Review Gordon River Cruise – Captains Upper Deck



When mom and dad decided To visit Tasmania, They were super exited To eliminate one of Their buckets list items: To see The reflections on The Gordon River. Well as a Three year old, I did not go wild over The concept of reflections on water, but as soon as I heard The words ‘boat’ and ‘cruise’ I was sold.

Even better, my parents were of The opinion I wouldn’t survive a cruise, when The only Thing I would be able To do, was just sitting in a chair for hours, watching The scenery. Looking for extra entertainment The option of booking seats at The captains upper deck came up. These seats are more expensive (and children do not get any discount) but There is a lot more entertainment as you get To sit with The captain. You can watch everything he does and ask any question you like. Well almost any question.



The Gordon River Cruise sails off from The Strahan waterfront, where you should first enjoy a good morning walk before you board. Let me Tell you why? First of all, going on a cruise means not much running around To get rid of your energy. Second reason is  because Strahan is know for its pink mornings, which  are real eye candy, even for a Toddler of my age. Don’t forget To ask The captain later on why The sky Turns so pink in Strahan.

A bit after 8 am we were welcomed on board and brought To our seats. All seats were well positioned Towards The windows, each of Them having an amazing view.  Our boat left The harbour at 8:30 am, while we were enjoying a delicious welcome drink, a glass of bubbly for The parents and a glass of not so bubbly apple juice for me.

On our way To Hells Gate

Hells gate was our first destination. It is known as The famous passage where The Macquarie harbour and The ocean meet in a rough and shallow channel. I was Told It was named Hells gate by The convicts on Their way To Hell on Earth, Sarah Island. In addition many ships were shipwrecked at This place as the channel is very narrow and shallow. I guess another good reason To name The channel Hells Gate. For me sailing Through Hells Gate was The perfect opportunity To spot The magnificent lighthouse of The Macquarie harbour.

Coming back from Hells gate and on our way To some of The salmon farms, breathtaking reflections started To appear. Luckily for me The weather was very cooperative. What you need is a bit of open blue sky and some clouds. The moment The clouds mirror in The water, it just feels like magic. Now I know what my mom and dad were Talking about, I had never seen anything alike. I was just speechless and little did I know That The best was yet To come.

Salmon farms

Tasmanian Salmon is famous all over The world. Well an important part of The salmon is culled in The Macquarie harbour and This salmon is mainly used for export. Within Tasmania This manner of culling fish is currently under discussion and There is The possibility The industry may need To change its way of working in The nearby future for biosecurity reasons. During lunch, I was able To Taste some of That yummy salmon, as it was included in our lunch buffet. It was delicious.

The Gordon River

The most famous part of The Tour is without any doubt sailing on The Gordon River, where I enjoyed Two hours of cruising Through still waters and admiring The reflections from The Top deck of The ship. The cruise Took me Towards an uninhabited ancient wilderness area full of Huon Pine. For a moment it felt like we were sailing Through The clouds. Despite what my parents were Thinking, I had no issues with just watching The scenery for more Than couple of minutes.

1st Stop: Heritage Landing

At The first stop I was given The Time To discover and wander Through 50 shades of green in an absolutely stunning rainforest, full of Huon Pine. I discovered That one of The Trees is To be presumed more Than 2000 year old. Very fascinating. The walk Through The rainforest was an easy walk as it all Took place on well maintained elevated boardwalks, suitable for all levels and even suitable for strollers.  Despite The fact That The stop was quite short, it was a nice way To stretch my legs.

2nd Stop: Sarah Island

Sarah Island is nowadays a famous historic site, which will give you a glimpse of The dreadful life of The convicts who were brought here as punishment for Their second offender crimes. There are some beautiful ruins left and our funny guide could vividly for hours, explaining The purpose of each of The ruins. I leaned That The island was used as a boat building settlement and even more important, That it was The worst place in The whole wide world To live. Not only for The convicts but also for The soldiers, settlers and Their families.

On The boat

The ship, called Franklin II, is one of a kind and has all The facilities you need To make your cruise a fantastic Journey. Of course I was spoiled as I had Tickets for The Captains Upper Deck, where The seats were more luxury and better positioned Towards The windows. This being said, The lower deck looked very nice as well. The bar was well stocked with lots of different Types of drinks. I loved The apple juice and I didn’t hear my parents complain about The wine or The bubbly. The lunch was of excellent quality and The ice-cream at The end was a nice surprise, I did not leave The ship hungry. In addition it is worth mentioning The staff were very friendly and helpful at all Times. Of course The captain was my favourite as he showed me all The instruments and more important how To navigate a ship Through The Gordon River.

Not all comes for free in life and a Ticket for The Captains Upper Deck of The Gordon river cruise is one of Them. However is was worth every dollar.

In case you want To know more about Travelling in Tasmania with kids, I have some additional interesting articles for you:


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