Arthur River, Oriol Alamany / Auscape International

Population 223

Waratah was the site of the first mining boom in Tasmania. Tin deposits were discovered in 1871 by James 'Philosopher' Smith, and by the late 1800s the Mount Bischoff operation was the richest tin mine in the world. The mine closed in 1947.

Visitor Information

Wynyard Visitor Centre, 8 Exhibition Link, Wynyard; (03) 6443 8330


Nearby national parks

Nearby towns

  • Rosebery

    Like the nearby towns of Queenstown, Strahan and Zeehan, Rosebery found its economic niche in mining. The region is also known for its...more

  • Zeehan

    After silver-lead deposits were discovered here in 1882, Zeehan boomed and between 1893 and 1908, the mine yielded ore worth $8 million,...more

  • Wynyard

    This small centre at the mouth of the Inglis River has charming timber buildings and is located on a stunning stretch of coastline in an...more

In Town

Museum and Giftshop: displays early photographs and artefacts of the area and provides brochure for self-drive tour of town; Smith St.

Waratah Waterfall: in the centre of town; Smith St.

Philosopher Smith's Hut: replica of late-19th-century miner's hut; Smith St.

St James Anglican Church: first church in Tasmania to be lit by hydro-power; Smith St.

Lake Waratah: pleasant picnic and barbecue area with rhododendron garden and walks to Waratah Falls; English St.


Savage River National Park The rainforest here is the largest contiguous area of cool–temperate rainforest surviving in Australia. Excellent for self-sufficient bushwalking as well as fishing, 4WD and kayaking in the adjacent regional reserve. Contact Parks & Wildlife Service on 1300 135 513; access tracks lead off the main road out of Waratah; around 20 km W.

Fishing: excellent trout fishing in rivers and lakes in the area, including Talbots Lagoon; 20 km E.

Old mines: walks and drives to old mining sites; brochure from visitor centre.

Eco-friendly activities around town

The Overland Track 41 km

Deservedly the most well-known, multiday walking route in Australia, this 65- to 80-kilometre route through Cradle Mountain– Lake St Clair National Park is a classic (for national park information, see park entry... Find out more

Gunns Plains Cave 46 km

Located just south-west of Gunns Plains (some 23 kilometres south-west of Ulverstone), this is yet another great limestone cave. It has one of the largest shawl formations in the Southern Hemisphere, glow worms aplenty... Find out more

Creative Paper, Burnie 53 km

Make your own paper with recycled bits and pieces on a half-hour tour at this non-profit, community-based enterprise. They use all sorts of odds and ends to make their eco-friendly papers, including old jeans, fruit pulp... Find out more

Hiking the Penguin to Cradle walk 58 km

If you want to embark on a little-known, but highly varied Tasmanian bushwalk, try part or the entire 80-kilometre Penguin to Cradle walk. It starts at the coast, goes through a mix of rural areas, woodlands, canyons,... Find out more

Tarkine Trails 59 km

Delve deeply into the temperate rainforest of the Tarkine Wilderness on a multi-day bushwalk with Tarkine Trails. Unashamedly made up of conservation activists, the company is keen to show you why the Tarkine area should... Find out more

Giant crayfish research, near Ulverstone 63 km

Tasmania has the largest freshwater crayfish in the world, and they can grow up to a metre in length, with claws that could cut a person’s hand off. You can go out on a research trip with the world’s expert... Find out more

Campsites around town

Waratah camping area

Formerly the location of the world’s leading tin mine, Waratah now welcomes tourists not miners, although there is still gold to be panned in nearby creeks. In the middle of town, there is a lake and waterfall;... Find out more

Lake Mackintosh camping area 29 km

If you are a self-sufficient camper and enjoy trout fishing and lovely scenery, this camping ground 6 km north of Tullah is ideal. It is best suited to caravans and camper trailers, as there are few tent sites. Turn east... Find out more

Discovery Holiday Park – Cradle Mountain Campground 37 km

This is the only camping area at the northern end of Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park, so it gets busy in summer and bookings are essential. Sites are in bush alcoves 2 km outside the park. Most people... Find out more

Lake Gairdner camping area 44 km

There is a free camping area with no facilities on the banks of this hydro lake, so if the campground at Cradle Mountain is full (as it often is), this may be a good alternative, provided you are completely... Find out more

Corinna Wilderness Experience camping area 44 km

Tiny Corinna – named for the Tasmanian tiger – lies on the southern edge of the vast, heritage-listed Tarkine rainforest wilderness at the Pieman River crossing. Limited camping and riverside van sites are at... Find out more

Scott-Kilvert Memorial Hut (walk-in camping) 45 km

This hut was built as a memorial to 13 yr old David Kilvert and his teacher, Ewan Scott, who died in a blizzard here in 1965. It is beside Lake Rodway and involves a side-trip from the main Overland route. Access is via... Find out more

Waterfall Valley Hut (walk-in camping) 46 km

From the northern trailhead at Waldheim, it is 10 km (allow 6 hr) to this large hut.... Find out more

Pioneer Park camping area 47 km

Set among farmland and forested hills 15 km from Penguin, the tiny settlement of Riana is picture-postcard pretty. Its quiet little campground is on the left-hand side of the main road (B17), just past the cricket oval... Find out more

Windermere Hut (walk-in camping) 51 km

This rustic hut sleeps 16 and is 7.5 km (3 hr) south of Waterfall Valley hut.... Find out more

Julius River Forest camping area 53 km

On the northern edge of the huge Tarkine rainforest wilderness, this forest camping area is 10 km east of the Kanunnah Bridge and Sumac Lookout on the South Arthur Forest Dr (C218). At Julius River Reserve, there are 6... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Discovery Holiday Parks – Cradle Mountain 37 km

Set in bushland just outside the World Heritage-listed Tasmanian wilderness area, this quality park has good facilities including a large recreation building with open fireplaces. It is a popular camping site for walkers... Find out more

Rosebery Cabin and Tourist Park 37 km

This is a small park with basic facilities, but good for an overnight stop or longer stay. Cash only is accepted.... Find out more

Wings Wildlife Park 47 km

Staying here is a different experience. There is trout fishing, bushwalking, kayaking, golf, and more. The park has good facilities including powered sites, but we would opt for the unpowered riverfront camping area. The... Find out more

Treasure Island Caravan Park 51 km

This park is in a lovely rural setting with lots of trees. Facilities will suit travellers passing through. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Beach Retreat Tourist Park 53 km

Located at the mouth of the Inglis River and on the beachfront, this park is within walking distance of the town centre. It has good facilities and is ideal for an overnight stay or a few days. Bookings are required in... Find out more

Penguin Caravan Park 58 km

This beachfront park at the western end of town has undergone a makeover. The waterfront sites have been refurbished and the park has a licensed restaurant. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

BIG4 Ulverstone Holiday Park 63 km

This is a good quality park with spacious grassy areas and a range of facilities, about 1 km from the town centre and close to the surf club on East Beach. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Crayfish Creek Van and Cabin Park and Spa TreeHouse 66 km

In a distinctive bushland setting, this park is tucked away on the banks of Crayfish Creek, a short way in from the coast. It is a popular park during holiday periods, when the weather is warmer for swimming and camping.... Find out more

Queenstown Cabin and Tourist Park 72 km

This is a basic park with a range of facilities. It is the only park in the immediate area. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Bischoff Hotel

By the time the first hotel was built on this site, miners had not only discovered rich and rare minerals at Mount Bischoff, but it was also Australia’s richest mine. Today the mine is long gone but the lovely... Find out more

Waratah’s O’Connor Hall Guest House and B&B

When the Waratah mine was at its peak, and wealth was flowing into the town, this ornate Victorian homestead was the home of the most important man in town – the mine manager. His status was reflected in the... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Cradle Mountain Lodge 37 km

Live in the lap of luxury – old style – with a warm and welcoming central lodge, surrounded by individual cabins. Like nearly any large lodge, it does not have a perfect environmental record, but this... Find out more

Mountain Valley, Loongana 37 km

Mountain Valley is off the beaten tourist track, situated around 64 kilometres south-west of Devonport (due south of Burnie). Visitors here stay in rustic cabins with open fireplaces on a private and remote 60-hectare... Find out more

Waldheim Cabins 40 km

You can steal a march on everyone else in the morning by staying in historic cabins at a beautiful spot within Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park, operated by the Parks and Wildlife Service. The cabins are... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Fossey River rest area 7 km

67km S of Somerset (L) or 39km N of Tullah (R)

Just off the highway among some trees.

Hellyer Gorge rest area 20 km

40km S of Somerset (L) or 66km N of Tullah (R)

Just off the highway surrounded by forest.

Tullabardine Dam rest area 29 km

T/O 105km S of Somerset (L) or 1km N of Tullah (R)

At the dam 6km east of the highway.

Tullah park area 33 km

At Tullah

Off the main street into town on the shores of Lake Rosebery.

Rosebery park area 38 km

At Rosebery

On the banks of the river at Stitt Park on the south side of town.

Somerset park area 52 km

At Somerset

At the junction with Bass Hwy on the banks of the Cam River.

Wynyard park area 53 km

At Wynyard

On the foreshore at the east end of town via Mt Hicks Rd.

Sisters Beach rest area 59 km

T/O 13km NW of Wynyard (R) or 54km SE of Smithton (L)

Shady area on the foreshore 8km north of the highway via Sisters Beach Rd.

Brickmakers Beach rest area 67 km

40km W of Wynyard (R) or 27km E of Smithton (L)

Adjacent to the highway. On the foreshore.

Peggs Beach camping area 67 km

42km W of Wynyard (R) or 25km E of Smithton (L)

Adjacent to the highway. On the foreshore.

Black River camping area 69 km

T/O 44km W of Wynyard (R) or 23km E of Smithton (L)

Secluded campsites 1km to 5km (unsealed) off the highway in the scrub near the river.

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