Both tours take place aboard 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.
Morning cruise (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 240 feet (80 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.