Zeehan, Tasmania

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Zeehan
Tasmania
Gaiety Theatre, Zeehan.jpg
The former Gaiety Theatre at Zeehan, part of the West Coast Pioneers Museum
Zeehan is located in Tasmania
Zeehan
Zeehan
Location in Tasmania
Coordinates 41°53′S 145°20′E / 41.883°S 145.333°E / -41.883; 145.333Coordinates: 41°53′S 145°20′E / 41.883°S 145.333°E / -41.883; 145.333
Population 728 (2011)[1]
 • Density 404.4/km2 (1,047/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 7469
Elevation 172 m (564 ft)[2]
Area 1.8 km2 (0.7 sq mi)
Location
LGA(s) West Coast Council
State electorate(s) Lyons
Federal Division(s) Lyons
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
15.2 °C
59 °F
6.3 °C
43 °F
2,445.5 mm
96.3 in

Zeehan /ˈzʔən/ is a town on the west coast of Tasmania, Australia 139 kilometres (86 mi) south-west of Burnie. At the 2011 census, Zeehan had a population of 728.[1] It is part of the Municipality of West Coast.

The town was named after the nearby Mount Zeehan which had been named by George Bass and Matthew Flinders after Abel Tasman's Fluyt Zeehaen.

History[edit]

The region has one of the oldest histories of any part of Tasmania, when Abel Tasman sighted this part of the state in 1642. An early port for Zeehan was Trial Harbour but it was very precarious in its location on Ocean Beach and was overtaken by Strahan. Zeehan was established as a mining field, then as a town after the Zeehan-Dundas silver-lead deposits were found in 1882 by Frank Long. Mount Zeehan Post Office opened on 1 August 1888 and was renamed Zeehan in 1890.[3] The peak period for mining was up to the First World War,though lead mining continued on up to 1963 at mines such as the Montana and Oceana. The population of Zeehan-Dundas peaked at 10,000 about 1910, over ten times the current population.

It was clearly in competition with the town further south, Queenstown, and while the silver boom lasted it was known as the Silver City. In the first decade of the twentieth century it was on a par with Launceston and Hobart for size. With a main street over two miles long (3.2 km); it also claimed over 20 hotels. In the 1970s it saw increased activity due to operations at the nearby Renison Bell Tin mine, and again in the 1990s.

Railways[edit]

Zeehan was an important railway location—the end of the Emu Bay Railway, and the beginning of the government-owned Strahan-Zeehan Railway service that connected to Strahan and Regatta Point, where the Mount Lyell Railway connected to Queenstown. 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.

Newspapers[edit]

See the article: Zeehan and Dundas Herald

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Zeehan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 19
(67)
20
(68)
18
(65)
15
(59)
13
(55)
11
(52)
11
(51)
11
(52)
13
(55)
14
(58)
16
(61)
18
(64)
14.9
(58.9)
Average low °C (°F) 8
(47)
9
(49)
8
(47)
7
(44)
5
(41)
3
(38)
3
(38)
3
(38)
4
(40)
6
(42)
7
(44)
8
(46)
5.9
(42.8)
Precipitation cm (inches) 13
(5)
10
(4)
13
(5)
20
(8)
23
(9)
23
(9)
25
(10)
25
(10)
23
(9)
20
(8)
18
(7)
15
(6)
228
(90)
Source: Weatherbase [4]

Economy[edit]

Allegiance Limited Avebury nickel mine, Zeehan Zinc's Comstock Mine and the Bluestone Tin's Renison Bell tin mine are significant economic contributors to the community, but the majority of the town relies on tourism for its survival.

Tourism features[edit]

Among these attractions is the West Coast Pioneers Museum, which is in the old School of Mines building. The main streetscape of Zeehan is one significant feature of the town.

Notable people[edit]

The famed concert pianist Eileen Joyce was born in Zeehan, and Eileen Joyce Memorial Park in Zeehan was named in her honour.

Notable events[edit]

Parts of a 1925 Australian silent film, Jewelled Nights were shot[5] on Savage River, north of the town in the Tarkine rainforest.

Bushfires were reported near Zeehan in 1896, 1908, 1977, 1980 and 2006. In November 2012 the town was threatened by bushfires from two directions [6][7] however the alert was later removed. Also Feb. 1890 (diary of Edward Jennings and this http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/13761103)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

2003 edition - Queenstown: Municipality of Queenstown.
1949 edition - Hobart: Davies Brothers. OCLC 48825404
1924 edition - Queenstown: Mount Lyell Tourist Association. OCLC 35070001
  • Whitham, Lindsay (2002). Railways, Mines, Pubs and People and other historical research. Sandy Bay: Tasmanian Historical Research Association. ISBN 0-909479-21-6. 

Gallery[edit]