Tasmania - Day 5

The lungs of Tasmania

Today it was a day out on Macquarie Harbour and Gordon river. We were taking a tour by World heritage tours and we departed at 9am from Strahan. Our first stop was a cruise out to Hells gate. Hells gate is the mouth of Macquarie Harbour. It is a notoriously shallow and dangerous channel entrance to the harbour. Many boats and ships were destroyed here early in the history of the settlers. It is really beautiful though. The water in this harbour is also has very high tannin content and the water looked so smooth. After crusing out through Hells Gate and back in it was time to cruise back through Macquarie Harbour.

Going through Macquarie Harbour we went through a lot of the fish farms down here. They breed and harvest salmon, trout and tuna in the harbour down here. We got up close to some of the farms and even got to see them feeding the fish. We were told we would be eating some of this locally caught fish for lunch so it was nice to see where it came from.

Our next stop on the cruise was to Sarah Island. Sarah Island was established in Macquarie Harbour in 1821. The island was used as a penal settlement where convicts laboured under the harshest conditions in the rainforest, felling Huon pines for boat building. We were given a tour around the ruins of the settlement and told some of the stories and history of the island. It was set up as an experimental island before they build Port Arthur. I cannot imagine the living conditions would have been amazing here. The guide we had on the island was really amazing and entertaining. Finishing up on the tour of the island it was time to hop back on the boat.

We got to have lunch as we cruised down the mirror like and beautiful world heritage area that is Gordon River. On the way we got to hear how the locals saved this area from being turned into a dam, which would have destroyed the river. This area also has some of the cleanest air in the world. Nearly 1/4 of Tasmania around this area is National Park. This sucks so much carbon out of the air that Tasmania was the 3rd place in the whole world to become Carbon Negative. Which is an amazing feat. Lunch for today was a bento box filled with all types of goodness. The cruise slowly down the gordon river was serene and te mirror like water was beautiful.

We arrived at Heritage Landing which is a short guided walk through the rainforest. This rainforest is whats known as a temperate rainforest. It has plants that not only go back to Gondwana period but it also is the closest place in the world to match the sample of plants found in Antartica. The trees here in particular the Huon pine are slow growing. We were talked through the many uses of the plants and trees in here and what makes this such a unique spot.

Then it was time to cruise back slowly to Strahan. We had to drive to Hobart so the rest of the night was spent driving.