5 Days Step Back in Time

Styx River / Jason Charles Hill

New Norfolk | Derwent Bridge | Queenstown | Strahan | Zeehan | Waratah

Trace the steps and revel in the stories of early colonial explorers and pioneers – characters that forged a life and carved their legacy in the Western Wilds’ rugged wilderness.

Day 1

Large carved panels
The Wall in the Wilderness / Brian Dullaghan

From Hobart, follow the River Derwent to the historic town of New Norfolk – one of Tasmania's oldest settlements and a place rich with stories of colonial innovation and ingenuity.

Continue west to Tarraleah, a town built in the 1930s by the Hydro Electric Commission. People migrated from around the world to work on the hydro system and the evidence can be seen in the canals and the massive steel water pipes. Stop for a coffee and explore this pretty township with a big history.

The drive to Queenstown is spectacular. The road is full of twists and turns, so take it slow. Before descending the spectacular '99 bends' into the town, stop for a leg-stretch at Horsetail Falls near Gormanston.

Enjoy a hearty feed at a local pub or restaurant before settling in for the night.

Day 2

People in a raft on a river
King River Rafting / Rob Burnett

Fancy a day jam-packed with wilderness adventures? Two local companies have joined forces to create an experience that combines a steam rail journey through stunning wilderness with thrilling white water rafting and peaceful river drifting.. Aside from the west's breathtaking landscapes, you'll encounter rare Huon and King Billy pines – some of which are more than 3,000 years old – as well as local wildlife.

After the day's adventures, you'll be grateful for hearty portions and a welcoming atmosphere at one of Queenstown's local establishments.

Day 3

Man standing in the mouth of a cave
RoamWild / Pete Harmsen

Start your day with a guided tour of the region's history and heritage. Head underground for a taste of the hard life as a pioneering miner, and visit a specialty timbers sawmill, where the heady scent of freshly cut Huon and King Billy pine hangs in the air.

After, if you're hungry and appreciate a good coffee, be sure to drop in to one of the local cafés before heading west to Strahan.

While in town, be sure to attend a performance of Australia's longest running play. It's an entertaining and interactive production based on real local events from 1834.

There are a number of waterfront restaurants in town – perfect places to reflect on another adventure-filled day.

Day 4

Boat in a river
Cruise the Gordon River / World Heritage Cruises

Join a cruise of the Gordon River for a day of water-based World Heritage wilderness explorations. Visit some of Australia's oldest convict ruins on Sarah Island and journey up the Gordon into the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area in an experience packed full of fascinating human stories.

Alternatively, drive to Zeehan and head straight to the local heritage centre for an insight into the rich, pioneering history of the region. While in the area, be sure to check out the Spray Tunnel: a 100-m long abandoned railway tunnel on the town's outskirts.

Enjoy a hearty pub meal before spending the night in town.

Day 5

Magnet Tours
Explore mining heritage / Magnet Tours

Rise early and head to Rosebery, rewarding yourself with legendary fresh treats from the local bakehouse. For a scenic place to enjoy your pastry delights, take the short walk to the lookout at Stitt Falls.

Continue on to Tullah, a small town located on the edge of Lake Rosebery. The local tavern boasts the longest bar in Tasmania. Now that's worth toasting! Grab a meal while you're there.

Make your way to Waratah and join an afternoon tour of the abandoned tin mining settlement of Magnet. Explore abandoned tracks, share in the pioneering stories, and fossick at one of Tasmania's only dedicated fossicking sites.