Gordon River Cruise from Strahan
Glide past ancient rainforests aboard a morning or afternoon Gordon River Cruise from Strahan. With a choice of seating levels, departure time and duration, this cruise fits easily into any sightseeing schedule. Explore the beautiful Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area as you pass landmarks like Hells Gates and Sarah Island. Depending on option selected, lunch, snacks and beverages may be included.
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At the river cruise terminal in Strahan, hop aboard the Lady Jane Franklin II, a fast, smooth, spacious boat specially designed to travel on the Gordon River. Take a seat in your selected seating area — a center atrium seat, a window recliner or the luxury upper deck — and head out to the open sea.
Morning cruise (5.5-6 hours)
Pass through Hells Gates, the narrow opening that separates the ocean from Macquarie Harbour, and find out why early mariners gave the place its threatening name. At just 400 feet (120 meters) wide, the hazardous opening has been a challenge for sailors since it was discovered in 1815.
Then travel across Macquarie Harbour toward the calm lower reaches of the Gordon River. Pass by salmon and trout farms, and cruise through the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, marveling at the riverside rainforest. Stop at Heritage Landing to take a walk through the lush forest to admire myrtles, leatherwood trees and species of pines found only in Tasmania. The raised timber walkway leads you through the verdant forest to a fallen giant — a 2,000-year-old Huon pine that fell to the ground but continues to support new saplings.
You’ll also visit Sarah Island, a convict settlement from 1822 to 1833. Listen to an actor tell stories of the days when convicts labored to cut logs of Huon pine to build ships — this settlement was once Australia’s most productive shipyard, and approximately 2,000 prisoners, officers and military passed through during this time.
Lunch is served on board according to your selected tour option. You are free to move about the boat if you want to grab some fresh air on the deck or check out the featured photographs and maps. Your cruise ends when you return to Strahan in the early afternoon, giving you plenty of time to explore the town on your own.
Afternoon cruise (3.5 hours)
Cruise through Macquarie Harbour to the Gordon River, where your speed drops as you travel slowly upstream through the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. See an ancient Huon pine tree hanging over the river, and listen to commentary from your captain about the area’s history and notable figures.
See and learn about native leatherwood trees found in Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, and sample a bit of rare leatherwood honey. You'll also take a look at working fish farms that produce salmon and ocean trout, which you can taste. Continue across the harbor to reach its narrow entrance — the ominous Hells Gates — a sometimes-violent channel where the ocean and harbor meet. Then return to Strahan, where your cruise ends.
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