Tasmania with a toddler: Strahan and the Gordon River

In between our time at Cradle Mountain and then at Lake St Clair, our Tasmanian trip included a few days in the west coast town of Strahan. It’s a bit of a tourist mecca, in Tasmanian terms, but then again it’s in a distant part of a distant state in a distant country so it’s not exactly overcrowded (and we encountered very few foreign tourists) – and it’s a truly delightful spot.

Cruising the Gordon River, Tasmania

The highlight here was easily our cruise on the Gordon River. Unfortunately the weather was not too cooperative, but after we’d cruised for a couple of hours up the truly gorgeous Gordon River we disembarked to wander through a rainforest and it is, obviously, much more authentic to experience a rainforest during rain! The scenery was still stunning – it’s a really special World Heritage area and I don’t think anyone could argue with its beauty. The boat and staff were great too, with a special toy box for the little ones, and they provide a buffet lunch which has *heaps* of tasty Tassie salmon – I wish I could have a bit more right now! The cruise also stops at Sarah Island (an old convict settlement) for an interesting tour.

Rainforest along the Gordon River
Strahan is also home to the daily play The Ship That Never Was – we didn’t make it this time but I saw it when I was there over a decade ago, and highly recommend it. It’s been running all these years – every day at 5.30pm, I believe. Another highlight for families is the West Coast Wilderness Railway but we thought skipping naptime two days in a row might be too tricky for the small boy – other families we met said it was fabulous.
In contrast to the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Strahan is a bit luxurious for eating and shopping – it’s only small, but there are about a dozen options for eating and we went out to the Regatta Point Tavern for dinner. It’s not fine dining (there are several good fine dining options in Strahan though) but it’s perfect for dinner with a toddler – lots of small town atmosphere, decent food (I had a surprisingly good tapas plate but they told me it was the first time they’d served it) and nice views over the harbour.


A rare family photo on the Gordon River Cruise

If you want to follow our whole Tassie trip, these posts follow our itinerary:


  1. It looks like a fantastic trip. We are heading to Tasmania at the end of Feb to stay with some friends for a quick visit. I hope everything is going well with you and your Christmas preparations.

  2. Which part of Tassie do your friends live in? I’m sure you’ll have a great time, what a gorgeous state!

  3. I’ve always wanted to go to Strahan. Not sure why but everything I have read about it sounds interesting. The rain forest looks amazing too. Glad you had a great trip

  4. Strahan and the surrounds are a really gorgeous part of Tassie, Jenny – I could easily have spent a week or longer just there. Better put it on your list!

  5. Hi Amanda

    We are travelling to Tasmania in December/January with our twin boys, who will be 4 years old. Can I ask which company you did your Gordon River cruise with? Some of them don’t seem suitable for young kids.


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