The Bonnet Island Experience visits a tiny island at Macquarie Harbour on Tasmania’s west coast.
Experience this exclusive fully-guided tour involving a maximum of only ten guests. Cruising in comfort from Strahan, you will arrive ashore on Bonnet Island just before dusk and enjoy local gourmet specialities.
Your knowledgeable guide will share astonishing tales about the harsh conditions on the island and tell stories of shipwrecks, rescues, storms and survival. You will visit the historic lighthouse, and learn how the lighthouse keepers lived and worked, guiding the ships into the harbour.
The island is also home to a thriving colony of little penguins and short-tailed shearwaters. These amazing birds spend their days fishing at sea in all conditions, returning each evening at dusk, to their burrows on the island. Observing this phenomenon from close quarters is at the heart of The Bonnet Island Experience – a memorable and intimate encounter.
After watching the seabirds come ashore – shearwaters from the air, penguins from the sea – cruise back to Strahan, concluding a fascinating experience highlighting the native wildlife and human heritage of Tasmania’s west coast.
The Bonnet Island Experience departs from Strahan, a three-and-a-half-hour drive (275 km) from Launceston.
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The Bonnet Island Experience departs from the port of Strahan on the fast cruiser Sophia or Second Nature and travels across 20 km of Macquarie Harbour to the notorious Hell’s Gates and the Southern Ocean. The tour then heads towards Bonnet Island.
You will visit the historic lighthouse and learn about its history. You will then be treated to gourmet Tasmanian cheese and fruit platters, Tasmanian wines, lagers and non-alcoholic beverages while enjoying the sunset and taking in the scenery of the local area.
Upon darkness, a thriving colony of Little Penguins and Short-Tailed Shearwaters return home to the island. You will see these birds up close and personal and there will be a period of spotlighting. The guide will take you around the island to witness their return and show, via infra-red cameras (weather permitting) the Little Penguins nesting in their burrows.