124th annual Mount Lyell Strahan Picnic to go ahead with Covid precautions

The annual Mount Lyell Strahan Picnic will again return to West Strahan Beach tomorrow 26 January with a traditional program of picnic style activities for the whole family, commencing at 10am.

The first Mount Lyell Strahan Picnic was held on the 5th December in 1897. Employees and the families of the Mt. Lyell Mining & Railway Co. would ride the Abt Railway through to Strahan for the annual company picnic. Today, a volunteer committee of West Coast locals work tirelessly throughout the year to keep the Mount Lyell Strahan Picnic alive.


Audience numbers have been capped at 500 tomorrow with all attendees asked to register on arrival (for contact tracing purposes) and to receive a wristband. “The wristband allows us to keep an eye on numbers, and each wristband is numbered – we will award ‘lucky door prizes’ throughout the day”, said Leigh Styles, Secretary of the organising committee.

The Mount Lyell Strahan Picnic is a day completely free of charge thanks to the support of Tasmanian businesses, and a generous donation from Nestle and Rotary. “You are welcome to pack a picnic lunch, but the Queenstown Lions Club and the Strahan CWA will also operate canteens” said Leigh Styles. Children are provided with fruit, sweets, juice, water, fairy floss, and ice cream all free of charge.


The day starts with the children’s bicycle race. Then, activities run all day for both adults and children. Some of the activities that patrons can participate in:

  • Tug of war
  • Wheelbarrow race
  • Egg and spoon race
  • TasPort’s Mens Gift (100m sprint)
  • TasPort’s Womens Gift (100m sprint)
  • Hammer the nail
  • Stepping the chain
  • Three-legged race
  • Sandcastle building competition
  • Children’s foot races
  • Old Boilers (womens, 50+) foot race
  • Old Buffers (mens, 50+) foot race
  • Children’s treasure hunt
  • Sack race
  • Horseshoe throwing


Regrettably there will not be a Picnic Train this year. “While regrettable, the West Coast Wilderness Railway are unable to operate a Picnic Train for this year. Patrons should make their own way to West Strahan Beach for a 10am start”, said Leigh Styles.


Recently the Mount Lyell Strahan Picnic was depicted on a series of collectable coffee tins produced by Nestle. Strahan is one of six Australian towns depicted on the collectable coffee tins; each town chosen because they celebrate true community spirit.

“With thanks to Nestle and Rotary, we have a pallet of the 1kg limited-edition Strahan coffee cans for sale”, said Leigh Styles. “People attending the Picnic can purchase a can for $20.00, with the proceeds going back to the Mount Lyell Strahan Picnic Committee”.

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