Recently crowned Best Tourism Attraction at the state’s 2017 Tourism Awards, West Coast Wilderness Railway has created a range of itineraries that give guests the option of travelling in the beautifully restored Heritage Carriages or the stylish Wilderness Carriages, complete with balcony, where they receive a complimentary glass of sparkling wine on arrival and – new for the summer schedule – a Tasmanian Tasting Platter, serving local Tasmanian produce accompanied by Tasmanian beers and wines.
Information, pricing and reservations [email protected]
A partnership with Strahan Helicopters provides a new package that provides guests with the opportunity to take in the breathtaking Tasmanian landscape from both the track and the air.
The format of the new tour will see guests first take the train from Regatta Point, Strahan to Dubbil Barril, with stops to taste wild honey at Lower Landing and to see the loco being turned at Dubbil Barril, deep in the rainforest. Guests will then enjoy the return journey via helicopter, taking in the aerial views of the stunning west coast landscape, before landing back at Regatta Point.
There will also be a variety of scenic flights on offer ranging from 10 to 70-minute flights that reveal Tasmania’s wild and rugged West Coast. The 10, 20 and 30-minute flights will follow the Wilderness Railway along the King River Gorge to Macquarie Harbour soaring above the charming seaside hamlet of Strahan to Regatta Point. The 70-minute flight captures everything the West Coast has to offer, up into the depths of the World Heritage Area to the Franklin River, down the Gordon River past Sir John Falls over the penal settlement of Sarah Island, out over Bonnet Island and through Hells Gates along Ocean Beach to Henty Dunes then back to Strahan, landing at Regatta Point.
King River Rafting
The King River Rafting company will be returning for another summer season taking guests on their popular white water rafting adventure down the King and Queen Rivers, before meeting the West Coast Wilderness Railway at Dubbil Barril for the ride back to Queenstown.
RoamWild Tasmania (formerly Queenstown Heritage Tours) offers guests the chance to see the abandoned hydro town of Lake Margaret in conjunction with the West Coast Wilderness Railway’s Rack and Gorge Tour. The Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company built the Hydro electric power scheme and village in 1914 where families lived and worked for decades. The ghostly village still stands, with guests able to see the power turbines still roaring and enjoy morning or afternoon tea in the village hall with a wonderful interpretation of the Lake Margaret village and power station.
Rack and Gorge Tours
On the new schedule, Rack and Gorge tours will depart daily (from 3 January through to April 2018) on a round trip from Queenstown via Dubbil Barril. They showcase the beauty of the King River Gorge and stunning old growth rainforest as the train climbs the steepest railway gradients in Australia using the rack and pinion system for which it is renowned. These run between 9am and 1pm, with additional journeys running again from 2.15pm to 6.15pm subject to demand.
River and Rainforest Journey
The half-day River and Rainforest Journey departs from, and returns to, the original harbourside Regatta Point station in Strahan and operates four days a week from Sunday through to Wednesday. The tour, which departs at 2.15pm, offers stunning views of the Harbour before snaking along the river and heading inland through thick rainforest to Dubbil Barril. Guests can experience the amazing engineering feats of the railway, which dates back to the 1890s as the train crosses the many bridges including the formidable Iron Bridge – one of the two major river crossings on the line. Additional tours will run on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am, subject to demand.
For a more in-depth experience, visitors can take the full day ‘Queenstown Explorer.’ Now departing three times a week on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the return journey from Strahan along 34.5 kilometres of track to Queenstown takes in the King River Gorge, the “rack” section of the railway track, magnificent rainforest and all stations along the way. The full day journey departs at 8.30am and will return to Strahan around 5.30pm.
During the trip, guests will have the chance to explore the historic mining town of Queenstown and try their luck panning for gold at Lynchford.