The Pillinger Explorer

The Pillinger Explorer is a small-group tour that takes guests deep into the Tasmanian wilderness to discover the sights and stories of the historical town of Pillinger, on the shores of Macquarie Harbour.


  • Small group tour with a maximum of 10 guests (min. 2 guests to depart)
  • Walking around the remnants of the township of Pillinger
  • Fully guided experience
  • Interpretation from your guide, covering fascinating natural and human history and local environment
  • Morning tea and a Chef-prepared gourmet lunch is included
  • A range of soft and alcoholic beverages are included

Please note this tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or for children under 5 years old.


The Pillinger Explorer takes you deep into the Tasmanian wilderness, to wander an historic town’s ruins as you delve into the stories of this fascinating chapter in western Tasmania’s history. 

Departing Strahan’s waterfront daily, this new tour from the award-winning Gordon River Cruises blends a visit to some of Tasmania’s most spectacular temperate rainforest with tales of boom and bust as industry took hold in the western wilderness’ colonial era.

You’ll visit the old town of Pillinger, stepping ashore to wander the ruins, before cruising to see Reindeer Lodge from the water.  Then, make your way to Hells Gates at the mouth of Macquarie Harbour, pausing at a working fish farm along the way.  Step ashore at Bonnet Island, just inside the entrance of the harbour, to hear tales of lighthouse keepers past, as you enjoy view of Ocean Beach and beyond.

The Pillinger Explorer is a fully guided and fully catered experience, showcasing some of the best Tasmanian produce as you navigate your way through the wilderness and history of a remarkable part of Tasmania.

Please note this tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or for children under 5 years old.


Adult: $250

Child: $125 (6-16 yrs)

Family (2A + 2C): $625


  • 9:30 Depart Strahan and travel across Macquarie Harbour
  • 10:30 Arrive Pillinger. Morning tea before guided walk of the Pillinger Ruins
  • 11:30 Depart Pillinger to see Reindeer Lodge from the water
  • 12:00 Depart Reindeer Lodge for Hells Gates
  • Visit a fish farm on the way to Hells Gates
  • 12:45 Arrive Hells Gates and learn about the Training Wall, Kawatiri Shoals and weather permitting, Cape Sorell Lighthouse
  • 13:15 Berth at Bonnet Island. Photo opportunities from the viewing platform: Ocean Beach, Hells Gates and Entrance Island
  • 13:30 Return to your vessel. Lunch on board while berthed
  • 14:00 Depart Bonnet Island
  • 14:30 Arrive Strahan
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