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.
Popular in and around Zeehan
Ever walked through a 100 m long abandoned railway tunnel? Just outside of Zeehan in Tasmania's west is the Spray Tunnel Loop, an easy one-hour return walk that passes through the Spray Tunnel, a 100 m long abandoned train tunnel that leads to what was the Spray Silver Mine.
West Coast Heritage Centre
Tells the stories of the history and development of the West Coast and its rich pioneering past through comprehensive displays of photographs, mining memorabilia and machinery. Included in your entry is access to the historic Gaiety Theatre.
The original port of Zeehan, home to magnificent surf beaches, great fishing and fantastic views. A visit to the Trial Harbour History Room is a must.
Places to stay near Zeehan
Heemskirk Motor Inn & Restaurant
We are centrally located to all the West Coast attractions. The Heemskirk has 34 rooms including executive double rooms to self contained, spacious two-bedroom apartments. Ample parking is available at no charge. Relax in the hotel bistro as you enjoy our chefs fresh cuisine.
Zeehan Bush Camp
A centrally located park from which you can explore the West Coast. Relax in the quiet bush setting situated alongside a creek and in a valley surrounded by rugged hills and bushland. The park is only four minutes walk from the town centre with self-contained cabins.