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CLASSIFIED HISTORIC TOWN
In 1886, Brothers Mick and Bill McDonough and Steve Karlson struck the first gold enriched ore, sparking a major gold rush, which led to the formation of the Mount Lyell Gold Mining Company. In December 1994, the Mt Lyell Mine Company stopped for the day and closed down mining operation. This action put Queenstown under threat of becoming a ghost town, but now the mine is run by Copper Mines of Tasmania and the town, and mine, are thriving once again.
Queenstown is primarily a mining town, with over one hundred years of continuous mining, and it is a very popular tourist destination. It is home to the West Coast Wilderness Railway and offers a variety of unique sightseeing opportunities. The dramatic first 3 km of Lyell Highway as it climbs steeply out of Queenstown, is undoubtedly the most spectacular to be found on any highway in Australia.
WHAT TO DO AND SEE
Iron Blow at the top of Gormanston Hill a sealed road will take you to the old Open Cut Mine. It is in this place where gold was first discovered in 1883.
A 20-minute drive out of Queenstown will bring you to Lake Burbury, a trout-fishing mecca. Work started on the dam in 1983 and was completed in 1992.
Gormanston and Linda were once mining hubs, although now little remains of these two towns. Stroll around the Old Royal Hotel at Linda to see images of a town, which once thrived.
On Mt Jukes Scenic Drive south of Queenstown, visit Lake Burbury and the Bird River for an excellent walk along a railway embankment to the ghost town of Pilinger at Kelly’s Basin.
The sawmill is located on Mt Jukes Road approximately 5Km from town. This mill specialises in rainforest timbers including Huon pine, blackwood and sassafras. Visitors are welcome to view the mill at work and purchase from the selection of timbers and tabletops available.
West Coast Wilderness Railway - this unique Rack and Pinion steam train departs from Queenstown daily for a 34 km trip through rainforest wilderness up 1:16 gradient and across 40 original restored bridges.
Or pull on your hard hat and miner’s belt, and visit one of the two working mines, which allow you to burrow deep underground on seven kilometres of mine roads, reaching 1.5 kilometres below the earth’s surface, on a guided Mt Lyell Mine tour in Queenstown.
Visit Robert Stitch Memorial Library - it provides historical information on Queenstown and surrounding areas and was once the site of the Mount Lyell School on Mines, which opened in 1918.
The Galley Museum heritage collection includes photos, household appliances, china and silverware; workspace, sporting and social club artefacts used during the early days of the west coast.
Why not stay at Penghana House - it was built in 1898 for the first General Manager of the Mount Lyell Mining and railway company. Penghana has been home to successive managers over the past 100 years. Penghana is now owned by West Coast Heritage and offers quality heritage accommodation.
Imperial Hotel, featuring more than 1000 photographs dates prior to 1940.
Miners Siding is a mining monument that was erected to celebrate over one hundred years of mining in the area, enjoy a short stroll around it.
Spion Kopf lookout was named by soldiers returning from the Boer War. A steep short walk to the summit gives you fantastic views of Queenstown, while passing a number of mining heritage exhibits.
Experience the wild west on a mountain bike expedition from Queenstown.
Swimming Pool, camping, golf, tennis, squash, fishing–river & lake, walking tracks, 4WD or all terrain vehicle area. Service clubs operate.