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Soak up the serene beauty of western Tasmania on a morning or afternoon cruise from Strahan to the Gordon River. You’ll pass by natural landmarks like Hells Gates, which marks the entrance to Macquarie Harbour from the Southern Ocean, and see Sarah Island as you journey through the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Select a seating category and departure time when booking. The morning tour is longer at 6 hours, while the afternoon tour is just 3.5.


  • 3.5- or 6-hour cruise from Strahan to the Gordon River
  • Enjoy the views of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area through the boat's floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Visit Sarah Island, a former convict settlement and shipyard
  • Enjoy a lunch or snack of local Tasmanian foods and beverages (if option selected)
  • Select from three seating levels on the main deck or premier upper deck
  • Choose either a morning or afternoon cruise to suit your schedule

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Gordon River Cruise from Strahan

Gordon River Cruise

Both tours take place aboard the Lady Jane Franklin II, a spacious, high-speed boat specially designed to travel smoothly on the Gordon River. When booking your morning or afternoon cruise, you have three seating options to choose from: center atrium, window recliner or the luxury upper deck.

Morning cruise (5.5 to 6 hours):
Depart Strahan and pass by Hells Gates, a narrow opening where the Southern Ocean meets Macquarie Harbour. As you take in the small gap—just 400 feet (120 meters)—it’s not hard to see how it got its ominous name from early sailors. Then head across the harbor, making your way to the lower reaches of the Gordon River as you pass by trout and salmon farms and the waterfront rainforest landscape of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Disembark at Heritage Landing for a walk through the forest to see a variety of trees, including leatherwoods and a unique species of pine. Stroll down a raised boardwalk, and arrive at a 2,000-year-old Huon pine that fell to the ground but still grows saplings. Then visit Sarah Island, a former penal colony from the 1820s and 1830s, and watch a theatrical presentation to learn about its history, including how the island was once an important Australian shipyard, where the boats were built by convicts.

When you’re on board the boat, you are welcome to visit the deck for fresh air and views, or admire the display of photos and maps. Enjoy lunch according to your tour option selected. Your cruise ends with return to Strahan.

Afternoon cruise (3.5 hours):
Setting off from Strahan, glide through Macquarie Harbour to the Gordon River, where the boat will slow for your leisurely trip up the river, passing by the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Spot an ancient Huon pine tree on the water, and hear narration from your captain about the history and historical characters of the region.

See native leatherwood trees along the riverbank in Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, and enjoy a taste of uncommon leatherwood honey. Take a look at fish farms that supply Tasmania with ocean trout and salmon, and then head toward the entrance of the harbor for a look at Hells Gates, the sometimes-hazardous opening where the harbor and ocean meet. Your cruise ends when you return to Strahan.

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Customer Reviews

Marie-Therese B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

I missed the tour on Thursday and managed to reschedule for Friday. I had a really great experience even if the weather wasn't great. The only criticism I have is when some of us went to reboard after the tour of Sarah Island we made it to the boat at the end of the jetty before being turned back as they had to count the number of passengers getting back on board. I think it would have been better to have either the entry to the pier roped off until they were ready for us to board or for someone to be positioned at the entry to the jetty. In that way we wouldn't have had to brave the strong winds twice. Despite this the service was excellent and the knowledge of crew was also excellent. The meal was also very good.

Diane D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

Just loved it great food great cruiseu

Christine M Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Brillant staff and food. The tour programme was very interesting and informative.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Had booked the Captains deck including lunch as a treat. The cruise didn't disappoint. The weather was so perfect the water looked like glass. The service was great with drinks offered regularly throughout the cruise. Lunch was fresh, plentiful and tasty with the best smoked salmon I've had and I've tried a lot. The cost might deter some but it's well worth every dollar - the memories will last a very long time.
We will be doing this again next time we're in Tassie.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

This was a wonderful cruise with fabulous staff for whom nothing was too much trouble. The trip itself was excellent, with commentary all the way through and two walking trips, one on Sarah Island with an amazing, enthusiastic guide. Lunch was delicious and tea or coffee was always available. I even left my coat on the boat and it was returned to the office with my name and contact number on it!!! I thought it was lost forever. I would thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone visiting Tasmania.

John D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

This is an amazing trip. Fortunately the weather was beautiful, which made all the difference. But despite the good weather I could not fault it. The boat was comfortable and clean. The staff were friendly. Buffet lunch was good. Both trips we did were both enjoyable and informative. The lady who did the Sarah Island trip was very good. Would recommend it.

Nicholas J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

The Gorden river cruise was one amazing trip, recommend it without question, just do it you won't be disappointed.

Nolan J F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

even with rainy weather the tour was one of the highlights of our trip.

Geoffrey L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Wonderful boat, scenery and experience. Excellent commentary both on boat and at Sarah Island. A must-do travel experience.

Euan M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Fantastic! everything from the hospitality to the scenery, thank you

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