West Coast, Tasmania
The West Coast of Tasmania is the part of the state, associated with wilderness and tourism, rough country and isolation. As well as that, it was an early convict settlement location in the early stages of Van Diemen's Land; as a consequence of the images of the region and its attributes, it is considered "outside" the tamed and agriculturally developed eastern side of the island of Tasmania. The separation from the south west region, is that the south west has never had roads or other technical links back to the east coast; the west coast has been mined, it has had railways penetrate, roads and power lines move through the landscape, it has been entered, but in many locations - where mines or other activities have closed, or settlements become abandoned and time have in many cases hidden the locations. The west coast has a much wetter climate when compared to the east coast. Frequent low pressure systems hit the west coast causing heavy rain and ice; the West Coast Range blocks these systems from impacting the east, therefore making the West Coast a rain catchment with some areas receiving over 2,000 millimetres of rain a year.
In winter temperatures at sea level hover around 10 °C, when not raining, morning frost is common. The temperatures are much lower inland from the coast with maximums in winter failing to surpass 0 °C; the snow line in winter is around 900 metres, however sea level snow falls several times each winter as well. Summer is mild with maximum temperatures averaging between 17 °C and 21 °C, though some days still fail to reach 10 °C. Despite snowfall occurring in winter, it has been known to fall in the middle of summer. Many outsiders have had difficulty understanding the isolation of the west coast, the small communities, the historical context to that isolation; the only way in and out was by sea, no serviceable roads to either the north or east existed until the 1930s or the 1960s. Railways were the main land connection from the 1920s to the 1960s - though that connection was with the north coast, rather than the more populous southeast; the treacherous conditions at Hell's Gates at the mouth of Macquarie Harbour, ocean travel along the exposed western side of Tasmania have made marine travel a dangerous pastime to the current day, despite modern technology.
Memorial plaques to recent lost sailors on the wall at the northern edge of the Strahan wharf illustrate this. The current airstrip is at Strahan, with the airstrip at Queenstown no longer a current registered landing ground. In the 1970s a regular service to the east coast was run by Airlines of Tasmania. All transport services to the west coast are subject to interruption by severe weather. In addition to closures of air and marine service, the roads to the west coast may be blocked for days at a time by ice and snow during severe winter conditions; the consequence of the isolation, the ways that the communities coped with the difficulties, were little examined prior to the 1990s, except for parts of Tim Bowden's 1979 Radio Documentary "The West Coasters", various references in Geoffrey Blainey's "The Peaks of Lyell" book and the important works of C. J. Binks and Kerry Pink. Since the rise of tourism on the west coast, the Franklin Dam issue and the creation of the world heritage wilderness area, a steady number of small publications concerning the history and features of the region have been produced.
For a brief time in the early 20th century the west coast had population and political power on a parity with Hobart and Launceston. Following the demise of most of the Zeehan mines, the west coast population has either remained static, or declined relative to other parts of the island; the environment is described with particular historical understanding by C. J. Binks in "Explorers of Western Tasmania" Chapter 2 - "A Sketch of the Western Country". See West Coast Range The convict era is introduced in articles about Macquarie Harbour Penal Station, Convicts on the West Coast of Tasmania, Hell's Gates; the reliance on the railways can be found in the separate article West Coast Tasmania Railways. The mining history was captured first in Charles Whitham's Western Tasmania book - and Geoffrey Blainey's Peaks of Lyell and the books that have followed. See the list at West Coast Tasmania Mines for a list that includes historical names and locations - many now long abandoned; the vast tracts of forest in the west coast region have been subject to fire, exploitation - as well as significant areas now under conservation.
The history of the West Coast Piners who utilised the Franklin River and Gordon River and their tributaries is a vital part of west coast history. The legacy of the Hydro Electric Commission on the west coast is a complex one, due to its sense in the 1940s to 1980s considering the west and south west regions as its'last frontier' for the remaining catchments for its power development schemes; as most of the European activity on the west coast lies within the invention and use of the camera, most aspects of west coast history have been captured on film. The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, the State Library of Tasmania in Hobart are the main holdings of the record, while the late Eric Thomas's collection in the'Galley Museum' in Queenstown is on a par with both; some examples of collections: - Hurley, Frank. Tasmania, A Camera Study John Sands, 1953 Cox, G. W. and Ratcliff, E. V. R. Tasmania Remembered Mary Fisher Bookshop, 1974. ISBN 0-9599207-2-2 Tassell, M. and Wood, D. Tasmanian Photographer Macmillan, 1981.
ISBN 0-333-33737-9 Hopkins, D. L; the Golden Years of Tasma
Dundas was a historical mining locality, mineral field and railway location on the western foothills of the West Coast Range in Western Tasmania. It is now part of the locality of Zeehan; the town was located 5 kilometres east of the town of Zeehan, 10 kilometres west of the Mount Read township. The North East Dundas Tram branched off the Emu Bay Railway 3 kilometres north east of the Dundas railway connection; the location was hilly and wooded, making the location hazardous in the event of bushfires The location, being close to Mount Read, was prone to heavy rain and cold weather Mount Dundas Post Office was opened on 22 November 1890, renamed Dundas in 1892 and closed in 1930. The newspaper the Zeehan and Dundas Herald was one of the more significant newspapers of the west coast during its operation. Silver was discovered early in the Dundas area in 1890, the name of the Dundas field was incorporated into that of the adjacent Zeehan field A number of mines near Dundas are known as locations of rare minerals: Adelaide Mine near Dundas was the location of special specimens of Crocoite and other rare minerals.
Comet Mine was identified as a location of Anglesite and Cerussite Dundasite is named after Dundas. Hecla Minewas identified as a location of Aikinite Mount Dundas West Coast Tasmania Mines Railways on the West Coast of Tasmania Bottrill, R. S. Williams, P. Dohnt, S. Sorrell, S. and Kemp, N. R. 2006. Crocoite and associated minerals from Dundas and other locations in Tasmania. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, 12, 59-90 Bottrill, R. S. New minerals from old deposits: The Dundas Mineral Field, Tasmania in Abstracts Minerals and Museums 2000: 4th seminar. Melbourne, June 2000. Reid, A. McIntosh; the Dundas mineral field Geological Survey Bulletin 36, Dept. of Mines, Tasmania. Tilley, Wilberton; the wild west of Tasmania: being a description of the silver fields of Zeehan and DundasEvershed Bros. Zeehan, Tas.: Dundas, Tas.: Eaves, Rick. "Dundas, long dead, lives on in new museum". ABC News. Haupt, J. 1988: Minerals of Western Tasmania. Mineralogical Record, Australia Issue, 196, 381-388 Atkinson, H. K.. Railway Tickets of Tasmania.
ISBN 0-9598718-7-X. Blainey, Geoffrey; the Peaks of Lyell. Hobart: St. David's Park Publishing. ISBN 0-7246-2265-9. Whitham, Charles. Western Tasmania — A land of riches and beauty. Queenstown: Municipality of Queenstown
Strahan, is a small town and former port on the west coast of Tasmania. It is now a significant locality for tourism in the region. Strahan Harbour and Risby Cove form part of the north-east end of Long Bay on the northern end of Macquarie Harbour. At the 2016 census, Strahan had a population of 658. Developed as a port of access for the mining settlements in the area, the town was known as Long Bay or Regatta Point until 1877, when it was formally named after the colony’s Governor, Sir George Cumine Strahan. Strahan was a vital location for the timber industry. For a substantial part of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century it was port for regular shipping of passengers and cargo; the Strahan Marine Board was an important authority dealing with the issues of the port and Macquarie Harbour up until the end of the twentieth century when it was absorbed into the Hobart Marine Board. Macquarie Harbour Post Office opened on 16 May 1878, was renamed Strahan in 1881 and closed in 1891. East Strahan Post Office opened in 1891 and was renamed Strahan in 1893.
Strahan has been a port to a small fishing fleet that braves the west coast conditions and Hell's Gates. It is the nearest inhabited locality to Cape Sorell and is the'gateway' to the south-west wilderness - as boats and helicopters utilise Strahan as their base when travelling into the region; the Huon Pine industry utilised stands around the harbour and up the tributary rivers - including King River, the Franklin River and the Gordon River. Strahan is the location of the only all weather commercial airport in Western Tasmania, Strahan Airport. Located at the airport is the Automatic Weather Station, an important western Tasmania weather observation point. Strahan is the base for boat trips to Sarah Island, the notorious penal settlement that garnered the reputation as the harshest penal settlement in the Australian colonies, the lower Gordon River. Strahan is an access point to the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, declared part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area in 1982.
For several years Strahan became the focus of a conservation campaign opposed to the proposed Franklin-below-Gordon Dam. It is the home of the Round Earth Theatre Company, which conducts explanatory tours of Sarah Island and has produced a daily enactment/play about Sarah Island, The Ship That Never Was, which has exceeded 5000 performances and is Australia's longest running play. Strahan was a stopping place on the former Strahan to Zeehan railway, it was known as Strahan Wharf. Strahan was connected with the former Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company railway line that had a terminus at Regatta Point; the railway was government owned, ran past the wharf at Strahan, continued around the harbour before running north on its way to Zeehan. The formation of the railway line can be seen around the edge of the harbour; the northern shore of Macquarie Harbour is across the bay from Regatta Point, the terminus of the reconstructed, West Coast Wilderness Railway. An extinct species of Banksia, fossils of which were found in sediment at nearby Regatta Point, was named Banksia strahanensis after the town.
Strahan has an oceanic climate with mild damp summers and cool rainy winters. Lying on Tasmania's West Coast, Strahan is buffeted by low pressure systems from the Southern Ocean, causing heavy rain and gusty winds. Strahan receives 15 days, on average, of clear weather annually. Temperatures vary little between summer and winter, with minimums below 3 °C having been recorded in every month. Hot weather is rare, above every three years; the highest recorded temperature is 38.6 °C on 14 February 1982, with the lowest recorded being −3.0 °C on 30 June 1983. Snow down to sea level is rare but falls in the mountains just a few kilometers inland of Strahan. Strahan travel guide from Wikivoyage Convicts on the West Coast of Tasmania Macquarie Harbour Railways on the West Coast of Tasmania West Coast Piners Blainey, Geoffrey; the Peaks of Lyell. Hobart: St. David's Park Publishing. ISBN 0-7246-2265-9. Rae, Lou; the Abt Railway and Railways of the Lyell region. Sandy Bay: Lou Rae. ISBN 0-9592098-7-5. Whitham, Charles.
Western Tasmania - A land of riches and beauty. Queenstown: Municipality of Queenstown. Strahan Tasmania Web Site Photos of Strahan and surroundings on www.reisefotos.net
Crotty is a former gazetted townsite, located in Western Tasmania, Australia. The township was located on the eastern lower slopes of Mount Jukes, below the West Coast Range, on the southern bank of the King River; the locality had had a former name of King River The town reserve was gazetted on 5 June 1900. The town survey was completed in November 1900. By 1902 there had been development of over 150 dwellings, 700 people living in the town; the last residents to move away left in 1928. In photographs found in Geoffrey Blainey's The Peaks of Lyell, the foreground shows a bridge, the Baxter River bridge; this was a crucial connection for people travelling between the railway stopping places. At the turn of the twentieth century, the township had had a smelter and railway connection with the North Mount Lyell mine; the North Mount Lyell smelters failed, despite attempts in 1902 to correct issues. The company was absorbed by the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company in 1903; the townsite soon lost population, the North Mount Lyell Railway which serviced Crotty's connections with Gormanston and Pillinger remained in service for a couple of decades before closing.
Most historical photos of Crotty show the smelters, the hotels, the small houses/huts. The most iconic photograph is that found in Geoffrey Blainey's The Peaks of Lyell, dated 1902, taken from the embankment just east of the railway line, looking west, up the main street with the smoke from the smelter in the air, Mount Jukes in the background. During the late 1970s and at an early stage in the "No Dams" campaign to stop the establishment of a dam on the Franklin River, a small group of musicians in Queenstown formed a group called the'Crotty Ditty Band'. During the building of the King power development in the 1980s, the Hydro Crotty Camp was home to several hundred dam construction workers In the 1990s the townsite was inundated by Lake Burbury, the result of the completed King River Power development scheme. Despite this, the Tasmanian 1:25000 Owen map still identifies the Proclaimed Town of Crotty. On the eastern shores of Lake Burbury, the land south of the Lyell Highway, adjacent to the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, is known as the Crotty Conservation Area.
This has an area of 44.2 square kilometres and was established on 27 December 2000. Darwin Dam Crotty Dam West Coast Tasmania Mines Atkinson, H. K.. Railway Tickets of Tasmania. ISBN 0-9598718-7-X. Rae, Lou; the Abt Railway and Railways of the Lyell region. Sandy Bay: Lou Rae. ISBN 0-9592098-7-5. Whitham, Charles. Western Tasmania – A land of riches and beauty. Queenstown: Municipality of Queenstown. List of conservation areas map with Crotty and Queenstown
Montgomery Land District
Montgomery Land District is one of the twenty land districts of Tasmania which are part of the Cadastral divisions of Tasmania. It was one of the 18 counties of Tasmania, it is bordered by Macquarie Harbour in the north. The land is part of the Southwest Conservation Area in the South West Wilderness
Mount Tyndall (Tasmania)
Mount Tyndall is a mountain, part of the Tyndall Range, a spur off the West Coast Range, located in the Western region of Tasmania, Australia. The mountain was named in 1877 by James Reid Scott on the suggestion of Thomas Bather Moore in honour of Professor John Tyndall, a Fellow of the Geological Society who made important contributions in physics, atmospheric science and geology; the area is at the northern end of a block of mountains. Located at the base of the mountain are a number of glacial lakes, most notably Lake Westwood and Lake Dora; the mountain lies southeast of the Henty Gold Mine, Hydro Tasmania dam on the Henty River. Blainey, Geoffrey; the Peaks of Lyell. Hobart: St. David's Park Publishing. ISBN 0-7246-2265-9. Whitham, Charles. Western Tasmania: A Land of Riches and Beauty. West Coast Range on Google Maps Context of World Heritage Area
Rosebery is a town on the west coast of Tasmania, Australia. It is at the northern end of the West Coast Range, in the shadow of Mount Black and adjacent to the Pieman River now Lake Pieman, it lies on the Murchison Highway, 25 kilometres north-east of Zeehan and is part of the Municipality of West Coast Council. At the 2016 census, Rosebery had a population of 708; the population of Rosebery declined by 22% in the years between 1996-2001. Its newer western area on the shore of Lake Pieman is known as Primrose. Like most of the other settlements on the west coast of Tasmania, Rosebery is a mining town. In 1893, prospector Tom McDonald discovered gold in alluvial wash, along with boulders of zinc-lead sulphide in dense rainforest on the slopes of Mount Black. McDonald pegged several claims in the name of the Rosebery Prospecting Association, which became the Rosebery Gold Mining Company; the South Rosebery Mining Company was formed soon after to mine the southern continuation of the orebody. In 1896, the Rosebery Gold Mining Company was reconstructed as the Tasmanian Copper Company, the South Rosebery Mining Company became the Primrose Mining Company.
Rosebery Post Office opened on 1 November 1897. The main mineral found in the orebody was zinc, but due to the lack of a technique to extract the zinc from the ore, little could be done to exploit the orebody. One company formed to experiment in the processing of zinc ores was the Tasmanian Metals Extraction Company who built a large plant next to the track to Williamsford, completed in 1912; the experiment was unsuccessful and the plant closed in 1914. The Rosebery mines passed into the hands of the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway company in 1916, the mines were merged with the Electrolytic Zinc Company of Australasia, who had discovered an effective method for the extraction of zinc. In 1926, construction of a processing mill at Rosebery began, in 1931, an aerial ropeway to transport ore from the Hercules Mine near Williamsford was completed. Due to the Great Depression, the Rosebery Mill was not completed until 1936; the Rosebery Mine has operated continuously since with 75 year celebrations held during February, 2011.
The mine is operated by Minerals and Metals Group, producing zinc, copper and gold. Previous mine owners included Zinifex. Prior to the construction of the Murchison Highway in the 1960s, the town was connected with Burnie and North West Tasmania via the Emu Bay Railway. Richard Flanagan - author and film director West Coast Tasmania Mines West Coast Tasmania Railways Blainey, Geoffrey; the Peaks of Lyell. Hobart: St. David's Park Publishing. ISBN 0-7246-2265-9. Rae, Lou; the Abt Railway and Railways of the Lyell region. Sandy Bay: Lou Rae. ISBN 0-9592098-7-5. Whitham, Charles. Western Tasmania - A land of riches and beauty. Queenstown: Municipality of Queenstown. Crib & Cradle - Stay in Authentic Miners Accommodation in the heart of Rosebery. Mineral Resources Tasmania - Zinifex Rosebery mine Tourist information dated 2004 Minerals and Metals Group'MMG Rosebery provides feedback on workforce testing' April 2010 http://www.lead.org.au/ http://www.lead.org.au/lg%20las%20mr.html Toxic heavy metals in Tasmania at SourceWatch