A popular holiday town and its beaches are ideal for swimming, surfing and fishing. The Scamander River is noted for its bream, while beach fishing and gamefishing in the deep waters offshore are also popular. Scamander is also northern Tasmania s major surfing centre.
Like all coastal resort towns Scamander is noted for its water activities. In summer, surfing and swimming are popular and the river is noted for its bream which can be caught.
Where Is it?: Scamander is situated mid way between St Helens and St Marys. It is 20km south of St Helens, 18 km north of St Marys, 146 km east of Launceston, 236 km north east of Hobart.
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Situated on Georges Bay, Winifred Curtis Reserve (2 km) is a 75 hectare private nature reserve named after Tasmania s most esteemed botanist. The reserve is the last intact remnant of dry sclerophyll bushland, marshland and heathland in the area. There are over 7kms of easy walking tracks encompassing the 16 ecosystems, featuring an amazing variety of wildflowers in bloom for most of the year.
Henderson Lagoon is one of those hidden gems known only to locals and regular visitors to the area; a place of calm, almost transparent waters perfect for a stroll along seven kilometres of well-marked trails at the Reserve, home to around 300 varieties of native flora and some 80 species of woodland and marshland birds. Covering 75 hectares, the reserve features scenic spots perfect for a picnic, and spectacular displays of wildflowers in season.
Travel ten minutes south of St Helens and you will drive through the unassuming township of Beaumaris. This is one of the best spots for beach fishing in the entire area, but keep that one to yourself! Boasting a motel and restaurant overlooking the ocean, Beaumaris is a great place to chill out and let nature come to you.
The tiny seaside settlement of Falmouth, a short distance to the south of Scamander, is a wonderful hideaways four kilometres off the main highway at the foot of St Marys Pass,. First settled in 1829 when Captain Henderson acquired 2560 acres he named Huckamabad, Falmouth was the principal sea port for the central east coast of Tasmania. Today, it is less of a town and more of a collection of cliff-top houses that enjoy million dollar views across the Tasman Sea. The coastline varies from long, safe sandy beaches to rocky headlands. A holiday village with self contained accommodation is located at Iron House Point. Four Mile Creek beyond Falmouth is popular with fishermen and holiday makers.
Falmouth's premier attraction is the blowhole although this is something of a misnomer. The blowhole is actually a rather large fissure in the rocks where the waves, when they break, cause plumes of spray to rise spectacularly into the air. To get to the blowhole the visitor needs to walk some distance north along the cliffs. The walk is pleasant with the rocks tumbling down towards the sea. The views are excellent and near the blowhole it is possible to see the beach which lies to the north across Henderson Lagoon.
Located at the mouth of the Scamander River this is a particularly beautiful and quiet stretch of coastline noted for its secluded beaches which are popular with surfers and surf fishing enthusiasts.
Not far away is Scamander Conservation Area, Where the area's rich Aboriginal history is evident. Middens and the presence of tools and stone assemblages indicate that Aboriginal people used this part of the coast extensively. Mussel, abalone, rock whelk and warrener appear to have been the most commonly eaten shellfish. Small quantities of seal and macropod (kangaroo or wallaby) bone are also found in the middens.
The first European to travel through the area was surveyor John Helder Wedge in 1825. He named the river Borthwick and the locality itself he named Yarmouth after the English port Great Yarmouth but both the river and town were both later renamed 'Scamander'.
The wide river mouth has been a challenge to bridge builders for many years. The Scamander River is sufficiently wide to present anyone travelling along the coast with a problem. This was certainly the case when Surveyor Wedge tried to traverse it in 1825. The first bridge, a flimsy thing with pylons no thicker than an average telegraph post, was constructed by Richard Terry in 1865 and lasted until it collapsed under the weight of a mob of cattle. It was replaced by an ironbark and bluegum bridge which lasted until 1889 when a particularly heavy flood simply washed it away. The mail coach was the last vehicle to pass across it.
The third bridge was built by Grubb Bros. for £4,500. It was built from ironbark and lasted a record of 22 years until the flood of 1911, sending numerous trees down the river, put such pressure on the bridge it collapsed. After this a series of bridges were constructed but they were all destroyed either by flood or the dreaded toredo, a voracious borer which worked its way into the timber quickly destroying it. The last wooden bridge collapsed in 1929 and the town was forced to rely on a punt across the river until a concrete bridge was built in 1936. It has finally been replaced by a new bridge which the town is hoping will last indefinitely.