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Van Journal Week 14: The Western Wilds

Van Journal Week 14: The Western Wilds

Adventure was back in full swing this week. We ditched Launceston and headed for Tasmania’s remote Western Wilds. This region is well-known for its wilderness landscapes but is often neglected by visitors.

We came to Tasmania to squeeze all the juice we could get and time again, this incredible slice of Australia just kept on giving.

Lake Mackintosh

The first stop for the week was Lake Mackintosh for Haylea’s 27th birthday.

We didn’t have any hikes or activities planned for this short trip. Instead, Haylea picked an awesome spot to explore, relax and enjoy a day out by the lake.

Lake Mackintosh is easily one of the most beautiful lakes we’d visited in Tasmania. We lit a campfire by the water’s edge and soaked up an epic sunrise from our rooftop deck.

Queenstown & Strahan

Next stop was Strahan on Tasmania’s west coast. This small port town is situated on the tip of Macquarie Harbour, Australia’s second largest natural harbour. It’s an important tourism town for Tassie, with the incredible Gordon River Cruises and the Western Wilderness Railway departing from here.

We took advantage of the free showers and visited Hogarth Falls before driving to Queenstown. Unfortunately, this town doesn’t have the best reputation but we actually really enjoyed it. That’s because there’s just so much natural beauty surrounding this small mining town. The 99 bends road was easily one of the wildest and most scenic roads we’d taken the van on so far, even though its lunar landscape was formed from acid rain due to mining activities. A stop at the Iron Blow lookout was also a highlight sunrise moment.


We also made a stop at the Iron Blow lookout and took a short walk to Nelson Falls. There was plenty of exploring to do in this region and it was great to be able to see much of it from the van.

Great Lake & the Central Highlands

The next destination on our long loop was a trip through the Central Highlands. We’d visited this area briefly a few months back when we stayed at Bradys Lake, but we decided to give it another visit. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t playing nice, which is typical considering this plateau sits at an altitude of around 1200 metres.

Nevertheless, the drive was well worth the effort and we made a quick stop at Great Lake and Pine Lake before heading north back down to Deloraine to wrap up a long week of driving and exploring. Next week, we’re looking to hit several waterfalls in Northern Tasmania and make a long-awaited journey to Tasmania’s Tarkine.