Heading south out of Corinna (Fatman Barge across the Pieman River permitting!) gives you two choices – direct south to Zeehan and then Queenstown, or a round trip via the mining towns of Tullah and Roseberry.
Soon after turning left towards Tullah you arrive at the Reece Dam, which provides spectacular views:
Besides the drive through wonderful rainforests, one of the benefits of heading over to Tullah is to be able to take in the beautiful Meredith Range area.
And if you arrive on the right day in Tullah, you can see the fabulous Wee Georgie Wood engine in operation, and take a ride on it for a kilometre or so into the rainforest.
Operating on a narrow gauge 2ft rail, Wee Georgie Wood (along with a sister engine) was the only way in to Tullah up until the Murchison Hwy opened in 1962. This is truly a beautiful remote area.
Queenstown is also spectacular, but in a different way. Much bigger than Tullah and Roseberry, it is the home of Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company which mined the area for copper (predominantly), silver and gold from the early 1890’s until recent closure. There are plenty of interesting stories from across this period – check out the Galley Museum. We spent a couple of hours there looking at their extensive array of memorabilia from the bygone era. The video of the company’s history is excellent.
It all started at what is known as the Iron Blow, located up and over the rise between Mount Owen and Mount Lyell.
The stark hillsides are a result of a combination of tree removal for use in the smelters, smelter fumes across around 4 decades, heavy annual rainfall, and the erosion of the shallow topsoil back to the harder rock. However there is evidence already of nature reclaiming its domain.
Queenstown has a population of just under two thousand and an uncertain future now that the mining operations are on maintenance only. It certainly has a future though, as a centre for remote tourism – it’s a place like nowhere else.
Design Your Own Road Trip!
The trip map and itinerary is available for you to use as a basis for your own trip at Trip Plan Australia. Go ahead and change the Towns in the Route section, and add and remove Via towns. Places, events and attractions in common will be retained in the revised Itinerary. Browse events on during your trip timeframe, and add/remove attractions and overnight stops to the itinerary to suit.