Friday, February 11, 2011

Tas - Strahan

One of the main reasons we came to the west coast was to visit Stahan and cruise up the Gordon River. We had always heard so much about the area and we were not disappointed.

The township is another small and charming one with only a few shops and restaurants but many places to stay. Our caravan park was within walking distance to town which was handy as we certainly needed the exercise.
The boat trip took us from Strahan onto Macquarie Harbour which is six times larger than Sydney Harbour, and out to Hell’s Gate, where the harbour meets the ocean. (Named by the convicts who were sent to Sarah Island). This is rather a narrow gap so I can imagine on a rough day at the change of tide this place could be extremely dangerous.
Back in the Harbour, we cruised by a large salmon farm where we watched the fish being fed pellets by adding them to water and then hosing them onto the feedlots. Each feedlot contains around 30,000 trout or salmon being fattened up for market. They take up to two years to grow to plate size. The seals occasionally break through the netting for an easy feed and then the freed salmon belong to anybody who may be lucky enough to catch one.

Further upstream we stop at Sarah Island which was Australia’s worst and cruelest penal colony in the early 1800’s. The prisoners here became specialist shipbuilders and for five years it was Australia’s biggest shipyard. We walked around half the island and it was hard to imagine the cruelty that took place on such a beautiful island.
This morning cruise was three hours long and included a buffet lunch. The scenery was stunning and the area very peaceful. The forests are so dense that it is hard to imagine how anybody could make there way through them. Fantastic area and when visiting Tasmania this area is a must see to appreciate these magnificent rain forests.

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