Welcome to Hell!
Hells Gates in Tasmania
You might be interested in why such a beautiful area is called Hells Gates.
Hells Gates is the name of the mouth of Macquarie Harbour on the West Coast of Tasmania. It is a notoriously shallow and dangerous channel entrance to the harbour.
It was given this name by the convicts who were sent to the penal colony, as they felt it was like entering hell as they were taken through the heads of the harbour. Source
In some ways they probably were entering hell. Tasmania was very much a penal colony in the early days when European settlement started. The Aboriginals had managed to live there for 40000+ years before they arrived though.
We visited Tasmania in 2017 and had an absolute ball during our 2 week stay. We had taken our car, with our bikes, over on the ferry from Melbourne, and had a loose plan of what we wanted to see and do. I wrote a series of posts about our Tour de Tassie travels back then and this top 10 tips post was a favourite – Top 10 Tips for two weeks of Travelling in Tasmania
The Gordon River Cruise was 5.5 hours on the Lady Jane Franklin II, which I was pleased to hear was designed to have minimal impact on the environment. The cruise took us out through Hells Gates in Macquarie Harbour, past the fish farms and up the Gordon River to Heritage Landing, where we walked amongst the ancient rainforest and saw huge Huon Pines still growing. Hells Gates were so named by convicts as they came through the heads of the harbour and was perhaps a reflection of the life they knew was ahead for them.
Deb’s World Tour de Tassie #4 – The Wild and Wonderful West Coast
The reflections on the water were magnificent and the whole area was very moving and ethereal especially with the low cloud. We went ashore at Sarah Island and explored the convict ruins with an entertaining tour guide. The stories are fantastic and would make great works of fiction except they’re true! It was an unforgettable day with the journey through the World Heritage Wilderness into the pristine temperate rainforests of the Gordon River, a real highlight.
The Gordon River Tasmania
The Gordon River is a beautiful area with a great history. I vaguely remember the hue and cry, and the protests that resulted in the Franklin River being saved from being flooded for the proposed damming of the Gordon River in the 1980s. The area is now safely a part of Tasmania’s World Heritage Area. Floating serenely through some of the area, and seeing and feeling the beauty, I am so glad this was the end result.
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Have a great week ahead.
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