There’s no doubt lutruwita / Tasmania has an amazing outdoor scene. This seemingly small island state is packed with beauty and adventure, particularly in the remote West Coast region. Go beyond the mining towns and find out what’s possible when you step deeper into the wilderness and explore just beyond your comfort zone.

We acknowledge that this adventure region is located on the traditional Country of the palawa people who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians of lutruwita / Tasmania and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Why the West Coast?

Tassie’s West Coast is dotted with many small and intriguing towns – Queenstown, Strahan, Zeehan, Tullah, and Rosebery to name a few – and visiting these places feels like stepping back in time. Although a slightly longer drive from the common entry points of Devonport, Launceston, or Hobart, the remote and raw West Coast boasts outdoor experiences you won’t forget in a hurry.

The West Coast is often known for its high rainfall, so check the forecast, pack your raincoat and a spare pair of shoes, but don’t let it deter you from discovering the windswept coasts and alpine plains that make the West Coast unique. From bikes to boats, backpacks or bouldering, whatever your adventure style may be, the West Coast allows you to embrace the wilderness.

White Water Rafting

Whether you’re a first time white water rafter or have frequented this adrenaline-rush activity, the West Coast has a few iconic spots to get you paddling.

King River Rafting offers four different single day trips departing from Queenstown, that can be combined with kayaking, the West Coast Wilderness Railway, or a full day on the King River, allowing you to experience the region from a variety of vantage points.

For an epic multi-day adventure, Franklin River Rafting offers eight or ten day rafting trips along the much-loved Franklin River. Launch off in the Central Highlands and spend days and days sinking your paddle in the untamed waters of Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, an untouched and ancient landscape that forms part of the World Heritage Wilderness Area.

Wilderness Train & River Cruises

Looking for an adventure a little less adrenaline-inducing but just as scenic? Hop aboard the West Coast Wilderness Railway, a heritage rail experience that transports you through the raw wilderness that’s quintessential to the West Coast. 

What once was used to cart copper from Queenstown now serves as a relaxing and captivating way to wind through the cool, temperate rainforest that the region is known for. This enchanting experience can truly be enjoyed by anyone and everyone! 

Dive even deeper into Tasmania’s past on a day trip with Gordon River Cruises or World Heritage Cruises. Step back in time as you journey out to Hells Gates before cruising along the scenic Gordon River. To finish the day, take a guided tour of Sarah Island and experience the remoteness of this UNESCO-listed convict heritage site.

Want to dip your toes a little deeper into these untouched waterways? Grab your mates for an overnight mission with Southwest Expeditions. Leave modern civilisation behind and meander up the Gordon River to pay a visit to the majestic Sir John Falls before spending a night onboard the ‘Stormbreaker’.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is quickly becoming a drawcard attraction for Tasmania, and the West Coast is no exception. With new trails constantly being developed by world-class trail builders, there are already multiple networks to shred and new trails currently in the works that’ll be ready to send by summer!



There’s fresh dirt at Mt Owen and the Heemskirk Range out of Zeehan, plus more at Rosebery and just outside of Strahan. Whether you like your trails smooth and flowy or more hectic and technical, the trail builders have found innovative ways to carve tracks with expansive views across the alpine plains and glacial valleys, and a rush that’ll have you testing your skills and grinning from ear to ear. 

For a full run-down on these epic trails, check out our West Coast Mountain Biking Guide.


If you want to hit the water at your own pace, head to Corinna to rent a kayak and paddle along the Pieman River for a self-guided tour. With no phone reception, this area allows you to completely disconnect from civilisation and reconnect with nature.

Feel at home in the wilderness with half-day or full-day rentals that can be booked from the Corinna Wilderness Lodge. Keep your eyes peeled for the secret stairway to Lovers Falls as you paddle your way down the Pieman River.


Catch the Fatman Barge to gain access to this kayaking area, just be sure to check out their seasonal operating schedule and fees. 

If you’re after an adventure that’ll really envelop you in the untamed wilds of the West Coast, spend seven days paddling along the mirror-still waters of the Gordon River with Roarings 40s Kayaking

Launching from Macquarie Harbour and concluding at the junction of the Franklin and Gordon Rivers, this journey isn’t just about life on the winding river, but the ancient temperate rainforest that flanks the river’s banks and the rugged mountain vistas (hello Frenchmans Cap!) that fill the skyline.


As with the rest of Tasmania, the West Coast is a hiking Mecca. These trails only scratch the surface of the hiking on offer.

At just over 10km and 2.5 hours, you can bushwalk to Montezuma Falls, the tallest waterfall in Tasmania shrouded in luscious temperate rainforest. After heavy rain, this waterfall is absolutely pumping! (Pssst! You can ride there too!) 



Mt Farrell is another great day walk that you’ll find nuzzled within the West Coast Range, that serves up panoramic views of both Lake Herbert and Lake Rosebery. The hike to Mt Farrell is dog friendly and takes about four hours to complete the 8.6km out and back trip.



If you’re wanting to walk a little more on the wild side, book a free reservation for the 54km return hike to Frenchmans Cap. It’s no walk in the park, taking on average 3-5 days to complete, and is a physically demanding walk with rewarding views to match the energy levels exerted. The trail meanders across suspension bridges, alongside rivers, and up Barron Pass, a steep climb with an overnight pack, but I promise the views are worth it! 

With huts on a first-come first-serve basis, camping on tent platforms is the alternative, both equally magical, but you do still need to register your walk.


Known for its rugged, mountainous landscapes, the West Coast certainly doesn’t disappoint on the bouldering front. Mt Lyell bouldering field is near the town of Linda, just outside of Queenstown, with 137 problems to solve. From vertical walls to overhanging faces, this unique and breathtaking centre offers conglomerate galore. This area isn’t ideal for beginners, but rather climbers with bouldering experience. Remember to check your holds and clean loose and dangerous rocks!

Scenic Drives

The West Coast is made for road trips, with dramatic vistas scored by simply looking out your car window. But there are certainly some exceptional scenic routes to take.

Simply on your journey to the West Coast from Hobart, you’ll spot the iconic Frenchmans Cap towering in the distance as you twist and turn along the highway through UNESCO-listed World Heritage Wilderness.

Spend a day driving at your own pace through the historic West Coast towns, or create a loop from Queenstown to Strahan. Starting in Queenstown, pass through Dundas Reserve, then take a right at Strahan and head north towards Zeehan. Then drive on to Rosebery and Tullah where you’ll take in the juxtaposition of incredible wilderness and the signs of current mining activity.

Take an alternate route on your way back to Queenstown via Anthony Road, which parallels the jagged peaks of the Tyndall Range and then skirts along the edge of the serene Lake Plimsoll. 

Where to Stay on Tassie’s West Coast

If you’re looking to spend as much of your time outside enjoying the West Coast, there’s plenty of camping available. 

Check out Lake Burbury Camping Ground for grassy campsites right by Lake Burbury on the edge of the World Heritage Wilderness Area or Macquarie Heads Camping Ground for campsites close to the water and around 30 minutes from Strahan.

If you prefer sticking close to amenities (and pubs) Queenstown Cabins and Tourist Park is just a 1.5km stroll from town and doesn’t skimp on the views!

If you’re looking to stay right in centre of all the action and prefer the warmth of four walls, the Empire Hotel is a great spot to base yourself or Gold Rush Inn makes for a quaint and quiet stay with everything you need.



Alternatively, check out Aloft or Harrison House in Strahan for something a little fancier. You’ll also find some great accommodation options in Rosebery, Tullah, or Zeehan, so take your pick!

How To Get to Tassie’s West Coast

Queenstown is one of the major hubs of the West Coast and is a 3.5 hour drive from Hobart along Lyell Highway/ A10. 

If you’re coming from Launceston, the 3.5 hour journey follows National Highway 1, then heads onto the C136, C132, and finally the Murchison Highway/ A10.


Leave No Trace

West Coast Tassie is breathtaking, and at We Are Explorers, we’re keen to keep it that way. So please remember to practice the Leave No Trace principles when out on the trails or anywhere you’re enjoying the outdoors. Mother Nature will thank you for it!


Photos by Tourism Tasmania, Jess Bonde, Veronica Youd, Cathy Finch Photography, Water by Nature, Nick Osborne, Tourism Australia, Matt Staggs, Kristina Vackova, Off The Path, Stu Gibson, and Pete Harmsen