Tasmania Stories and Tips

Day 5 Zeehan and The People's Walk

Zeehan West Coast Regional Museum Photo, Tasmania, Australia

Today we set out for Zeehan along the main road B27 - if you go via the GPS it would probably take you via the other route which passes through Queenstown. On the way to Zeehan we stopped of at a small lookout which over looked a small tract of native scrub and the edge of the sand dunes at Ocean Beach. These dunes are supposed to be some of the highest and you can hire snowboards in Strahan to go down the dunes on.

Then it was onto Zeehan where we were going to have a look at the Pioneer Museum. Zeehan is one of many mining towns that exist on the West Coast of Tasmania - whereas the East Coast is scattered with abandoned tin mines the West Coast has many operating mines and these small towns have been here from the start. The Zeehan Pioneer Museum is just the place to find out all about the history of the West Coast area, not just Zeehan, the people, the events that happened and of course the mining operations.

The main Museum houses a exhibition about mining including a large underground mock-up in the cellar so you can get an idea on what it's like, there are rooms with articles about the people who lived there and important milestones that happened here. Outside you can wander around old pieces of machinery, steam engines which were important for transportation in the area, many sheds and smaller buildings holding old electrical generators, farm machinery and there is also a forgery.

The museum also includes some of abandoned buildings of the town. One of the buildings is an exhibition about the Masonic Lodge with some of the lodges items in it and an interesting commentary that explains the clubs workings and what it is all about. Another building has a mock-up of a police station and court room and the last building is the Gaity Theatre which has been restored to is former grandeur - they also have a documentary running in here, not sure what it's about as we got there at the end of it.

The museum is very interesting and gives the visitor a great insight into the history of the area.

After visiting the museum we decided to go out to Trial Harbour for a look as we asked the girl behind the reception desk at the museum what the road was like and she said most of it was sealed and about a 1/3 of it wasn't. Well that wasn't exactly true, about 1/2 of it was sealed and the other 1/2 was a very narrow unsealed section of road that wound it's way through the countryside, down to the sea and a small coastal township. We thought the bay might be sheltered as the wind was blowing a bit, but it wasn't, so it meant Dale couldn't going fishing. The bay looked like it would have been a pleasant place to spend the day on a nice day. We stayed for some lunch and made our way back to Strahan.

On the way back to Strahan, just out of Zeehan, on the way we first came we found a small old pioneer graveyard. Unfortunately a fire had been through the area and a lot of the headstones appeared to have been damaged during it - they were all broken and charred.

Upon arriving back in Strahan we decided to go a see what a small park called The People's Walk was all about. We drove around the waterfront to the park, opposite Risby's, got our walking shoes on and ventured down the path. Sign posts at the beginning indicated that Hogarth Falls were also down the track and that the path was not difficult to walk and that the round trip would take 3/4 hour depending, of course, how often you stopped to look at things. The track took us through a beautiful piece of forest, following a small brook, with placards at different trees and plants saying what they were. Near the end the track rises gently to a small viewing area at the same height of the falls. There are a few stairs to the base of the falls to allow you to get photos or cool your feet of, if you wish. The track ends at the falls and it's the same track back.

For dinner we walked from The Stahan Holiday Park to the restaurant that is part of the Strahan Hotel - it does have it's own name but I can't remember it - the food was great and a reasonable price.

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