent past and the cute little penguins which peacefully inhabit the island today. This twilight experience conducted by Gordon River Cruises is a highlight of any Tasmanian holiday.
Photography on the Gordon River – Tips and Tricks
Photography tips for cruising in Tasmania's World Heritage Area
The Gordon River on Tasmania’s west coast is a paradise for photographers and the Gordon River Cruise places you in some of the best locations to get that hero photograph. The combination of natural tannins from buttongrass plains give the Gordon River’s water the appearance of tea and ensure it has a remarkable reflective quality, making for mirror-like images.
Grapes On The North West Coast: Splendid Wineries To Whet Your Appetite
It is an open secret that whilst the scenery on a Gordon River Cruise is spectacular, the refreshments made from local produce are equally as divine. Many guests are particularly impressed by the wines on offer and leave the cruise with a determination to explore Tasmania’s tipples in greater depth. Tasmania’s cool climate wines are often produced at artisan wineries and may not be available on the mainland. Fortunately, visitors who choose to drive further north from Strahan to Devonport have the opportunity to exercise their taste buds at some excellent cellar doors along the way.
Little Blue Penguins: Rules To Help You Enjoy The Experience
When visitors think of Tasmania, penguins may not be the first images that come to mind. However, Tasmania is home to more than 110 000 breeding pairs of little penguins, the smallest of the species. These delightful creatures grow to about 30cm in height and 40cm in length. Being so small, they face quite a number of threats to their survival. Most of Tasmania’s little blue penguins are found in safe havens on uninhabited islands. The Bonnet Island Experience provides an eco-friendly way to enjoy little blue penguins in the wild.
Gordon River For The Time Poor: Spectacular Fly/Cruise
No trip to Tasmania is complete without a Gordon River cruise. This incredible experience gives you the chance to see a pristine cool-climate rainforest which contains the iconic Huon Pine. Your trip also takes you through Macquarie Harbour which conjures up some of the most infamous tales from Tasmania’s convict past. Although the drive to Tasmania’s west coast is highly recommended, those who are time poor can still take part in this must-do adventure.
Prisoners, Piners And Politics: Learn Compelling History On Your Gordon River Wilderness Cruise
Whilst a Gordon River wilderness cruise gives you the opportunity to see unique plants and animals, it has a history that is almost as wild as its ancient forests. Convict labour, daring prison escapes, tragic shipwrecks and conservation protests are all part of this world famous river’s story. These historical tales are just as fascinating as the spectacular scenery.
Award-winning Gordon River Cruises!
Gordon River Cruises was recently announced as a finalist in the 2016 Tasmanian Tourism Awards in the 'Tour Operator & Transportation' category. We're very proud to say that we went on to win a silver medal in the category - an extraordinary achievement for the team and something the business will build on until next year's awards.
History of Gordon River Cruises
I turn to the first question. The craft the subject of the claim was described on the front cover of the builder's specification as an ``18 metre catamaran tourist vessel''. More particularly, in the specification proper, it was provided that ``the vessel is to be capable of operating as a ferry or as a tourist vessel'' and that it was to be ``a twin-hulled (catamaran) high speed ferry constructed with welded steel hulls. A welded aluminium superstructure will be fitted containing passenger cabin, toilets, wheel-house etc.
Staff Picks: The Ultimate Tasmanian Bucket List
If you are planning a trip to Tasmania, you may be overwhelmed by the incredible range of experiences and sights on offer. After all, Tasmania has some of the most unique, spectacular and diverse wonders on earth. Fortunately, the Experience Oz list of “100 things to do in Tasmania before you die” will help you to narrow down choices. Our expert staff have cast their eyes over the list and here are their top picks.
Land, Sea And Air: Ultimate Day Tour From Hobart To The Gordon River
Although Tasmania is a small island, many visitors find that they are overwhelmed by the number of attractions on offer. If you find that you don’t have time to drive to the stunning west coast, there is still a way for you to experience the unique heritage and wilderness of this area. From Hobart, you can enjoy an unforgettable day tour by air, sea and land to Sarah Island and the pristine rainforest of the Gordon River.
Gordon River Cruise; a feast for the senses | By Laura Wilson
When looking for things to do in Strahan, look no further! A short 2-minute walk from Strahan Village Hotel & Cottages is the jetty where the Gordon River Cruise sets off. As the sun rises over the harbour, it’s hard to imagine a more tranquil setting. The Gordon River Cruise captures everything that Tasmania has to offer: natural beauty, untouched environment, history and of course fresh local produce.
Mirror Images: Magnificent Reflections On The Gordon River
A Gordon River cruise provides plenty of scenic photo opportunities. Stunning scenes of the picturesque bay, the magical wilderness and convict sites will ensure that you have numerous gasp-worthy images. However, many people find that their best photographs are those of the magnificent reflections on the Gordon River. With this in mind, make sure that you take a suitable camera or download appropriate apps to your phone.
Western Tasmania's Small Towns: Rich In History And Natural Wonders
For those who like to travel a little off the beaten track but still enjoy the creature comforts associated with fine hotels and restaurants, the small towns of Western Tasmania are ideal to visit. At the gateway to the World Heritage Wilderness Area, these towns capture the essence of Tasmania’s convict and mining heritage. The stunning scenery will further enhance your experience.
Jump Into Salmon Aquaculture: See Fish Farms On A Gordon River Cruise
Tasmania is famous for its high-quality produce and environmental consciousness. One such practice which combines these two concepts is the internationally-acclaimed salmon aquaculture which occurs in the waters around Tasmania.
Exploring Tasmania's World Heritage Wilderness: Cruising In An Ancient Land
Tasmania’s UNESCO World Heritage Wilderness Area is recognised for its unique glacial formations, unspoilt temperate rainforests and extensive range of flora and fauna. This combination of features in a pristine environment cannot be found anywhere else. The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area comprises some difficult terrain that can only be accessed by true adventurers. Fortunately, Tasmanian wilderness cruises allow everyone to appreciate the incredible beauty of this area.
Tasmania's Huon Pine: Stories From A Living Fossil
Tasmania hosts a unique ecosystem with hundreds of plants and animals that cannot be found anywhere else on earth. Tasmania's iconic plant is the Huon Pine which has developed from a plant family that existed more than 200 million years ago. The Huon Pines that can be seen in Tasmania today are some of the oldest living organisms on earth. High up on Mount Read, a stand of pines has been found that are estimated to be over 3000 years old.
History and Huon Pines: Highlights Of A Gordon River Cruise
The Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park holds a special place in the historical, political and environmental hearts of the Tasmanian people. This section of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area includes the Franklin, Olga and Gordon Rivers. Much of the park is untamed and rugged; however, a Gordon River Cruise allows you to appreciate the heritage and wild beauty of the area without sacrificing comfort.
Sarah Island: Harbouring Secrets Of A Convict Past
Tasmania has many places that conceal some of the darker aspects of our early settlement. One such place is Sarah Island which is the setting for one of Australia’s most famous novels “For the Term of his Natural Life.” Located in the south-west corner of Macquarie Harbour, smatterings of brick ruins remain as a reminder that this was once a bustling, productive and often brutal penal colony between 1822 and 1833. At its height, there were about 500 people living there.