Unearth stories of convict courage, boom-and-bust mining fortunes and ghost towns, and delve into World Heritage wilderness on Tasmania’s west coast.
Day 1: Around Queenstown
Following the Lyell Highway toward Queenstown from the south, stop for the easy 20min return walk to pretty Nelson Falls through mossy forest of sassafras, myrtle and ferns.
The road into Queenstown is full of twists and turns, so take it slowly. Before descending the spectacular 99 Bends into town, marvel at the Iron Blow Lookout and follow the mountainside boardwalk to Horsetail Falls.
Queenstown is home to many of the west coast’s quirkiest attractions – check out the legendary gravel sports oval – and a range of historically fascinating and friendly places to stay, including Mt Lyell Anchorage and Penghana Bed and Breakfast.
History buffs will revel in the abundance of local stories. Take time to explore the Galley Museum and its eclectic collection of west-coast artefacts, tour the Art Deco Paragon Theatre, or join one of RoamWild’s tours of historic Lake Margaret township and power station – it's a real-life ghost town.
Day 2: Queenstown to Strahan
Fancy a day jam-packed with wilderness adventures? Combine a steam-rail journey with thrilling white-water rafting and peaceful river drifting with King River Rafting. Expect spectacular landscapes and sightings of wildlife and rare Huon and King Billy pines, some of which are more than 2000 years old.
Take the winding road to Strahan to finish the day’s exploration at harbourside accommodation, where options include boutique Salt Box Hideaways, self-contained Wheelhouse Apartments, and the centrally located Strahan Village.
Day 3: Around Strahan
Start with a waterfront stroll along Strahan Esplanade, where interpretive signs tell stories of the convicts and pioneers who survived harsh conditions on the remote west coast.
Join the audience for a performance of The Ship That Never Was, an interactive, family-friendly theatre production based on the true story of a daring convict escape from notorious Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour.
Overnight at Strahan.
Day 4: Strahan to Zeehan
Before leaving town, walk the 40min return track to Hogarth Falls, keeping an eye out for platypus in the creek.
Drive to the historical mining town of Zeehan, stopping en route to walk through the Henty Dunes, a line of dunes, up to 30m high, strung along the coast behind Ocean Beach.
Nicknamed Silver City, Zeehan was once Tasmania's third-largest town. Walk through the Spray Tunnel, a 100m-long abandoned train tunnel that once led to the Spray Silver Mine.
Spend a few hours exploring the West Coast Heritage Centre for a fascinating insight into the area’s industrial and social heritage. This 7ha site incorporates the restored Gaiety Theatre-Grand Hotel, once considered one of Australia’s finest theatres.
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