Due to our love for free camping we mostly travel with our van in tow. We love how compact our AOR is, with a matching width, height and wheel track to our Prado 150 with roof top tent. The West Coast was always the key part to our adventures down here in Tasmania, so whilst we took up the challenges of the remote West Coast our Matrix PT took it all in her stride.
Early on in our trip we made our way from the central north Tas down towards Strahan. Stopping at some incredible free camps along the way in places like Macintosh Dam outside Tullah and the forests of Hellyer Gorge. We loved the promises of the West Coast’s remote tracks, long windy dirt roads, secluded beach camping and scenic treasures. We took advantage of the small distances between towns in Tasmania and even took a fabulous overnight trip out to the Central Highlands to check out some must see points of interests. Our highlights being the incredible wood art of Greg Duncan at The Wall in the Wilderness, in Derwent River and the Geographical Centre of Tasmania just outside of Muttaburra.
Itching to see these incredible West Coast wonders, we started our drive up the coast from Strahan to Roseberry first and decided to hike the 10km (or 4 hour) round trip into Montazuma falls – the largest waterfall in Tasmania. And what an incredible feat of nature’s talent, well worth dragging the kids along to see!
I think the highlight from there was the drive into Trial Harbour via Zeehan. The white dusty roads with the most beautiful green landscapes opening up into the Indian Ocean. The quaint town of Trial Harbour was inviting and absolutely picturesque. We camped right up on the hill with our entire view of just the ocean in front of us, it was truly breathtaking.
From here we headed further north up the Western Coastline to the secluded beach of Granville Harbour. The drive in was full of lush bush land and again opened up to this view of heavenly blue. We loved Granville Harbour, the beach camp was along a 4WD only track and put the car and van through their paces – which they both passed with ease. Granville Harbour is one of those communities with a sense of pride and humour – we got along so well. This perfect spot brought us our most spectacular sunset of the entire trip of Australia so far. The purples, oranges and blues were so vivid and crisp it blew my mind. The kids loved Granville Harbour with the seclusion, the wide-open grasslands, the long beachfront and the endless waves crashing on the rocks.
For the last leg of our West Coast adventure we drove the Corinna Road till we came across the Fat Man Barge – which with our compact little AOR we just squeezed in with the limits to fit. What a super cool experience to ferry across the Pieman River on the only cable barge in Tasmania. The road from Corinna to Arther River was long, windy, up and down… By far the most fun I ever had towing the van. I think the tracks through the hills and landscapes were as picturesque as the beaches. Everything about the West Coast was just a picture of perfection. We topped off the whole experience with a gorgeous scenic drive of the Tarkine loop from Arthur River, but our prize reward was taking on the Sandy Cape Track through the beach and bush of the Arthur Pieman Nature Reserve.
Sandy Cape beach was going to be a challenge with the reputation of sections referred to as being like quick sand, but Ryan drove fresh tracks all the way up to the tip, where we enjoyed the spectacular views from the Sandy Cape Light House. With perfect weather and being the only car on the track that day, we couldn’t have been blessed with a more perfect end to our West Coast experience.
This coastal cruise is going to be one of the most memorable 2 weeks of our time in Tasmania. We couldn’t have been to, or experienced, half of the things we did without such a capable set up and incredible sense of adventure.