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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.

Highlights

  • 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

terence s

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

excellent service friendly staff and beautiful scenery value fof money

Sarah C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Absolutely breathtaking cruise, and the guided tour of Sarah Island was captivating and fascinating! The guise was a wonderful story teller, and very knowledgeable about the history of the island, as was the boat crew. Definitely a highlight of my trip to Tasmania!!

glenda d

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

awsome day out woud do it again

HELEN L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Being on Captains Deck, spoilt all day in luxury was the way to go and unbelievably had great weather with the rain holding off til the next morning. Sarah Island was an eye opener viewing how convicts survived and the pristine wilderness was amazing.

PERI C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

This was such a beautiful half day! The tour guide was very knowledgeable and interesting, the boat was amazingly comfortable and well appointed and the food was exceptional! We saw some of the most beautiful sights and learnt heaps about the history of the area.

Margaret C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Wonderful day

Gary G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

great commentary
staff interactive
delicious food
totally enjoyable

Maureen K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Very happy with coverage of the history of the area
Tour guide Jane was very informative and had a interesting way of telling the history of Sarah Island
Well done

David and Sandr W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

We had the most wonderful day. The cruise is a great experience and insight into the wilder part of Tasmania. We paid extra for upstairs , it was well worth it.

Charles H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

A trip not to be missed in Tasmania. Also be sure to see the play in Strahan at 5:30 each day!

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