Smithton Tasmania sits in the shadow of The Nut, a volcanic plug rising almost 200 meters out of the ocean on a nearby peninsula. On a clear day, you might be lucky enough to see Perkins and Robbins Islands off in the Bass Strait. This pretty little coastal town sits right on Duck Bay and River and is an important industrial and administrative centre for the Northwest Coast.
An Important Industrial Town
This important industrial town is the very last stop on the road to the Arthur River and the Tarkine Wilderness beyond. It’s quite a rainy town because it sits right in the teeth of the Roaring Forties, the wind and weather system that continually churns in the Southern Hemisphere. All of this precipitation makes the fields around Smithton incredibly green and lush. The whipping wind of the Roaring Forties also makes the air in Smithton some of the cleanest in the world. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Adam Gibson
Adventure seekers love coming to Smithton to explore the Dismal Swamp which has a hidden Blackwood Forest and can be reached by foot. And just a little further west of town, Marrawah attracts adrenaline junkies for its notoriously powerful and jaw-droppingly high surf.
Nature Enthusiasts, Extreme Surfers, Timber Workers and Farmers love Smithton Tasmania
Smithton is the gateway to the rugged lands of far northwest Tasmania. It makes for a picturesque base camp for nature lovers venturing off into the wilderness beyond. This industrial town sitting right on the Bass Strait is also the perfect home for extreme surfers looking to challenge themselves on the massive waves of Marrawah.
Smithton is also an important administrative centre for the lush farming fields of the northwest coast. The productive timber mill in town also employs many of Smithton’s citizens. You’ll find that Smithton has a blue-collar charm sitting right on a picturesque coastline.
Smithton was originally named after the Duck River. A post office was established on the river in 1873 but was renamed Smithton in 1895. But Smithton would not be declared a town until the nearby Mowbray swamp was drained for use as farmland in 1905.
The town came to life when a regular rail service called the Marrawah Tramway began back in 1913. It would be a while before schools were opened in town. The first high school was established in 1937 while the first kindergarten was opened in 1951. The town really began to flourish in the ’50s when a public hospital was opened.