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Eastern Tasmania Holiday Destinations


Derby was once a thriving tin mining township, in its heyday having a population of 3 000, and home to the Briseis mine, the richest find in the area. The mines are now closed and Derby today is a quiet old town with a population of only 300. The Derby school and some of the old mine buildings have been transformed into a mine museum, which displays the fascinating history of tin mining in the South East. The complex also includes a shanty town with a blacksmiths shed, mine office, miner's cottage, general store and butchers shop.

St Helens

A popular resort area, St Helens is the largest town on the East Coast with a population of 800 swelling to over
8 000 during the summer holidays. The town which is built on the western and southern shores of Georges Bay is based on fishing, timber and especially- tourism. St Helens is a popular base from which to explore the South East region boasting some of Tasmania's finest beaches and coastal scenery.

St Marys

Sitting at the eastern most end of the Fingal Valley, 129km south-east of Launceston, St Marys was once the main coal mining town in the state and most eastern railway terminus. The road north passes through St Marys Pass and Elephant Pass providing some magnificent coastal and mountain views.


Rossarden is a village built mainly for the workers of the wolfram mine. The road from Avoca through Rossarden to Fingal offers spectacular mountain scenery as it follows the southern slopes of Ben Lomond.

Cambell Town

Situated 68km south-east of Launceston, Cambletown was established in the 1820's as one of a chain of garrison stations between Hobart and Launceston. The town has grown into a prosperous farming centre with wool, beef cattle and timber milling being the main industries. There are many building of historic interest dating back to the 1830's.


The town of Ross, named by Governor Macquarie in 1821, was one of the first sites selected for a town in Tasmania and is very rich in colonial architectural heritage. The village's pride is a magnificently carved bridge over Macquarie River which was built by convict labour and opened in 1836 and is one of the oldest and most beautiful bridges in Australia. For the pleasure of visitors the bridge is floodlit at night, along with three grand, old churches.

The corners of the main crossroads in the town are locally known as Temptation, Recreation, Salvation and Damnation being respectavily the Man-O-War Hotel, the Catholic Church the town hall and the former gaol (now a private house). The wide main street, lined with old elms compliment numerous convict built Georgian sandstone buildings, rising to a knoll which gives great views over the Argyle Plains. The banks of the Maquarie River next to the bridge is an excellent place to have a picnic and feed the swans and ducks or even catch a glimpse of a platypus.The river and nearby Tooms Lake provide enjoyable trout fishing.


Swansea is situated at the head of Great Oyster Bay overlooking the Freycinet National Park. Settled in 1827 as a military outpost the town is the administrative centre of Australia's oldest municipality, Glamorgan, proclaimed in 1860. There are many buildings of historical interest as well as the unique Prisoners Bridge, built by convicts in 1843 also named Spiky Bridge because of its stone spikes designed to prevent cattle falling over the side.

Swansea has safe sheltered beaches with great places for swimming and fishing in the river and bay.


An historic town which has changed little from the 1830's, Oatland has the largest collection of sandstone buildings of a village situation in Australia, and is reputed to have the largest collection of pre 1837 buildings in Australia. The town was established as a military garrison in 1827 and the Court House, Officer's Quarters, gaol building, commissariat store and watch house still survive from this period.


A small fishing town, with a history as a whaling station early last century, Triabunna is an administrative and service centre for the surrounding area. Attractions include many water sports, fishing and beautiful coastal reserves and walks.


Situated on the sheltered Prosser Bay, Orford was once an important port when the main means of transport was by sea .Today it is a popular holiday resort and fishing town. Named after a prison escapee who was recaptured on the river, the town was first established as a mainland port for the convict settlement on Maria Island.

Orford is an attractive holiday area and offers excellent fishing, and sight seeing by charter boat. There are many excellent walks, the two kilometre track from Shelly Beach around Luther Point to Spring Beach provides spectacular vistas, and a two hour return walk to Three Thumbs Lookout and picnic area provides magnificent views up and down the coast and to Maria Island.

See also Freycinet Peninsula & Wineglass Bay

Photo courtesy - Tourism Tasmania

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