Strahan is Pick of the Town!

Earlier this year, the marketing team from West Coast Wilderness Railway joined forces with marketing professionals from NRMA Expeditions (Gordon River Cruises) and World Heritage Cruises to create the entry for Strahan on behalf of our local tourism organisation, Destination West Coast.

The entry won its category and Strahan has been crowned Top Tiny Town! From there, we went national, taking out the Australian Top Tiny Town!

Wondering what all the fuss is about? Check out the winning entry here:

Sitting on the edge of the world, a short trip just outside your comfort zone, lies the remote fishing village of Strahan. Strahan isn’t like other towns. Things are different on lutruwita/Tasmania’s west coast. It’s wild, rugged and damned beautiful out here.

An overhead of the lighthouse at Macquarie Harbour perched on a rocky island. The image is taken at dusk on a calm night and the southern ocean can be seen sitting quietly and calmly in the background.

We won’t lie, it takes a while to get this far west. The journey through World Heritage Wilderness Area isn’t for the fainthearted but it’s 100 percent worth it. Break up the drive with one of the many walks along the way and get a taste of what’s to come. This is a place you’ll never forget – untouched and untamed.

Paths are made here, not followed. Around every corner lurks mystery and intrigue. Located on the banks of Macquarie Harbour, our shores tell tales of treacherous expeditions, convict escapes, piners and protestors. And it’s all just waiting to be found.

Strahan is the gateway to over 1.5 million hectares of ancient, cool-climate rainforest. Here, the tannin-stained waters of the Gordon River run deep, Huon pines grow older and mirror-like reflections go undisturbed. We embrace the seasons and celebrate the rain that keeps the rainforest alive. It’s unlike anywhere else on the planet and protected until the end of time.

Not far from the quiet wilderness, the brutal Southern Ocean crashes through Hells Gates, a notorious passage at the mouth of Macquarie Harbour. Feared by sailors and convicts alike, Hells Gates marked the start of an isolated, punishing and hellish sentence on Sarah Island, Australia’s first penal settlement. Today, convict ruins hint at their harrowing stories.

Daily cruise vessels journey across Macquarie Harbour, through Hells Gates and deep into the UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, bearing witness to the west’s rugged beauty. You can even dig a little deeper on Sarah Island with one of Round Earth’s local guides.

Our remoteness isn’t an obstacle. It’s a challenge that we embrace. Take a walk along Ocean Beach’s 40km stretch of sand and sea, or tackle the 30m high Henty Dunes. You’ll see what we mean. It’s just you, the Southern Ocean and winds gusting all the way from South America.

It’s a little quieter here and things don’t change a lot. But that’s the way we like it. Just like our land, our history is rich. Our people, our stories and our sense of community are the beating heart of our town, and are what makes us so special.

A magnificent u-bend of the gordon river, deep in the UNESCO world heritage wilderness site. The land that surrounds the river is thick with rainforest.

You can always count on us. A fresh brew from the local Coffee Shack. A lone cruise boat departing for the Gordon River, its horn echoing across the harbour. Australia’s longest running play. The historic Wilderness Railway pulling out of Regatta Point, bound for the rainforest. That well-earned cold beer at the local pub. The freshest seafood you can find. And the scent of Huon pine and waterfalls that lingers in the air. Of course, there’s nothing quite like a west coast sunset – we take them pretty seriously out here. Ocean Beach is the place to be to watch the sky turn red, or head to the hilltop overlooking Macquarie Harbour with a glass of wine in hand. Take a breath – you truly are at the edge of the world.

We have seen boom and bust – celebrating the good and enduring the hard. Still to this day, only the hardy survive here. We’re resourceful – we fish, we build, we find a way or make a way. This is part of our spirit – what people call west coast spirit.

If you’re ready to venture beyond what you know, we’ll be here. As we always have been. Holidays are a little bit different out west but you’ll be glad you did it. All it takes is a short trip just outside your comfort zone.

The image is focussed on the waterfront of strahan as taken from a restaurant perched high on the hill. A woman in the foreground is out of focus, but a glass of rose is in her hand and the light shines through it beautifully.

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