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Built around a waterfall, Tasmania’s oldest mining town is full of historic charm and pretty natural assets. 

In 1871, James “Philosopher” Smith found tin nearby at Mount Bischoff, which changed the financial fortunes of Tasmania. Waratah sprang up as a hub for prospectors and the support centre for the richest tin mine in the Southern Hemisphere.

Tin mining is long gone, but its ghosts live on in Waratah’s historic buildings, including Waratah Courthouse Museum featuring an eclectic collection of local artefacts, photos and stories. 

Picnic by the waterfall and take in the views of the surrounding hills. Go platypus spotting, try fishing for trout, or take a stroll around Lake Waratah where there’s a unique iron bridge.

Take your time on one of the beautiful bushwalks around town, including Hellyer Gorge, the dramatic Philosopher Falls and the Whyte Hill Lookout, with sweeping views across takayna / Tarkine rainforest.

Accommodation is available at the caravan park and camping ground, the 1909-built Bischoff Hotel and a handful of holiday rentals.

Where

Waratah is a 75min (105km) drive south-west of Devonport, and a 2hr 20min drive (205km) west of Launceston.

 

Insider tips
  • Visit the Tarkine Interpretation Centre, housed in the original Athenaeum Hall, built in 1886. It features an historic photographic collection among other interesting displays. 
  • Step into “Philosopher” Smith's Hut next door to the museum to experience living conditions during the early days of mining.

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