King River Experience
Join the WILD RIVERS JET for an exhilarating 50 minute trip from Strahan to the West Coast's incredible King River. Departing the picturesque fishing port of Strahan, the Jet Boat travels across 5 kilometres of the majestic Macquarie Harbour, a vast expanse of water more than twice the size of Sydney Harbour. Passengers enjoy panoramic views of surrounding rugged mountain ranges as they cross to the entrance to the King River. This entrance is an amazing spectacle! The legacy of 100 years of unchecked mining waste is a vast 400 hectare delta; the shoreline affected to the high water mark.
Alongside the river, the formation of the famous West Coast Wilderness Railway is visible for most of Wild Rivers Jet's journey 8 kilometres upstream.
Passengers may catch a glimpse of a tourist train as it negotiates the demanding terrain. Wild Rivers Jet passes under the imposing "Iron Bridge" at Teepookana, once a bustling river port. Here we pause to reflect on the history of this fascinating area before proceeding upstream to our turning point, where we view a number of mature examples of the remarkable Huon Pine tree.
Other temperate rainforest species visible from Wild Rivers Jet are Myrtle, Blackwood, Sassafras, Leatherwood, Pandani and Giant Tree Ferns. As well as breath-taking scenery and fascinating history, passengers aboard Wild Rivers Jet are treated to the thrill of High Performance Jet Boating, including a number of adrenalin-pumping high speed spins. Passengers travel aboard a custom built 6 metre boat capable of carrying up to 10 passengers (+ driver) at a spirited pace of around 30 knots with speeds exceeding an eye-watering 40 knots at times.
Teepookana Plateau Connection
To the "King River Experience" we can add the following-
Disembark at Lower Landing, about 8 km upstream, for a short trip aboard a 4WD vehicle, ascending from the valley floor to the Teepookana Plateau. On an elevated walkway you will meander through a stand of mature Huon Pines, some of which are approaching 2000 years of age. Evidence shows this area has been a habitat for Huon Pines since the last Ice Age, 12000 years ago.
The walkway leads to a lofty viewing tower, affording stunning 360 degree views of surrounding forests and mountain ranges with Macquarie Harbour and a distant Southern Ocean visible on clear days. A pathway continues through the forest, passing alongside a wide variety of temperate rainforest species, to a Piners' Hut, where an insight can be gained into the lives of the Piners.
The Huon Piners were a tough breed of timber-getters from days gone by, who eked out a living in this harsh but magnificent environment. The old Piners are gone, and the Huon Pine forests are now well protected. However, to supply the valuable wood-craft industry, a small volume of dead or fallen Huon Pine is being salvaged from these forests by Forestry Tasmania. We see how each salvage area is carefully rehabilitated to ensure Huon Pine will thrive in this area for thousands of years to come. The track circles back to our 4WD vehicle and you take the short trip back downhill to the Jet Boat for some more excitement as we return to Strahan.
Departures leave at 11am daily.
Duration is around 2 hours. Bookings are essential.