West Coast Wilderness Way

:::West Coast Wilderness Way

West Coast Wilderness Way

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Queenstown, Tasmania, like its New Zealand namesake, is a centre for adrenalin adventure activities and also the gateway to the magnificent West Coast Wilderness Railway.

Travellers on the Rivers Run from Hobart can sample the delights of Lake St Clair and then continue to Queenstown by driving northwest across the World Heritage Area – one of the largest tracts of temperate rainforest in the world.

>From Lake St Clair follow the Lyell Highway, stopping briefly for a breath of fresh mountain air on the Franklin River and Nelson Falls Nature Walks. Continue through a stark lunar landscape into the 1880’s gold mining boomtown of Queenstown. The town is bursting with mining heritage and you will feel the urge to get down and dirty in the underground chambers with a miner’s hat and belt. Emerging into sunlight again the thing to do is jump on a mountain bike and career down a precipitous slope to shake off the dust. Note how the complete devastation of this treeless waste has left random quartz boulders reflecting sunlight in colours that are starkly beautiful. Other activities include rainforest walks and tours as well as trout fishing on nearby Lake Burbury.

Queenstown’s premier attraction is the West Coast Wilderness Railway, which winds around tight curves, using a rack and pinion system to pull the elegant brass and timber carriages up the steep terrain. This ‘must do,’ three hour run to Strahan is one of the world’s great railway journeys.

Strahan (pronounced ‘Strawn’) is a charming harbourside resort. It has shaken off its onetime dreaded reputation as a convict town and now flourishes as the gateway to the World Heritage listed wilderness area on the Gordon River.

Tour boats cruise across Macquarie Harbour to visit the unspoilt Gordon River rainforest for gentle walks and sightseeing. Sea kayaking is also popular, along with horse trekking and 4WD rides over the sand dunes. Sarah Island is well worth a visit to see the 2,000 year old Huon pines and the infamous penal colony, which once housed the toughest and roughest convicts in the land.

Continuing north, Zeehan is soon reached, where the fascinating Pioneer Folk Museum is worth a visit. The Murchison Highway has a side trip from Rosebery to Williamsford, where you can walk along a disused railway embankment to Montezuma Falls – Tasmania’s highest waterfall. Further north at Tullah, take a leisurely lakeside horse trek in cool bushland. A twilight canoe trip may see you eyeballing a platypus in his native habitat.

>From here the C.132 road leads on to the monumental rock formations, glacial lakes and towering waterfalls of Cradle Country.

By | 2015-04-10T14:57:23+00:00 October 7th, 2014|Tasmania Itineraries|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek

Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people.

My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch.

My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

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