Tasmania's Industrial Heritage
Tasmania's rich mining history, dating back to the discovery of tin in 1871, has left a fascinating industrial heritage that tells of pioneering hardship in a harsh, yet stunningly beautiful environment.
The towns of Zeehan, Rosebery and Queenstown on Tasmania's West Coast were once thriving industrial centres at the heart of the most prosperous mining region in Australia and you'll still find evidence of this early mining history today.
The West Coast Heritage Centre in Zeehan recounts this history with photographic galleries dedicated to all the West Coast towns, classic locomotives, and mining machinery displays. There's also one of the best collections of minerals in the world.
Closer to town, just out of Hobart in Taroona, you can climb to the top of Australia's first shot tower- the tallest in the southern hemisphere.
In Launceston, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery Inveresk site was once Tasmania's railway workshops. Today you'll find a series of interpretation panels showing the buildings, previous uses and the experiences of the men who worked there.
Also in Launceston, a short walk takes you to Duck Reach Power Station. Built on the South Esk River in 1895 to supply power to the city, the station is now a museum and interpretative centre.
Tasmania was one of the first places in the world to build hydroelectric power stations. With 30 dams still operational around the state, you're bound to come across evidence of the 'hydro' somewhere on your travels. Much of this history can be found at the Waddamana Power Station Museum in Tasmania's Central Highlands.
With so much of this early industrial heritage still largely intact, Tasmania offers a fascinating reminder of a pre-atomic age when iron, steam and a strong sense of adventure changed the industrial landscape forever.