West Coast
Mining Towns

The west’s boom days of the gold and silver rush have left their legacy in ghost towns, disused mines and railways. It was not until 1932 that Queenstown, the west coast’s biggest town, was linked with Hobart by road. Many of the smaller towns along the Lyell Highway from Hobart were developed in the twentieth century around hydro-electric schemes.

Tullah and Rosebery, on the central west coast, are known for their beautiful wildflowers as well as the variety of interesting rocks and gemstones. Good roads connect the region to the rest of the west coast. There are a number of interesting nature walks exploring the magnificent rainforest.

Zeehan, once a thriving mining centre where Houdini walked a tight rope across the main street, and Caruso and Melba sang at the Gaiety Theatre, retraces its past at the excellent West Coast Mines Museum.

The Empire Hotel, in Queenstown, is a Tasmanian icon with history dating back to the wealth of the mining era at the turn of the 20th Century. Inside there is a National Trust staircase made from Tasmanian Blackwood. The raw timber was shipped to England, carved and sent back to Queenstown where it has enjoyed a rich history and is admired by all.