St Helens, Tasmania

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St Helens
Tasmania
Beach at St Helens 01.JPG
St Helens is located in Tasmania
St Helens
St Helens
Coordinates 41°19′0″S 148°14′0″E / 41.31667°S 148.23333°E / -41.31667; 148.23333Coordinates: 41°19′0″S 148°14′0″E / 41.31667°S 148.23333°E / -41.31667; 148.23333
Population 2,049 (2006 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 7216
Location
LGA(s) Break O'Day Council
State electorate(s) Lyons
Federal Division(s) Lyons

St Helens is the largest town on the north-east coast of Tasmania, Australia, on Georges Bay. It is known as the game fishing capital of Tasmania and is also renowned for its oysters (as are some other areas of Tasmania). It is located on the Tasman Highway, about 160 km east of Tasmania's second largest city, Launceston. In the early 2000s, the town was one of the fastest growing areas of Tasmania, and reached a population of 2049 at the 2006 census. St Helens is part of the Break O'Day Council, a council that includes the nearby town of Binalong Bay.

History[edit]

St Helens was first used as a whaling base in the early 19th century. When tin was discovered in the surrounding area in the 1870s, St Helens became the shipping port for the mines. This was the first time a coach service had been introduced to the town; previous access had only been by sea. The town was named after St Helens, Isle of Wight. Today the town is a popular resort for fishing, swimming and other aquatic activities. Its economy is based largely on tourism, fishing and timber.

George's Bay and Barway
aerial view from west

Georges Bay Post Office opened on 1 April 1869 and was renamed St Helen's in 1882.[2]

The first European to explore the St Helens area was Captain Tobias Furneaux who sailed up the coast in 1773. He named the southern point of Georges Bay, St Helens Point.

By the 1830s Georges Bay was being used by whalers and sealers. Not surprisingly the settlement which grew up on the shore became known as Georges Bay and the local Aborigines became known as the Georges Bay tribe.

The first official land grant was provided in 1830 and in 1835 the small village was renamed St Helens. It would have continued to be an inconsequential port had not tin been discovered at Blue Tier in 1874. Suddenly the port, and the routes to the tin mines, were awash with mines. Over 1000 Chinese moved through the port. From 1874 until the turn of the century the tin mines prospered.

When the mines closed the miners moved to the coast and many of them settled in St Helens. Slowly the port changed so that today it has a major fishing fleet which is supported by boat building, ships chandlery and other ancillary activities. In recent times tourism, driven by fishing and the town's mild climate, has become important.

Environment[edit]

Important Bird Area[edit]

The town is adjacent to the St Helens Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance as a breeding site for seabirds and waders.[3]

Climate[edit]

St Helens has a mild temperate climate, with four distinct seasons. Summers are warm and sunny and winters are cool to mild. Rain falls consistently through the year, peaking slightly in winter. Being on the East Coast, St Helens winter temperatures are warmer than most parts of Tasmania. Summer temperatures are not as warm as inland areas, however are still warmer then Hobarts. St Helens record high temperature is 41.8 °C (107 °F), the equal second highest temperature recorded in Tasmania.

Climate data for St Helens (St Helens Aerodrome)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 41.8
(107.2)
34.9
(94.8)
34.4
(93.9)
28.1
(82.6)
23.7
(74.7)
19.0
(66.2)
17.7
(63.9)
20.9
(69.6)
23.5
(74.3)
29.7
(85.5)
32.9
(91.2)
34.0
(93.2)
41.8
(107.2)
Average high °C (°F) 22.6
(72.7)
21.8
(71.2)
20.8
(69.4)
18.4
(65.1)
16.0
(60.8)
13.9
(57)
13.5
(56.3)
14.3
(57.7)
15.9
(60.6)
17.2
(63)
19.3
(66.7)
20.9
(69.6)
17.9
(64.2)
Average low °C (°F) 13.2
(55.8)
13.3
(55.9)
11.5
(52.7)
9.7
(49.5)
7.1
(44.8)
5.4
(41.7)
4.8
(40.6)
5.4
(41.7)
6.5
(43.7)
7.9
(46.2)
10.2
(50.4)
11.5
(52.7)
8.9
(48)
Record low °C (°F) 4.8
(40.6)
6.3
(43.3)
3.1
(37.6)
1.3
(34.3)
0.0
(32)
−1.0
(30.2)
−0.4
(31.3)
−1.0
(30.2)
−0.1
(31.8)
0.9
(33.6)
1.3
(34.3)
4.3
(39.7)
−1.0
(30.2)
Rainfall mm (inches) 50.7
(1.996)
64.2
(2.528)
64.1
(2.524)
61.4
(2.417)
46.7
(1.839)
58.8
(2.315)
46.2
(1.819)
70.5
(2.776)
52.6
(2.071)
65.6
(2.583)
70.6
(2.78)
47.9
(1.886)
699.3
(27.534)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 8.4 11.2 9.6 12.3 12.4 16.3 17.1 16.2 12.9 12.9 11.5 10.6 151.4
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2006 Census, QuickStats Data, St Helens-Stieglitz (Urban Centre/Locality)
  2. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "IBA: St Helens (Tasmania)". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  4. ^ "ST HELENS AERODROME". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 29 March 2013.