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Zeehan

ZEEHAN

Zeehan /ˈziːʔən/ is a town on the west coast of Tasmania, Australia 139 kilometres (86 mi) south-west of Burnie. It is located north of Strahan, Tasmania and Queenstown, Tasmania. In the early 1900s it had its own council. It is currently 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. 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.

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. At the 2011 census, Zeehan had a population of 728.

MMG 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. Zeehan, like other West Coast mining towns, has seen many booms and busts, making it a living museum full of character and fascinating stories. Today, Zeehan's Main Street is lined with grand old buildings like the Gaiety Theatre, supposedly visited by Dame Nellie Melba, beautifully restored and still entertaining locals and visitors. And for something different, at the end of the street you'll find the Spray Tunnel, a 100-metre abandoned railway tunnel that you can walk, ride or drive through. Nature lovers can enjoy the views from the top of Mount Zeehan, explore the wild West Coast at Trial Harbour and Granville Harbour, climb the massive Henty Dunes behind Australia's longest beach and explore the nearby wilderness. Zeehan is also a fishing hotspot with trout caught at Lake Pieman. Zeehan is a 1 hr 50-min drive (150 km) south-west of Burnie, and a 40-min drive (50 km) north-east of Strahan.


Sources:
http://www.discovertasmania.com.au/about/regions-of-tasmania/west-coast/zeehan
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeehan,_Tasmania