Population 2120

The discovery of gold and other mineral resources in the Mount Lyell field in the 1880s led to the rapid emergence of Queenstown. Continuous mining here from 1893 to 1994 produced over 670 000 tonnes of copper, 510 000 kilograms of silver and 20 000 kilograms of gold. Operations began again in 1995, and are now owned by the Indian company Sterlite Industries. The town has modern facilities, but its wide streets and remaining historic buildings give it an old-mining-town flavour. In certain lights, multicoloured boulders on the hillsides, denuded through a combination of felling, wildfire, erosion and poisonous fumes from the smelter, reflect the sun's rays and turn to amazing shades of pink and gold. However, many Tasmanians view the place as a haunting reminder of the devastating impact humans can have on their environment.

Visitor Information

Queenstown Galley Museum, cnr Sticht and Driffield sts; (03) 6471 1483.

Nearby national parks

Nearby towns

  • Strahan

    This pretty little port on Macquarie Harbour, on Tasmania's west coast, is the last stop before a long stretch of ocean to Patagonia....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

  • 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

In Town

Galley Museum The museum is housed in the Imperial (1898), Queenstown's first brick hotel, and displays over 800 photographs and general memorabilia of the history of the west coast. Cnr Sticht and Driffield sts.

West Coast Wilderness Railway This is a restored 1896 rack-and-pinion railway. Read More

Spion Kop Lookout: views of Queenstown and surrounding mountains; off Bowes St.

Paragon Theatre: cinema; McNamara St.

Historical walk: takes in 25 locations of historical importance; 'The Walkabout Queenstown' brochure from visitor centre.


Mt Lyell Mines: guided tours of the mines north of town, either surface (1hr) or underground (3.5hrs); bookings on (03) 6471 1472.

Iron Blow: original open-cut mine where gold was discovered in 1883; Gormanston; 6km E.

Linda: ghost town; 7km E.

Mt Jukes Lookout: superb panoramic views; 7km S.

Lake Burbury: excellent brown and rainbow trout fishing; picnic areas; 8km E.

Nelson Falls: short walk through temperate rainforest leads to falls; 23km E.

Valley views: spectacular views from Lyell Hwy as it climbs steeply out of town.

Fishing spots near town

Bronte System 78 km

Trout anglers probably already know that Tasmania’s Central Highland lakes are among the best in the world. Many offer fly- fishers an opportunity to sight-fish for tailing trout around the lake margins.... Find out more

Little Pine Lagoon 86 km

Little Pine Lagoon is not much to look at, but is highly regarded by fly-fishers for its springtime tailing trout and summer dun hatches. Some anglers rate it Tasmania’s premier fly-fishing water. This small water... Find out more

Great Lake 95 km

A year-round trout fishery, Great Lake is one of Tasmania’s best known waters and a thriving centre for holiday homes. Brown trout were first released here in 1870 and they still dominate the fishery with an... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Beachcombing near Strahan 21 km

Wander the wilds of Ocean Beach on the west coast, its shores battered by waves and winds, and strewn with kelp. This is western Tasmania at its finest.... Find out more

The Overland Track 59 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

Tarkine Trails 64 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

Trowunna Wildlife Park, Mole Creek 92 km

One of the most respected and long-running wildlife parks in Tasmania, Trowunna is involved in conservation, education and rehabilitation. There is a wide range of wildlife on display, including devils, reptiles, quolls... Find out more

Gunns Plains Cave 98 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

Campsites around town

Queenstown Cabin and Tourist Park 1 km

This cabin park in Queenstown’s south has a full list of facilities and is a good central site from which to explore the region’s mining history and extraordinary natural features. There is everything you... Find out more

Lake Burbury Camping Ground 10 km

This vast scenic lake is the west coast’s aquatic playground, with watersports and excellent seasonal trout fishing (licences are required). Lake levels vary, reducing boat access in some years. Grassed picnic and... Find out more

Thureau Hills camping area 11 km

This remote spot on the edge of pretty Lake Burbury is used by campervans, motorhomes and caravans, but there are no facilities so you need to bring your own everything. The lake offers fishing and boating, with a... Find out more

Darwin Dam camping area 16 km

This remote camping area at the southern tip of Lake Burbury is located deep within the forest, 25 km south of Queenstown along the unsealed Mt Jukes Rd. There is free camping beside the dam and in clearings bedside the... Find out more

Macquarie Heads camping area 31 km

Strahan is a must-see destination in Tasmania, and the starting point for cruises along the iconic Gordon River. This grassed, shady camping area is 15 km west of town; follow Ocean Beach Rd, then head left along a rough... Find out more

Lake Tahune hut camping area (walk-in camping) 31 km

This hut, 9 km (4 hr) from Lake Vera, is heated with methylated spirit, which you will need to bring as supplies are limited. The hut sleeps 12 and there are tent sites just past the helipad. From here it is a 2 hr climb... Find out more

Collingwood River camping area 32 km

This small camping area with no facilities is in the ferny rainforest on the eastern side of the Lyell Hwy (A10), where it crosses the Collingwood River, 40 km west of Derwent Bridge. This is where seasoned adventurers... Find out more

Lake Vera hut camping area (walk-in camping) 34 km

This coal-heated bushwalker hut sleeps 20 and is 16 km (6 hr) from the trailhead on the Lyell Hwy. There are tent sites across the bridge just past the hut. No fire allowed: gas/fuel stove-only area.... Find out more

Loddon River camping area (walk-in camping) 36 km

This camping site is on the first leg of the track to Frenchmans Cap. There are no facilities here and it is a gas/fuel stove-only area.... Find out more

Philps Creek camping area (walk-in camping) 38 km

This walk-in bush campsite between the Frenchmans Cap trailhead and Lake Vera has no facilities. No fires: use a gas/fuel stove only.... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Queenstown Cabin and Tourist Park 1 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

Discovery Holiday Parks – Strahan 21 km

Explore the impressive western coastal region from this resort-style park, only 1.5 km west of the centre of Strahan. It has good facilities and we stay here when we visit the town. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Treasure Island Caravan Park 29 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

Rosebery Cabin and Tourist Park 34 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

Lake St Clair Lodge 51 km

This park, on the southern shores of Lake St Clair, is 5 km from Derwent Bridge. It has basic national park-style amenities and is located next to the interpretive centre within the park boundary. A national park permit... Find out more

Discovery Holiday Parks – Cradle Mountain 64 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

Wayatinah Lakeside Caravan Park 85 km

This is a neat lakeside park with basic facilities at a budget price and suitable for a night or two. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Wings Wildlife Park 99 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

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Empire Hotel

Dating from Queenstown’s glory days at the turn of the 19th century, when mining brought wealth and status to the town, today the Empire is a slightly faded old beauty but she still shows the elegance of the times... Find out more

Mount Lyell Anchorage

This Edwardian bungalow, a block from Queenstown’s centre, offers luxury accommodation in four individual rooms with private bathrooms. Although the house is 100 years old, the interior decor is clean, minimalist... Find out more

Penghana B&B

With no expense spared, this fine two-storey mansion was built as the mine manager’s residence in 1898, with spacious rooms, exquisite carved woodwork and a magnificent blackwood staircase, so it’s no... Find out more

Derwent Bridge Chalets

An hour and a quarter’s drive from Queenstown along one of Australia’s most incredible roads, Derwent Bridge is a popular destination at the southern end of Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park,... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Waldheim Cabins 58 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

Cradle Mountain Lodge 62 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 82 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

Rest areas around town

Lake Burbury camping area 10 km

T/O 20km E of Queenstown (L) or 65km W of Derwent Bridge (R)

Near the lake, 1km west of the highway.

Lake Burbury rest area 10 km

T/O 15km E of Queenstown (R) or 70km W of Derwent Bridge (L)

At the boat ramp 4km south of the highway.

Rosebery park area 33 km

At Rosebery

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

Tullah park area 39 km

At Tullah

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

Franklin River park area 41 km

60km SE of Queenstown (R) or 25km NW of Derwent Bridge (L)

Parking area adjacent to the highway and above the picnic area.

Tullabardine Dam rest area 45 km

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

At the dam 6km east of the highway.

Fossey River rest area 70 km

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

Just off the highway among some trees.

Nive River rest area 78 km

44km SE of Derwent Bridge (R) or 5km N of Tarraleah (L)

Adjacent to the highway and on the riverbank.

Bronte Lagoon rest area 79 km

28km SE of Derwent Bridge (R) or 21km N of Tarraleah (L)

Adjacent to the highway on the shores of the lagoon.

Bradys Lake camping area 80 km

36km SE of Derwent Bridge (L) or 13km N of Tarraleah (R)

On the shores of the lake, 1km (unsealed) off the highway.

Little Pine Lagoon Camp Area 88 km

T/O at Miena via Marlborough Highway

Small camping area located 12 kilometres south-west of Miena.

NOTE: Access road part unsealed.

Hellyer Gorge rest area 90 km

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

Just off the highway surrounded by forest.

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