Tasmania’s Western Wilds is a region with a character all its own. This is a place of ancient culture and landscapes, of remote World Heritage-listed wilderness, of convict sites and stories that reach back to the beginning of European settlement of the island, and of tenacious, visionary pioneers who forged railways and mines and roads through the west’s dramatic, unforgiving terrain.
Take some time to continue exploring Tasmania’s west coast before or after your West Coast Wilderness Railway journey. The region is packed with things to do, from cruises on the Gordon and Pieman Rivers, to white water rafting and kayaking adventures, scenic flights and helicopter tours, guided bushwalks and relaxed strolls through the rainforest.
The West Coast experiences the beauty of all seasons. During the summer months, the many warm calm days provide a postcard experience whilst traveling through the rugged mountains and tannin dark rivers. During the winter months the fog enchanted landscapes provide a pleasant picturesque scene.
Many of the highest rainfall readings are found on the West Coast, specifically at Mount Read, but this is a little price to pay for the beauty held within the ancient rainforests and fast flowing rivers on the west coast.
Please visit the Australian Bureau of Meteorology climate profiles for each of our centres:
Travel time to Queenstown, from:
Hobart 4 hours
Launceston 3.5 hours
Cradle Mountain 2 hours
Devonport 3 hours
Derwent Bridge 2 hours
Strahan 45 minutes
Take care driving on mountain roads not only for bends, but also ice and, of course, wildlife. It is often swerving to avoid an animal that can cause an accident, so go slow and be prepared to stop. Dawn and dusk are when you see most animals.
Although the wilderness is easy to access, once you are out there, you are really out there. Which is what is so wonderful about it. But you need to take care. Always tell someone where you are going, try not to hike alone, sign the national park log books and have an emergency kit with you. As well as the obvious map, compass and plenty of water. Plus purification tablets. And be well packed with layers and waterproofs.
If you are relying on your mobile phone, check available coverage with your service provider. Mobile coverage is limited in the area, due to both topography and the sparse population. Telstra has the widest coverage in the region, but even this can be limited to major centres.