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Sarah Island
Sarah Island

Sarah Island Tours and Activities

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937 Reviews

Modern Australia was famously founded by boatloads of British convicts, and Sarah Island off of western Tasmania was once reserved for the worst offenders. Isolated, wet and completely surrounded by the tempestuous Southern Ocean, not only is it Australia’s oldest penal colony, but the remote outpost was such a fearsome place to be sent that the mouth of the harbor leading out toward the island was simply known as “Hell’s Gate.” The penal colony was short-lived, however, only lasting from 1822 to 1833. During that time, convicts were enlisted for the backbreaking work of felling the surrounding pine trees, and there was a brief time when Sarah Island was the largest ship-building site in Australia.

Conditions on the island were horrendously bad, and prisoners were said to have favored execution over continued life here. Many tried to escape, and though most failed and met a miserable fate, a famous few were able to flee and live a life on the run. Today, all that remains of the penal colony are the ruins of the former quarters, and touring the island is one of the most popular activities for visitors staying in Strahan. Hear stories of scurvy, torture and the misery of solitary confinement, while also gaining insight into the formative years of the pioneering settlers of Tasmania. Oftentimes a visit to Sarah Island is combined with a Gordon River cruise, which provides a scenic and stark contrast of comforts compared to the historic island.

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Sarah Island, Macquarie Harbor, Tasmania
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Gordon River Cruise departing from Strahan

Gordon River Cruise departing from Strahan

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934
Soak up the serene beauty of western Tasmania on a morning cruise from Strahan to the Gordon River. Pass by natural landmarks such as Hells Gates, which marks the entrance to Macquarie Harbour from the Southern Ocean, and explore a former penal colony on Sarah Island as you journey through the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Select a seating category when booking.
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  • 6 hours
From
$103.64
From
$103.64

Strahan Day Trip by Air from Hobart Including a Gordon River Cruise

Strahan Day Trip by Air from Hobart Including a Gordon River Cruise

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4
Soak up the scenery of Tasmania by air, land and sea on this unforgettable 9-hour tour from Hobart. Start your adventure with a scenic 50-minute flight to Strahan, then board a catamaran for a 5.5-hour cruise down the serene Gordon River. Keep your camera to hand as you float past UNESCO-listed landscapes, spot landmarks like Hells Gates and take a walking tour of historic Sarah Island. After tucking into a buffet lunch on-board (included), return to Strahan to explore the pretty town on foot. This small-group tour is limited to 14.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$531.09
From
$531.09

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are Sarah Island hours of operation?
A:
Sarah Island hours of operation: Daily. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
Should I book Sarah Island tickets in advance?
A:
We recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot since Sarah Island can get crowded. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
How much does it cost to visit Sarah Island 2021?
A:
Currently, an entrance ticket to Sarah Island costs USD 103.64. Guided Sarah Island tours start around USD 103.64 per person.
Q:
What''s the best way to experience Sarah Island?