In AT’s book, it’s a crime not to visit Strahan if you head to Tasmania. It really is an amplification of everything that Tasmanian tourism stands for.
On the edge of the magnificent Macquarie Harbour, Strahan started life as a sleepy fishing village with a small timber industry. It was considered isolated and left behind by “progress” through much of the 20th Century. And being “left behind” has left us with something monumentally special: a chocolate box-perfect town enveloped by virginal rainforests. The area is an assault on the senses, with a purity and clarity that isn’t replicated anywhere else in Australia.
The waters are cleaner, the air fresher, and the place leaves you both invigorated and grateful that the town never came to a sticky end. Strahan has risen to become one of Tasmania’s tourism hotspots, and deservedly so. With a scenic railway, myriad cruises, flights to explore the region and twee artisan shops, you could almost forgive the place for becoming a parody of its former self.
Thankfully it hasn’t, and the pressure that tourism brings has been extraordinarily well managed.
Where? // 300km (4hrs) west of Hobart. Come via Queenstown so you can see what relentless mining can do to a fragile environment.
Did you know? // Some of the most expensive seafood on the planet is fished from Macquarie Harbour. We never see it because it’s boxed up and placed on cargo flights straight to Hong Kong and Japan.
Return to: the 100 Best Towns in Australia