Queenstown is an historic mining town, close to the west coast of Tasmania (it’s about 40km from the coastal community of Strahan). The area was explored in the 1860s and the Mount Lyell Gold Mining Company was founded in 1881. In addition to gold, the company also began mining copper less than a decade later. Mining has been integral to the community ever since.
The Mount Lyell mine is now operated by Copper Mines of Tasmania and there are other mines operating in the area, including the Henty Gold Mine, which is operated by Barrick Gold.
While mining is still important to this historic town, just 250km from the capital of Hobart,Queenstown also owes much of its modern prosperity to the breathtaking wilderness that surrounds it. It’s popular with tourists, thanks to its location. You can take cruises along beautiful rivers, deep through natural bushland. You can visit the West Coast Wilderness Railway, walk through forests rich in wildlife, climb mountains and visit stunning waterfalls.
Famous for both the wilderness of the Tasmanian west coast and its status as a major mining centre, the area immediately around Queenstown bears the scars of the century long clash between nature and industry. Much of the town resembles a moonscape and there are great swathes of dead trees (affected by acid rain) to drive through on the way to the town. It has its own charm.
Called home by more than 5000 people, Queenstown has all the services and facilities you’d expect from a large town. The town has shopping centres, pubs, hotels, banks, government services, good sport and recreation facilities (and strong sporting communities). It also has a very active arts community. Check out the West Coast Council’s website for more information.
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