Gordon River Cruises launched their new vessel, Spirit of the Wild on 16 June, 2018.
Spirit of the Wild is like nothing the Gordon River has seen before and, in fact, is quite rare on a world scale. The vessel features a state-of-the-art hybrid propulsion system, allowing for quiet cruising on the Gordon River, under electric motors. She’s a is a beautifully designed and very stable catamaran of approximately 33 metres, built specifically for the Gordon River. Also exciting is the addition of a new and enhanced character-based interpretation program and a new menu featuring some of the best in Tasmanian produce.
Departing from Strahan on Tasmania’s West Coast, Gordon River Cruises offers a half day Gordon River Cruise and fishing and sightseeing charters on the Gordon River aboard its sleek, purpose built tour vessels. Your cruise will take you across Macquarie Harbour—a vast body of water that measures six times the size of Sydney Harbour. First navigated by Captain James Kelly and four companions in 1815.
Across the harbour you will reach the narrow entrance of the notorious Hells Gates where the harbour and the Southern Ocean meet in a turbulent and shallow channel marked by a lonely lighthouse. To the north, the sands of Ocean Beach stretch kilometres into the distance.
You will pass through this once-treacherous stretch of water for a few moments to experience the might of the Southern Ocean before returning into the harbour. From there, you will make your way across Macquarie Harbour to the fish farms where you’ll learn the fascinating story of salmon and trout farming on the West Coast of Tasmania (and have a taste of the delicious produce).
As you cross the harbour to enter the Gordon River, your cruising speed drops and you glide slowly upstream on the still waters of this true wilderness waterway. The boat is designed to create a low wake, in order to prevent erosion of the delicate riverside environment. You’ll cruise gently along the river where stands of lush rainforest are reflected in the mirror calm waters, stained amber by button grass tannins.
After gently gliding down the glorious waterways of the Gordon River you will take in the breathtaking scenery and calm of our pristine wilderness. Next, take a walk through the ancient temperate rainforest. Learn of the local flora and fauna when walking along elevated boardwalks that thread their way between the magnificent rainforest species. As well as sassafras, blackwood and myrtle, you can stand in awe next to the pride of the forest, a 2000-year-old huon pine tree.
Reboarding the Spirit of the Wild, a Chef-prepared Tasmanian buffet is then offered for you to enjoy as you cruise back along the Gordon River towards your next destination—Sarah Island.
Once a dreaded penal colony and the largest boat building settlement in the British colonies, Sarah Island is now a fascinating historic site. You’ll have the opportunity to walk among the ruins of this once thriving settlement as your guide recounts astonishing stories of the convicts, soldiers, settlers and shipwrights who lived and worked here.
After exploring Sarah Island, you’ll make the return cruise to Strahan, gliding across the harbour aboard the Spirit of the Wild on the final leg of this unforgettable journey.