Towns

Far from the ordinary

Zeehan

Boom and bust town

A town with one of the oldest histories of any part of Tasmania, Zeehan once had a population of 10,000.

Called the Silver City, the town was clearly in competition with Queenstown. An inter-town rivalry that still lingers today.

Population
763

The Silver City

When Abel Tasman discovered Tasmania in 1642 the first mountains he saw were on the West Coast. Tasman named them Mount Zeehan and Mount Heemskirk.

In 1882 Frank Long discovered silver-lead deposits near Mount Zeehan and the mining boom began, with Zeehan growing to be the third largest town in Tasmania.

You can stand at one end of the main street (appropriately named Main Street) and not see the other end. The two-mile long strip was filled with businesses and pubs (many pubs). Today, the grand Gaiety Theatre, Post Office and Heritage Centre still impose themselves on the streetscape.

The mining boom and bust cycle saw Zeehan's population dwindle by the 1960s. Today there remains some mining activity on the outskirts of the town along with a growing tourism and mountain biking industry.

After visiting Zeehan make your way to the villages of Trial Harbour, once a bustling port, and Granville Harbour, home to farming and a windfarm.

How to get here.