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Queenstown (Tasmania)

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Queenstown (Tasmania)

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Queenstown is a former mining town near Tasmania's west coast. It's most notable for its almost lunar landscape. This is because the minerals being mined (mostly zinc and copper) were extremely toxic, and the tailing heaps left behind were extremely inhospitable to plant life. Also, the trees in the area were all logged for use in the mining process.

There is not a lot to see in the town, apart from the West Coast Wilderness Railway, but tourists visit to see the unusual landscape, and because it is en route to popular Strahan. The barren terrain is gradually being recolonized by plants, and vegetation is returning to the hills.

Get in

By car

Take the A10 highway from Hobart. This is a 250 km drive and takes about 4 hours.

By train

The West Coast Wilderness Railway [1] operates as a tourist attraction between Queenstown and Strahan, a distance of 34 km. The ordinary railway connection between Queenstown and the rest of Tasmania closed in 1960.

By air

Strahan Airport - Although helicopter and fixed wing flights operate from here for charter flights into the south-west wilderness area, or over locations in western Tasmania, there are currently no regular passenger flights to Strahan from other airports in Tasmania.

Get around


Evans Old Corner Store & Market - restored 19th century building, with monthly markets.

Spion Kopf Lookout - views over the town.

The Gallery Museum - Corner Driffield Street and Sticht Street. Tel: +61-3-6471-1483. Displays and information on Queenstown and surrounding areas, including photographic and minerals collections plus local memorabilia. Housed in the original Imperial Hotel, built in 1897.


  • Bradshaw's Sawmill - Lynchford Road. Tel: +61-3-6471-1688. Visit a working sawmill. Exotic Huon Pine, Blackwood and Sassafras timber.
  • Donaghy's Hill - located on the Lyell Highway around 40 minutes east from Queenstown, on the road back to Hobat. Easy walk to the top on a well-maintained track. Beautiful views of the Franklin River Valley.
  • Douggie's Mine Tours - corner of Driffield Street & Orr Street. Tel: +61-3-6471-1472. Visit a working underground copper mine. Travel 7 kilometers down the 'Main Decline' in a 4WD station wagon. One of only two such tours worldwide.
  • Lake Burbury - trout fishing just outside town.
  • Nelson River Falls - located besides the Lyell Highway about 20 minutes from Queenstown, with a nice walking track through a rainforest.




  • Empire Hotel [2] - 2 Orr Street. Tel: +61-3-6471-1699. Heritage building with National Trust listed staircase. Dining room with open fireplace. Lounge Bar, Public Bar and bottle shop. Gaming machines. Accommodation.


  • Chancellor Inn - Batchelor Street. Tel: +61-3-6471-1033. 60 units. Licensed restaurant for breakfast and dinner. 3.5 stars.
  • Copper Country Cabins - 13 Austin Street. Tel: 0417 398 343. Self-contained cabins just outside town.
  • George's Cottage - 3 Peter Street. Tel: 0419 565 155. Self-contained cottage.
  • Gold Rush Motor Inn [3] - 65 Batchelor Street. Tel: +61-3-6471-1005. 26 motel units with licensed restaurant and bar.
  • Mt Lyell Motor Inn [4] - 1 Orr Street. Tel: +61-3-6471-1888. 40 motel units, public bar, breakfasts and counter lunches. Opposite West Coast Wilderness Railway terminal.
  • Pioneers Retreat - 1 Batchelor Street. Tel: +61-3-6471-3033. Self-contained units.
  • Queenstown Cabin and Tourist Park - 17 Grafton Street. Tel: +61-3-6471-1332. Two, four & six berth self-contained cabins. Caravan sites. Backpackers' & fishermen's rooms. Grassed tenting area. Communal kitchen & modern amenities block, plus laundromat.
  • Queenstown Motor Lodge [5] - 54-58 Orr Street. Tel: +61-3-6471-1866. 24 motel units, plus dining facilities and Lounge Bar. Close to shops.
  • Rack & Rail Bed and Breakfast [6] - Orr Street. Tel: 0417 514 130.
  • Silver Hills Motel - Penghana Road. Tel: +61-3-6471-1755. 54 motel units.

Get out

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