We have one piece of really important advice about the West Coast Wilderness Railway: make a booking. In advance. Fading into the distance as we steamed away from the Strahan station, there could be no mistaking the forlorn looks as a disappointed couple were left standing on the platform. It was their final day in Tasmania. The train was fully booked. There weren’t any seats available for them; and they did look ever-so sad as they reluctantly waved us away.
Tasmania’s Wild West… Attractions Aplenty
Hopefully, that couple will return one day, as many tourists to this beautiful state do. They will be wiser next time, and won’t miss the opportunity to enjoy one of Tasmania’s premier attractions.
We’ve posted a few photos of our West Coast Wilderness Railway journey via social media already. Besides the ridiculous amount of photos we’ve published here, we still have a huge catalogue of additional images left to share. There were train buffs aplenty on our crossing, and we matched them click for click. The steam engines were amazing, but even the inside of the carriages had beautiful timber to admire. Many readers chimed in to endorse our positive thoughts about the railway experience. Obviously it’s a trip to be remembered for a lifetime.
If you’re not so much a train enthusiast, but just like Tasmanian scenery… you’re also in luck with the West Coast Wilderness Railway. Through the train’s large windows, passengers had a fabulous view of the wild west coast, with little need for hiking boots. From aboard the train, and at each and every station, there was something beautiful and worthy of a holiday snap.
West Coast Wilderness Railway… Way to Go!
Speaking of stations, you may be pleased to know the train stopped several times and passengers had the opportunity to go. You know… to the toilet. It might be a delicate subject, but it’s one question we know people want answered. They’ve asked us! So don’t be afraid… it’s all good. Refreshments were available for purchase at a station mid-journey as well, and goodies were allowed back onto the train for consumption.
Because we travelled on a Monday we were on the Queenstown Explorer, departing from Strahan. The timetable offers different full and half-day options leaving Strahan or Queenstown. The premium service Wilderness Carriage had a handy balcony at the rear for photographs and wonderful views. We’d call the entire crew (including Amanda, Kathleen and Holly) completely awesome; we couldn’t have asked for better attention. The food and wine was all first-class; delivered at regular intervals and always with a smile.
We enjoyed a buffet lunch at the station; again food and drinks were plentiful and fresh. On the full-day version from Strahan, our fellow West Coast Wilderness Railway passengers had an hour’s break to explore Queenstown. A professional guide collected clients for a walking tour of the town after lunch, a totally optional extra. Tourists were also free to wander at their leisure until the train resumed the return journey.
Travel From Strahan or Queenstown
We don’t want to give away all the details of this stellar tourist attraction. This is just a taster; inspiring an addition to your travel wish-list. Publishing this many photos in a single article probably does warrant a spoiler alert though! Travellers craving information about steam trains and the construction of Dr Roman Abt’s rack and pinion system across the inhospitable terrain of the west coast wouldn’t be disappointed. There was an ongoing commentary (delivered beautifully by Tom, in our case) designed to enlighten passengers at every major feature en route. The stations provided specific facts about each location; and the museum at Queenstown’s station was worthy of much attention. We also had the advantage of a souvenir booklet to peruse on the trip as we sipped our sparkling wine. So trust us, book that seat now. Don’t be left standing on the platform!
Our FAMIL visit to Queenstown and Tasmania’s west coast region was made possible by…
- Mt Lyell Anchorage Bed and Breakfast: 17 Cutten Street, Queenstown TAS 7467 ~ phone (03) 6471 1900
- Queenstown Heritage Tours: 24 Sticht Street, Queenstown, TAS 7467 ~ phone 0407 049 612
- West Coast Wilderness Railway: 1 Driffield Street, Queenstown, TAS 7467 ~ phone (03) 6471 0100
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