This isn’t actually a post about former Manchester United and Scotland star Gordon Strachan. Though you really could have fooled me there. When I heard that the Gordon River flowed through a town called Strahan, I almost expected an action replay of the 1986 World Cup, where Scotland went 1-0 up on West Germany before succumbing 2-1 in the Mexican Heat.
But this ain’t about football. It’s about the beauty of the west coast wilderness of Tasmania. A very special place. Strahan is the town most westerly on the island, and is a popular haunt for tourists.
It also happens to be the starting (or ending) point for the West Coast Wilderness Railway – a mining inspired train journey through history, landscape and wilderness. You can catch some insight to that elsewhere on here.
As you see it, it should be pronounced Straa – Han, but apparently and according to locals it should be pronounced Stron or Strawn.
I arrived in Strahan at dusk. A darkening rain drenched sky welcomed me and my Toyota Hilux Yute as I drove into the sublime isolated holiday resort.
First up was to visit the Tourist Information Centre. It was easy to find at the harbour front.
In there I booked myself on the following morning’s West Coast Wilderness Railway. I was excited about that, and actually I was lucky as on the day it was full.
After that I had a brisk walk around the town. But it was getting dark.
So I gathered the best thing to do would be to go for a quick drink in town and then get some sleep, as there was nothing to be seen there at night.
I chose the Hamer Hotel on a corner of the main street by the port. It looked very busy. It was Mother’s day and the place was packed with families in the restaurant bit having Sunday Night dinner.
I went into the public bar and ordered a Boag’s Draught. Boag’s is a Tasmanian local beer and it is much nicer than the beer on the Australian mainland.
I caught up on my notes in there and read up on the area around me, and prepared for the train trip the following day.
It was one of the rare times when I met a gimp or a total “twat” in Tasmania. A guy came over right to me encroaching my space. He was drunk and kept asking me all sorts of questions. I lied in every answer and he believed me. He was an Australian guy called Darren. If he wasn’t gay he was a gimp. So I got up and left. I had parked at the main car park at the seafront and went to sleep there.
The next morning it was time for a nice shower in the free public toilets opposite before going to the harbour front for my big day out – the West Coast Wilderness Railway.
I got a bit more time in Strahan later that day and was able to see most of the town. Photos and less words will sum it up for you.
I walked by the seafront park from Regatta Point. It was Strahan Historic Foreshore Walking Track. It was a pleasant wee dander.
A lonely boat by Strahan Harbour.
There were no people at People’s Park. How ironic.
A boat cruise on the Gordon River.
A boat in the harbour.
Some nice decor on this building.
Strahan’s War Memorial.
Song Lines was a boat. That would make a decent album cover.
King Billy Teas which would get a laugh if it was in Northern Ireland. Believe me.
The Post Office and Customs House.
A plan of Strahan…
An ampitheatre at the harbour front of Strahan. There was a show on that night.
A water bi-plane in the morning.
Wet twilight in Strahan.
My lonely car parked at Strahan Harbour.
On the second day after the train journey through the wilderness, it was time to leave Strahan behind. Its a nice place, very isolated and remote. Worth seeing.
What Is It – Strahan, a town on the West Coast Wilderness of Tasmania, Australia
Who lives there – 637 human beings
Expect – the population to double in the summer time when people go on holiday there and rent holiday homes
Things to do – Beach, Boat Cruise, Train Journey, Fishing, Shopping, Eating
Key Song –
OASIS – BORN ON A DIFFERENT CLOUD (it was cloudy and dull and this Oasis song is a lost classic…):
SUNRISE AT STRAHAN:
STRAHAN TOWN CENTRE AND HARBOUR:
STRAHAN HARBOUR PARK:
HARBOURFRONT AT STRAHAN:
STRAHAN HARBOUR CRUISE BOAT:
GORDON STRACHAN SCORING FOR SCOTLAND AGAINST WEST GERMANY IN THE 1986 WORLD CUP:
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