"Strahan" Strahan by al2401
Strahan Travel Guide: 47 reviews and 111 photos
The town of Strahan was not given that name until 1877. There had been a small port on Macquarie Harbour for some years but known by varoius names. It also serviced the penal colony on Sarah Island. In 1877 it became a vital port for tin from the nearby mines and was given the name Strahan after Major George Strahan, governor of Tasmania from 1881-86.
In 1890 a railway line was built from the boom mining town of Zeehan and a line from Queenstown followed in 1899. During this time Strahan became the second busiest port in Tasmania and continued to do well until 1950-60. The early 1960's saw the closure of both rail lines.
The town then relied upon a small amount of tourism until the Tasmanian Government decided it wanted to dam the Gordon River. After years of action by environmentalists the Australian Federal government declared that the are would be preserved under a World Heritage order. The whole area is now known as the Franklin Lower Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and it attracts tourists from around the world.
The area inland and to the north of Strahan is some of the most inhospitable and unexplored on earth. It is here that the last sightings of the thylacine or 'Tasmanian Tiger' were reported. There is a rug made of thylacine pelts on display in Strahan.
Some naturalists believe that there is a chance that some of the creatures still exist and there have been reported but unsubstantiated sights. I hope they are right and that the animals continue to stay well hidden.
Sarah Island is the site of one of Australia's worst penal colonies and was in operation between 1822 and 1833. The... more travel advice
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Latest: Mar 24, 2013