Port of Strahan – The only safe Port along the coast
Nestled amidst the rugged and stunning West Coast, Strahan stands as a sanctuary amidst the challenging environment. Often referred to as the “Only Safe Port Along the Coast,” this town has witnessed the trials and tribulations faced by those who have traversed this wild and wet region. Its un-landable coastlines and fierce rivers after heavy rains contribute to a sense of isolation, with stretches of up to 100 km or more devoid of human presence.
In the words of Kerry Pink, “Walking on foot through the region was difficult. A single mile through dense tangled rainforest or along a razorback mountain ridge was the equivalent of many miles on horseback across open country of the main continent” (The West Coast Story).
However, despite the challenges, Strahan serves as the gateway to the renowned Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and has earned its place among the top tourist destinations worldwide. Historically, it held vital significance as the only secure port in the entire region, facilitating access to notable landmarks such as the Mt Lyell Copper Mine and the Gordon and Franklin Rivers, renowned for the Huon pine industry. It was a bustling hub, home to storekeepers, millers, drovers, fishermen, railway fettlers, and wharfies.
While many of the old mines have ceased operations and the timber industry now focuses mainly on souvenirs, Strahan remains a captivating destination with a rich history. Although the majority of the once-mighty railways have been dismantled, the town continues to charm visitors with its unique character and natural splendor.