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Van Life Adventure in Tasmania: Exploring Queenstown & Strahan

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Tasmania, Australia's island state, is a land of stunning natural beauty, and it's a perfect destination for a van life adventure. This journey took us to the west coast of Tasmania, where we explored the charming town of Queenstown and the picturesque coastal gem of Strahan. Join us on this road trip as we share our experiences, the beauty of nature, and the unique charm of these two Tasmanian destinations.

Drone photo of the mining lunar road near Queenstown in Tasmania
Credit: Jason Charles Hill

Day 1: Departing from Hobart

We started our adventure by departing from Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania. This part of the road trip is an essential part of the journey, and it offers a unique opportunity to soak in the scenic beauty of Tasmania's west coast. Departing from the bustling city of Hobart, you'll soon find yourself immersed in the island's wild and untouched landscapes. The journey takes you through rolling hills, dense eucalyptus forests, and picturesque valleys. As you wind your way along the road, you'll have the chance to stop at various viewpoints and witness the ever-changing landscapes, from lush greenery to dramatic mountainscapes. Be sure to take your time, as there are several charming towns and villages such as Ouse along the route where you can enjoy a break, sample local cuisine, and soak up the local culture. It's a road trip filled with breathtaking vistas and unexpected discoveries, setting the tone for the adventures that await in Queenstown and beyond. Remarkable nature/short hike stops on your way:

Nelson Falls after heavy rains
Nelson Falls
  • Donaghys Hill Nature Trail: a beautiful 45mins medium hike that will take you to a stunning 360 view of the Franklin Gordon Rivers National Park

  • Nelson Falls: you cannot miss this 15mins stopover site.

  • Horsetail Falls: the recently built cliff walk takes you around the mountain to enjoy the stunning Horsetail Falls where some days the water flows upwards when strong winds occur.

Horsetail Falls Track near Queenstown in Tasmania
Horsetail Falls Track - Credit: Ollie Khedun and West Coast Council

Day 2: Queenstown

Queenstown is renowned for its historical significance in Tasmania's mining industry. The town was established during the late 19th century, and it quickly became one of the world's richest mining towns due to its abundance of copper and gold deposits. The mining activities in Queenstown shaped the town's character, leaving a lasting legacy. Upon arrival, we were struck by the rugged landscapes and the rich history of the place. Here's what we enjoyed in Queenstown:

Lake Burbury and Bradshaw Bridge
Credit: She Who Explores
  1. Galley Museum: The Galley Museum in Queenstown is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. It's a repository of the town's rich mining heritage and features a wide range of artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that tell the story of Queenstown's past. Visitors can gain a deep understanding of the challenges and triumphs of the town's mining history.

  2. Outdoor Activities: Queenstown and its surroundings offer ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Lake Burbury, a short drive from town, is a great spot for fishing, kayaking, and picnicking. The Franklin River Nature Trail is perfect for hiking, where you can explore the pristine wilderness and potentially spot local wildlife.

  3. Local Cuisine: Don't forget to try some local Tasmanian dishes and fresh seafood at the town's cafes and restaurants. Queenstown offers a taste of the island's culinary delights, and you'll find dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.

Day 3: Journey to Strahan

The next day, we hit the road to Strahan, a drive of about 2.5 hours through lush rainforests and pristine landscapes.


Here's what we loved about our time in Strahan:

Aerial of the Gordon River
Credit: Jess Bonde
  1. Gordon River Cruise: One of the highlights of our visit was the Gordon River Cruise. It took us through the ancient rainforests, past Hells Gates, and to the awe-inspiring Sarah Island. The serene beauty and fascinating history make this a must-do.

  2. Ocean Beach: Strahan is famous for its stunning Ocean Beach, where you can enjoy a leisurely walk, beachcombing, or even a picnic while watching the sun set over the Southern Ocean.

  3. Strahan Village: We stayed in Strahan Village, a picturesque accommodation option that captures the town's historical charm while providing modern amenities.

Have you heard of the West Coast Wilderness Railway?

As an alternative to driving to Queenstown and Strahan, consider taking the West Coast Wilderness Railway from Strahan to Queenstown. This historic rail journey offers a unique perspective on the region's stunning landscapes and rich history. You'll have the opportunity to relax and soak in the scenery while the vintage steam locomotive carries you through the wilderness. It's an enchanting way to explore Tasmania's west coast and immerse yourself in the stories of the past. Plus, you'll arrive in Queenstown feeling refreshed and ready to continue your adventure.

West Coast WIlderness Railway in the lush forest of tasmania
Credit:m Tourism Australia

Day 4: Strahan and Return to Hobart

Before leaving Strahan, we enjoyed a relaxing morning by the ocean and a visit to the local cafes and shops. It's the perfect place to savor fresh seafood and Tasmanian produce.

Returning to Hobart: Our road trip ended with the drive back to Hobart, but not without stopping at some beautiful viewpoints along the way to capture the stunning scenery. A wonderful stopover along your road trip on the way back is Lake St. Clair, situated within the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. This pristine glacial lake is Australia's deepest natural freshwater lake and serves as the southern trailhead for the famous Overland Track, a renowned long-distance hiking trail. Lake St. Clair is surrounded by ancient rainforests, and its crystal-clear waters are perfect for a refreshing swim or a relaxing lakeside picnic. Nature lovers and hikers can explore the surrounding trails, with opportunities to spot native wildlife and enjoy the tranquility of the Tasmanian wilderness. This serene interlude is a great way to break up your journey and experience another facet of Tasmania's breathtaking natural beauty to end your roadtrip adventure.

"Our favorite van to explore Queenstown & Strahan is lutruwita"

Our van life adventure through Queenstown and Strahan in Tasmania was a memorable journey filled with natural beauty, history, and warm local hospitality. lutruwita offers the ideal combination of convenience and comfort while exploring the Queenstown and Strahan region of Tasmania. It provides a practical solution to carry all your outdoor and camping gear, ensuring effortless access to the equipment needed for a day of hiking or wildlife watching in this breathtaking wilderness. What's more, it doubles as a protective shelter and a cozy retreat should the weather take an unexpected turn, which can be quite common in this part of Tasmania. Our vans are meticulously prepared with essential amenities such as comfortable sleeping areas and functional kitchen facilities, ensuring that you can relish a self-sufficient camping experience throughout your visit in Queenstown and Strahan.

With a van, you'll have all the comforts of home while surrounded by the mesmerizing landscapes of the Queenstown and Strahan region, making your journey a truly memorable and comfortable adventure.If you're looking for an unforgettable road trip experience in Australia, be sure to put this Tasmanian gem on your list. From the historic mining town of Queenstown to the coastal serenity of Strahan, this region has something to offer every nature enthusiast and explorer. So pack your bags, hit the road, and embrace the van life adventure in Tasmania.

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