Zeehan accommodation restaurants things to do

Zeehan Tasmania
Zeehan in Tasmania

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Zeehan accommodation

Zeehan - restaurants, accommodation, things to do

restaurant icon  Zeehan - restaurants

Heemskirk Motor Hotel, Main St, Zeehan (03) 6471 6107 

accommodation icon  Zeehan - accommodation

Treasure Island Caravan Park, Hurst St, Zeehan (03) 6471 6633
Heemskirk Motor Hotel, Main St, Zeehan (03) 6471 6107
Hotel Cecil, 99 - 101 Main St, Zeehan (03) 6471 6221
Mt Zeehan Retreat B & B, 12 Runcorne St, Zeehan (03) 6471 6424

ideas icon  Zeehan - things to do

Video / images of the area
Gaiety Theatre / Grand Hotel
West Coast Heritage Centre, Main St, Zeehan (03) 6471 6225
Zeehan Golf Club, Fowler St, Zeehan (03) 6471 6291

about icon  Zeehan - some history & information

Zeehan, 38 kilometres from Queenstown on the west coast of Tasmania, takes its name from Mount Zeehan, which was in turn named by Matthew Flinders after one of the two ships in Abel Tasman’s expedition.

Zeehan Tasmania 1903Silver was discovered on the slopes of Mt Zeehan by Frank Long in 1882 which led to the establishment of mines by 1888.In 1903 Zeehan was the third largest town in Tasmania with a thirsty population of 10,000 serviced by 26 hotels in the main street of town that was well over two miles (4 kilometres) long. The photo here dates from about 1900.

It was once home to the largest theatre in Australia, “The Gaiety”, with Houdini, Caruso and Dame Nellie Melba all performing there at one time or another. Zeehan was also an important railway location: the end of the Emu Bay Railway and the beginning of the Government-owned Strahan to Zeehan Railway service that also connected to Strahan and Regatta Point, where the Mount Lyell Railway connected to Queenstown.

Tasmania north west region map Also, at early stages of the town's history, a series of timber trams spread out from Zeehan towards the Pieman River as well as a number of other locations. Some of the smaller railway operations east of Zeehan were unique. One had the honour of having the first Garratt steam engine designed and built for its operations.

After the Government rail connection between Zeehan and Strahan closed, the Mount Lyell Company trucked its copper ore to the Emu Bay Railway terminus at Melba Flats, a few kilometres east of Zeehan.By 1910 the ore bodies which had sustained Zeehan began to give out and the town slowly declined.

By the 1950s it had a population of only 650 and the last silver mine in Zeehan closed down in 1960. It looked as though it was about to become a ghost town. However, the town continues to exist and prosper because many of the men who work at Renison Bell, which is only 15 kilometres away, live in the town and commute to the mine.

The main tourist attraction these days is the very interesting West Coast Heritage Centre, which is in the old School of Mines building. Zeehan Tasmania museumIt has mining and railway displays, including one of the best mineral collections in Australia.

The famed concert pianist Eileen Joyce was born in Zeehan, and Eileen Joyce Memorial Park in Zeehan was named in her honour. Granville Harbour, west of Zeehan, was founded after World War I and is now a holiday town where west coast residents keep holiday shacks.

The harbour offers excellent fishing, and there is also trout fishing on the Henty River south of Zeehan.

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