Tasmania – Day 4, Boat Cruise on the Gordon River


Today we were up and out by 8 and headed down to the water to get ready to catch our boat for a cruise with World Heritage Cruises. We started in Macquarie Harbour, then to Sarah Island, up the Gordon River and then back to Hell’s Gate, or Macquarie Heads. The first thing we noticed, well once I had my large latte from the Coffee Shack, was that it was very foggy. I mean very.

We were supposed to start with going to Hell’s Gate, the lighthouses I showed you yesterday, they are also called Macquarie Heads, but as it was so foggy and would be hard to see, we went to Liberty Point first and took a look at the salmon and fish farms.


This is one of them and the fish are being fed. I’ve never seen anything like this before. I think I thought they would be different. They were really interesting. Some have nets, I think the ones being used, and then there were some without.

After here we traveled to Sarah Island. It was a convict settlement in the early 1800’s. Convicts who re-offended once they arrived were sent there, though Andrew, our tour guide there would probably have more information.


It is a small island, and once Port Arthur was built this stopped being used for convicts. If you want to know why then you will need to go and do the tour. Andrew was great and has a great way of getting everyone engaged in the story of the island.

We then set off for the Gordon River.


It was so stunning, even with the fog. It was so still and calm. Though the mist did make it very hard to take photos. I had to carry a cloth in my pocket so I could keep cleaning the end of my lens. I think I did an okay job with it. I don’t know if it was raining or the fog was very thick, but I suspect it was raining as well. Crazy day.

We did stop in one place, Heritage Landing. We were allowed off the boat to take photos and walk around the rainforest there. It is very different to the rainforests I’m used to. The Huon Pine tree is very big here and the forests seem to be more about them.


I just took lots of photos of the little things. I did wish I had taken my macro lens with me. Again we were given a presentation on the Huon Pine and why it was special.

We then headed to Hell’s Gate.


It was great to get up close to the lighthouses. We went out to sea a little, but not too far. We all stayed on deck, which was fun.

Though heading here I had a little accident. I am fine, the D750 is fine, and well the 28-300mm is fine, but it seems the lens really had an issue with the lens cap, and, well, today while I was walking out onto the deck of the boat, it rejected the cap and it went flying across the deck and into the water. I tried to recover it, but the water is really too cold for that kind of rescue. Oh dear, I hope NIkon won’t be too upset.

I have been using their camera, the D750 from Nikon Australia exclusively for this whole trip, which has been wonderful. It is nice to try new things, or try them again. I used this camera when I went to the US last year. I still have the 28-300mm lens, which will be returned soon. Nearly all the photos from the last few days were taken with that lens. Some from Queenstown were taken with the 14-24mm around the mines.

The tour was great, it lasted for six hours and a wonderful lunch was included. The staff were friendly and helpful. There was so much information given and I do feel like I have a better understanding of the area now. I would highly recommend a tour with World Heritage Tours if you come to Strahan.

I have more photos now, which I will put into a gallery for you.  We are headed to Hobart tomorrow, it will be very sad to leave here and I really look forward to getting back to the west coast on another visit.

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  1. Beautiful pictures Leanne, they look even better with the gloomy weather! Just been catching up on your posts and it looks a really interesting place, enjoy the rest of your time there. 🙂

    1. Thank you Katie. Yes, I think I quite liked the gloominess of the fog. It was fantastic, and I can’t wait to go back.
      sorry you message went into the spam folder, I must check it more often.

  2. Hey Leanne .. Hope the weather improves for you .. Not sure if you got my message on your other post! Hope Tassie fines up 😀 love the macro shot .. Beautiful

  3. Beautiful images. We took the same tour with my folks some 12 years ago, so it is nice to see this again in a very different mood. Especially love the last photo of Hell’s Gate – the white lighthouse against the dark sky and rowdy water! We are hoping to come to Macquarie Harbour with Take It Easy next summer and these shots strenghthen our resolve. Really enjoying your posts and looking forward to the next stop!

    1. I bet it hasn’t changed much. It is a great place for photos, the fog was a bit disappointing to start with, but it is actually very challenging to shot into so that is good and now I’m experimenting with processing them. Thank you, I really liked that one too. It didn’t seem to bad today, we were on a cat today, which was good. That’s great to hear, hopefully lots more to come.

    1. Oh yes, it is, I am falling in love with it. Thank you so much, we are well, and right away from the floods where we are. It is all a bit scary.

  4. love the fog and the mist on the water…. and then that Fern! WOW, I do love that!!! awesome Leanne! cheers, Debi

  5. We did that same tour about 20 years ago. It was very interesting. I can’t imagine how anyone survived the conditions there in the early days. It is still very inhospitable in places. I could see why it was called Hell’s Gate. The Esk River is certainly a raging torrent there at the moment. Stay safe. More beautiful photos, Leanne.

    1. I bet it hasn’t changed much Ardysez. I know what you mean about Sarah Island, so interesting as well. We are going to Port Arthur on Friday, so that will be good too. I studied some convict history when I was at university and I find it fascinating. Yes, we are hearing about flooding, but we are okay where we are and think we will be fine going to Hobart tomorrow. The big thing now is getting back to Melbourne, the Spirit of Tasmania has stopped running, so hopefully it will be fine by the time we leave. Thank you.

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