Queenstown is the gateway to the West Coast with a rich and rugged mining history, a unique 'moonscape' and loads of wild west appeal. It's also close to the edge of Tasmania's World Heritage Wilderness Area and surrounded by great fishing lakes.
Queenstown, the largest town on Tasmania's West Coast, is surrounded by dramatic hills and mountains and was once the world's richest mining town. The copper mining and mass logging in the early 1900s created a surreal and rocky 'moonscape' of bare coloured conglomerate.
Although Mother Nature is slowly creeping back into the landscape, the scenic drive into Queenstown down a spiralling road with over 90 bends is still nothing short of spectacular and a testament to the brutal reality of Tasmania's mining past.
While mining activity may have slowed down in recent years, there's still lots of character in the town with a population of proud and friendly locals and a growing creative community of artists and makers.
There's plenty for the curious visitor to do, from an underground mine tour and local history museum to walks in the nearby wilderness, where you can discover scenic lookouts, waterfalls and relics of the old mining days - or simply stroll the unique streetscapes of the city centre.
Queenstown is also home to the historic West Coast Wilderness Railway, a unique heritage and wilderness experience that runs full and half-day steam train journeys along a historic 35km track between Queenstown and Strahan.
Queenstown is a 2-hr drive (162 km) from Burnie and 3.5-hour drive (260 km) from Hobart.
- At the top of Gormie Hill, check out the impressive Ironblow Lookout
- In town, visit the grand main hotel with its beautifully crafted blackwood staircase or take a heritage walking tour through the town's past and browse the local shops and galleries
- Take a tour of Lake Margaret or visit historic mines of the past, some within the Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness Area