You could be forgiven for thinking that you had stepped onto another planet when you first come across Queenstown, located 260km west of Hobart. The barren, bald hills are the result of the copper mining that was done here over 73 years.
The sulphurous residue from the Mount Lyall Copper Mine stripped the earth of everything living and left a grey and brown sludge over the surrounding hills and plains.
This railway was constructed in the 1890's and connected Queenstown to Strahan, for the purpose of transporting the ore. It is now used as a scenic railway that uses steam or diesel locomotives to travel the 35km track. The track travels through rainforest and gives good views of the Queen and King rivers, there are several scenic stops along the way (03 6471 1700).
Eric Thomas Galley Museum
This museum displays the strong mining history of Queenstown and it's very unusual geology. Located in the former Imperial Hotel, it contains relics and memorabilia over two levels. Corner Driffied and Sticht Streets (02 6471 1483).
Located just east of Queenstown there are still some forms of natural vegetation to be found. At the summit near the lake is Mount Jukes which can be climbed and the Darwin Dam at the lakes southern end is a popular fishing hole for catching trout.
This is a display dedicated to the miners of Queenstown. There is a mining pictorial of copper sculptures and an old steam locomotive that once transported the copper on display as well.
Mount Lyall Copper Mine
This mine operated for over 73 years in Queenstown and it is responsible for the amazing landscapes that surround the town. Tours are conducted of the surface area of the mine and the history of the mine and it's workings are explained (03 6471 2388).
Home of Robert Sticht the first mine manager of the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company and the gardens are open. 32 The Esplanade (03 6471 2560).
West Coast Wilderness Railway
A great rail journey with timber trestle bridges and the unique Abt rack and pinion system for the steep grades and runs for 35 km and takes half a day. A twice daily train service from Strahan to Queenstown. Driffiled Street, Queenstown (03 6471 4300).