Crotty, Tasmania

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Crotty is located in Tasmania
Location in Tasmania
Coordinates42°11′S 145°37′E / 42.183°S 145.617°E / -42.183; 145.617Coordinates: 42°11′S 145°37′E / 42.183°S 145.617°E / -42.183; 145.617
Abolishedcirca 1903[1][2]

Crotty is a former gazetted townsite that was located in Western Tasmania, Australia. The township was located on the eastern lower slopes of Mount Jukes, below the West Coast Range, and on the southern bank of the King River. The locality had had a former name of King River[3]


The town reserve was gazetted on 5 June 1900. The town survey was completed in November 1900. By 1902 there had been development of over 150 dwellings, and 700 people living in the town. The last residents to move away left in 1928.

In photographs found in Geoffrey Blainey's The Peaks of Lyell, the foreground shows a bridge, the Baxter River bridge. This was a crucial connection for people travelling between the railway stopping places.[4]

Smelters failure[edit]

At the turn of the twentieth century, the township had had a smelter and railway connection with the North Mount Lyell mine.

The North Mount Lyell smelters failed, despite attempts in 1901 and 1902 to correct issues.[5]

The company was absorbed by the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company in 1903.[6]

The townsite soon lost population, and the North Mount Lyell Railway which serviced Crotty's connections with Gormanston, Linda and Pillinger (Kelly Basin) remained in service for a couple of decades before closing.

Most historical photos of Crotty show the smelters, the hotels, and the very small houses/huts. The most iconic photograph is that found in Geoffrey Blainey's The Peaks of Lyell, dated 1902, which was taken from the embankment just east of the railway line, looking west, up the main street with the smoke from the smelter in the air, and Mount Jukes in the background.[7]

Aerial photograph of Mount Jukes, Lake Burbury and Crotty Dam in early 2000s. The water of the dam in the lower left hand side of photograph is located approximately at the northernmost part of Crotty townsite plans

Hydro dam era[edit]

During the late 1970s and at an early stage in the "No Dams" campaign to stop the establishment of a dam on the Franklin River, a small group of musicians in Queenstown formed a group called the 'Crotty Ditty Band'.[8]

HEC Crotty Construction Camp[edit]

During the building of the King power development in the 1980s, the Hydro Crotty Camp was home to several hundred dam construction workers[9][10]


In the 1990s the townsite was inundated by Lake Burbury which was the result of the completed King River Power development scheme.[11] Despite this, the Tasmanian 1:25000 Owen map still identifies the Proclaimed Town of Crotty.


On the eastern shores of Lake Burbury, the land south of the Lyell Highway, and adjacent to the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, is known as the Crotty Conservation Area. This has an area of 44.2 square kilometres (17.1 sq mi) and was established on 27 December 2000.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Crotty Dam" (PDF). Heritage Dams Project. Engineers Australia. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  2. ^ Crotty was not abolished in any sense in 1903, it was abandoned, for the following 80 years various structures and features of the town were removed, right up to the time of damming of the lower part of the former site by Lake Burbury
  3. ^ Crotty (Late King River) in 1905 edition of The Tasmania post office directory, H. Wise & Co, 1891, retrieved 10 June 2018
  4. ^ From a complication of materials titled Crotty by the Galley Museum in Queenstown, no date and no pages, circa 2000. See also Read, Walter L (1996), Photographic memories of the West Coast, Galley Museum, [1996?], retrieved 10 June 2018
  5. ^ "CROTTY". The Daily Telegraph. Launceston, Tas. 18 November 1902. p. 6. Retrieved 21 June 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "CROTTY'S CALL". The Examiner (DAILY ed.). Launceston, Tas. 2 June 1903. p. 4. Retrieved 21 June 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ Blainey, Geoffrey (2000). The Peaks of Lyell (6th ed.). Hobart: St. David's Park Publishing. ISBN 0-7246-2265-9.
  8. ^ The Crotty Ditty Band (Creator); Candle Records (Publisher), Record cover for the record 'Let the Gordon Run Free' by the Crotty Ditty Band, retrieved 21 June 2015
  9. ^ p.411 and p.463 – photo with caption The Crotty Camp eventually housed well over 300 people. It was in use from 1983 until 25 May 1989 when everyone was transferred to the Lynchford Camp -Felton, Heather; Hydro Tasmania (2008), Ticklebelly tales and other stories from the people of the Hydro, Hydro Tasmania, ISBN 978-0-646-47724-4
  10. ^ Built in 1982... housing 140 men... in HEC (1983) King River Power Development HEC Public Relations, December 1983
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 September 2006. Retrieved 16 October 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further reading[edit]

  • Atkinson, H.K. (1991). Railway Tickets of Tasmania. ISBN 0-9598718-7-X.
  • Rae, Lou (2001). The Abt Railway and Railways of the Lyell region. Sandy Bay: Lou Rae. ISBN 0-9592098-7-5.
  • Whitham, Charles (2003). Western Tasmania – A land of riches and beauty (Reprint 2003 ed.). Queenstown: Municipality of Queenstown.

External links[edit]