TOUR INFORMATION

Steam and Hydro

Combine your Rack and Gorge journey with a guided tour of the Lake Margaret Power Station for a fascinating experience.
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Duration
8
Hours
Price
from
Adult
$
158
$
210
-
Child
$
80
$
120
-
Family
$
445
$
-

This full-day tour is perfect for anyone interested in local history. Blending the fascinating stories of the West Coast Wilderness Railway and the ambitious hydro-electric scheme at Lake Margaret, the Steam and Hydro tour reveals the tenacity and ingenuity of the west’s early pioneers and entrepreneurs who achieved amazing engineering feats in this remote and challenging environment.

Steam

Your experience begins at Queenstown Station, as you settle into your carriage for your four-hour Rack and Gorge steam train journey

You will travel through cool temperate rainforest and ascend steep wilderness mountains under the power of the revolutionary Abt rack and pinion system – technology that transformed the fortunes of the west coast during the late nineteenth century. You will stop at historic stations, traverse the King River Gorge, and see the places where early pioneers lived and worked to create this extraordinary railway.

Your guide will share stories of the determined and visionary people who carved out their fortunes here, and you will hear tales of scandals, extravagant railways, and two feuding Irishmen, whose rivalry and determination led to the creation of the richest copper mining company in the world.

Hydro

On your return to Queenstown Station you will be met by your guides from RoamWild to begin your tour of the Lake Margaret Power Hydro Power Station. You will have exclusive access to the site during the afternoon as your guides share the story of this extraordinary place. Take an interpretive tour of the heritage village where hydro workers once lived, visit the powerhouse and learn the stories of the people who worked here in the photographic display room. You’ll also have the chance to view the lower weir and wood-stave pipeline, and enjoy afternoon tea at the Lake Margaret Power Station before returning to Queenstown Station at the conclusion of your tour.

Houses in the abandoned Hydro town of Lake Margaret
Lake Margaret Power Station
Turbines at the Lake Margaret Power Station
Hydro dam at Lake Margaret

Highlights

  • Journey deep into western Tasmania’s cool temperate rainforest.
  • Pan for gold at Lynchford Station.
  • Climb the steep mountainside at Rinadeena Saddle, under the power of the Abt rack and pinion system - the only operating Abt rack and pinion railway in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Enjoy stunning views as you descend the spectacular King River Gorge.
  • Watch the locomotive being turned at Dubbil Barril and take a short walk in the rainforest.
  • Take a guided tour of the Lake Margaret Power Station
  • Explore the heritage village, powerhouse and photographic display
  • Enjoy afternoon tea at Lake Margaret Power Station

Departure

The Rack and Gorge tour departs from Queenstown Station, 1 Driffield Street, Queenstown. You will return to Queenstown station at the conclusion of your steam train journey at approximately 1.00 pm, where you will be met by your guides from RoamWild Tasmania. Your RoamWild Tasmania guide will return you to Queenstown station at approximately 4.30 pm, at the conclusion of your Hydro Tour.

Choice of Carriage

Passengers in Wilderness Carriage enjoy a welcoming glass of sparkling wine on boarding, canapés, complimentary hot beverages, morning tea and a light lunch or a Tasmanian tasting tower during your journey, along with access to the open balcony to get up close to the rain forest and take those magic images. Our comfortable standard Heritage Carriage offers a choice of drinks and snacks for purchase during your journey.
DURATION
8
hours
OPERATES
Available year-round (winter timings subject to change)
Operates in conjunction with the Rack and Gorge tour (8.30am – 4.30pm)
PRICE
Heritage
Carriage
Wilderness
Carriage
Adults
$
158
-
$
210
-
Child
$
80
-
$
120
-
Family
$
445
-
$
-
*
Child 2 to 17yrs, infant under 2yrs free – no seat allocation. Family Fare up to 2 adults & 2 children. There is a charge of $25 for infants to do this tour, due to the requirement for a special safety seat.
FACILITIES
Toilet (at each station),
Shops,
Cafe,
Restaurant,
_
*
Toilet facilities are available at all stations along the way. The longest period between stations is approximately 30 minutes. All station platforms and toilets are wheelchair accessible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q
Do I need to book ahead?
A

Yes, advance bookings are essential for this tour.

Q
Is there always a steam engine on the tour?
A

Usually. On the rare occasions that our steam locomotives are not operable, heritage diesel locomotives will be used instead.

Q
Do tours run on Public Holidays?
A

The West Coast Wilderness Railway is closed on Christmas Day and the Queen’s Birthday public holiday, but operates on other holidays.

Q
Can you accommodate various dietary requirements?
A

Yes, we can accommodate vegetarians, vegans and other requirements, but please let us know your needs when you book so we can look after you.

Q
A
Q
A

RELATED STORY

SEE ALL STORIES

Not just a steam train,
It’s a heritage to explore

Anthony Edwin Bowes Kelly
Father of the Railway

Anthony Edwin Bowes Kelly

In 1891, Bowes Kelly saw an advertisement from a fellow Irishman who was seeking an investor for his gold mine at Iron Blow in Tasmania

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