Welcome to Cradle Country & The West

Come here for the toughest multiday hikes (or gentle rainforest wanders); come to shoot rapids on untamed rivers (or cruise mirror-calm waters); and come to kayak into some of the last untouched temperate wilderness on earth (or fly over it all in a light plane). You can visit independently or with a guided group – however you choose to arrive, one thing is sure: you won't want to leave.

Cradle Mountain and the western areas of the state were home to the Big River, Northwest and Southwest Aboriginal nations.

Top experiences in Cradle Country & The West

Travel guides

Starting at $29.99

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Cradle Country & The West activities

$97.65 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Gordon River Cruise from Strahan

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 240 feet (80 meters)—it’s not hard to see how it got its ominous name from early sailors. Then head across the harbour, passing fish farms and then making your way to the lower reaches of the Gordon River as you cruise quietly under the power of Spirit of the Wild's unique hybrid propulsion system. Take in views of the ancient 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. 

$108.50 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Bonnet Island Wildlife Cruise from Strahan

Meet your local guide in Strahan then set out by fast boat to Bonnet Island. Hear informative commentary as you glide over the ocean to the small island where the world’s smallest penguin species nest in a thriving colony. You'll get the rare opportunity to set foot on Bonnet Island to see the Little Penguins. Once your boat reaches the island, follow your guide on land in search of little penguins. Learn about the birds and their habitat while carefully walking about the rocky terrain of the island. Your guide provides special lights that do not disturb the birds. If you're lucky, you get to see the little penguins returning to their nests after a day of hunting for food to feed their young. As well as exploring Bonnet Island, enjoy sunset drinks and nibbles with the Southern Ocean as your backdrop. Look out at the Bonnet Island lighthouse and listen to stories about its keepers and their families. Imagine living in this remote area, trying to prevent shipwrecks in stormy conditions. Hop aboard your boat to return to Strahan. Your tour ends when you return to Strahan. Please note: Wear warm clothing and sturdy closed-toe walking shoes. A fleece jacket, warm hat, gloves and waterproof jacket are recommended.

$86.80 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Morning World Heritage Gordon River Cruise departing Strahan

9am daily your cruise departs Strahan for a 6hr journey you will long remember.Your first point of interest is Hells Gates, the narrow-channel entrance from the wild Southern Ocean to Macquarie Harbour, named by the convicts on their way to “Hell on Earth, (Sarah Island)Continue along the harbour to see aquaculture pens stocked with thousands of ocean trout and Atlantic salmon, enjoy a sample of our local produce in your buffet lunch.Your first stop off the boat is Sarah Island, a one hour guided tour on the island conveys a keen appreciation of the harsh conditions at what was Tasmania's first and perhaps most notorious penal settlement, relive the absorbing tale of how the convicts turned a hell on earth into one of the largest ship building yards in Australia. Step back on-board where your crew will have your buffet lunch ready and enjoy some of Tasmania'a local produce, while enjoying your lunch you will cruise slowly along the majestic Gordon River and rediscover serenity while gliding deep into the ancient rainforest. Disembark at Heritage Landing for a stroll along the boardwalk through the Unesco listed Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and see the hushed, lichen-covered rainforest and one of its oldest inhabitants a 2000-year-old Huon Pine tree.Board once more and sit back and relax while you make your journey back to Strahan, at the end disembark for a demonstration at a Huon Pine sawmill where the smell of this unique timber is unforgettable.  The whole adventure is completed by engaging live on-board commentary on the area's human history, ecology and geology, a commentary enriched with anecdotes from the Grining family’s own experiences from more than a century of cruising this famous river.Our 35mtr catamaran “Harbour Master” is a first class, purpose built boat. the vessel offers three options of passenger seating – standard, premium and Gold. Huge windows provide uninterrupted panoramic viewing and all seating is allocated with access to walk freely all over the vessel including a visit to the wheelhouse, the generous outside deck areas allow you to enjoy the spectacular views and take in some of the freshest air in the world.

$33.39 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Strahan Village Tasmanian Whisky Tasting

Your whisky tasting features four Hellyers Road whiskies from North West Tasmania, enjoyed at View 42° Restaurant & Lounge Bar while overlooking Macquarie Harbour and the Strahan Esplanade. Your tasting is served as a flight, with notes to explain the characteristics of each whisky.  Start your tastings with a light and approachable ‘original’ whisky and progress to Hellyer Road’s aged 10-year whisky, then a pinot barrel-aged whisky and to finish your tasting, a smoky peated single malt. Kick back, take your time and recap on the day’s adventures during your tasting. Free WiFi is available at View 42° Restaurant & Lounge Bar and accompanying snacks and tasting platters are also available for purchase.

$68.72 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Afternoon Highlights Gordon River Cruise from Strahan

Join us aboard the Spirit of the Wild, a spacious, catamaran specially designed to travel smoothly on the Gordon River and fitted with a unique hybrid propulsion system that allows you to cruise quietly on the Gordon River. When booking your cruise, you have three seating options to choose from: Main Deck Central, Main Deck Window or Premier Upper Deck. Setting off from Strahan, glide through Macquarie Harbour to the Gordon River, where the boat will slow for your leisurely trip up the river, cruising into the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Spot an ancient Huon pine tree on the water, and hear narration from your guides about the history characters of the region. See native leatherwood trees along the riverbank in Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, and enjoy a taste of leatherwood honey. Take a look at fish farms that supply Tasmania with ocean trout and salmon, and then head toward the entrance of the harbour for a look at Hells Gates, the sometimes-hazardous opening where the harbor and ocean meet. Your cruise ends when you return to Strahan.

$79.57 Day Trips & Excursions

West Coast Wilderness Railway: River and Rainforest from Strahan

The four-hour River and Rainforest tour departs from Regatta Point Station, Strahan and takes you from the shores of Macquarie Harbour into the rainforest and mountains of Tasmania’s rugged west coast.As you enter the rainforest, you’ll follow the course of the King River to Teepookana – once the fourth busiest port in Tasmania, and the place where construction of the railway first began. You’ll visit some of the stations along the line as far as Dubbil Barril Station, where you can watch the locomotive being turned by hand. You will have the opportunity to walk in the rainforest and taste wild leatherwood honey.  There are no toilets on the train, yet available at every station. Please be at the station 30 minutes prior to departure as boarding starts 15 minutes prior to departure. The railway experience ends at Regatta Point Station, Strahan.