Queenstown in Tasmania is the gateway to the west coast. It has 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 in Tasmania’s west, is surrounded by dramatic hills and mountains. It 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 spiraling road with over 90 bends is still nothing short of spectacular. It’s also 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. There is 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. There 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. This unique heritage and wilderness experience 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.