2020 Apple Isle Adventure travel blog

Along the lush Franklin River Nature Trail

Stunning Nelson Falls

A misty morning in Queenstown

The West Coast Wilderness steam train comes in the Queenstown

The view from Iron Blow Lookout



View over the gravel oval at Queenstown

Next stop on our trip was Strahan, a small town and former port on the west coast of Tasmania on the shores of the massive Macquarie Harbour. It is the last town on Tasmania's west coast and one of the loneliest and most isolated places on the planet. It was a very touristy place with lots of interesting craft shops along the esplanade. We spent some time exploring The Huon Pine Precinct, especially Morrison's Huon Pine Sawmill, a fourth generation family business, it is one of the oldest sawmills still in operation and had some very old bits of machinery still in use. We weren't too sure if they complied with today's occupational health and safety requirements.

We drove on to Queenstown which ended up being a great choice. We spent the night free camping around the Queenstown Crow's gravel football oval. The unique gravel surface is credited to the local mining pollution that made growing grass difficult, combined with high rainfall — the town gets 2,408 mm of rain a year. It certainly doen't look pretty.

Queenstown, the largest town in Tasmania's west, is surrounded by dramatic hills and mountains and was once the world's richest mining town. The copper mining and mass logging in the early 1900s created a surreal and rocky 'moonscape' of bare coloured conglomerate.

We decided to walk up the very, very steep path to Spion Kop Lookout for great views over the town. There were many lovely old buildings around town and a very impressive National Trust listed staircase in the historic Empire Hotel. Near the railway station there was also an amazing monument tracing the history of the area.

Graeme was in luck because he got to see the West Coast Wilderness steam train come in to the station. Lucky him as he loves trains.

As we drove on we visited the truly beautiful rainforest of Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park.

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