Tasmania is one of the few places left in the world where pristine wilderness is relatively easy to access. And there is no place in Tasmania where its wilderness is more easy to access, experience and enjoy than the Tarkine region in the north-west. There's not only a road in from the island state's north-south road on the west coast - The Murchison Highway - there is an eco-friendly village right in the middle of this amazing place - Corinna - an oasis in the wild hanging on the banks of a beautiful river. The Corinna Wilderness Experience provides an escape from mass tourism, to one of the most remote and beautiful parts of the world, where guests are at home in the wilderness.
The tiny mining settlement of Corinna was first settled in 1881, and has a colourful history. It was a rip-roaring gold mining town with a population of 2,500 spread over an 8 kilometre area. The largest nugget of gold ever found in Tasmania weighed 243 ounces and was found in the nearby Rocky River in 1883. Where Is it?: Corinna is 62 km south west of Waratah via Murchison Highway; 131 km south of Burnie; 117 km south of Cradle Mountain
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In The Area
Pieman River Cruise
The Pieman River Cruise is regarded highly, offering at least as much as people would experience on the Gordon River, with excellent commentary, stunning reflections, freedom from other vessels and a truly personal experience with the river and rainforest. The cruise starts aboard the Huon pine built Arcadia II, which was used during the war. The cruise takes you through beautiful rainforests and down to the jetty, close to the mouth of the river. Here you can walk past the shacks at Pieman Heads, to the beach and see Huon pine driftwood washed up by the sea. The cruise passes close to the wreck of the SS Croydon at the mouth of the Savage River and to Lover s Falls near the mouth of the Donaldson.
This is an uplifting and authentic experience, rich in history, nature and personal anecdotes. The Arcadia II is a magnificent 17 metre craft built of huon pine in 1939. She has a leisurely cruising speed of 9 knots. Originally a luxury pleasure craft based in Hobart, it was requisitioned to serve in the Second World War in New Guinea as a supply ship.
These 30m vertical drop falls are situated 200m along a timber boardwalk, that follows Amelia Creek from the Pieman River jetty; a wonderful place to appreciate huon pine, sassafras, myrtle and fern groves. Witness the spectacular glow worm displays at night. Due to the remoteness of the falls, access is only possible by canoe or kayak, which can be hired at Corinna. There are also approximately 40 unnamed, hidden waterfalls along the Pieman River, from the Reece Dam to the sea.
Reece Dam and its associated equipment is the youngest of Tasmania's hydropower systems. The first stage in this catchment was the Pieman River development. Construction finished in 1987. This scheme taps into the Pieman River and two major lakes Mackintosh and Murchison. The second stage, the Anthony development, was completed in 1994. The last power station before the water runs out to sea, Reece Power Station is located at the foot of the Reece Dam on Lake Pieman. A 120 metre high rock fill dam, it is 35 minutes from Zeehan via a sealed road. The road goes over the dam, continuing to the Murchison Hwy.
An isolated former mining town deep in the heart of the forests of north western Tasmania, Balfour features an historic cemetery and numerous old mine sites. Mt. Balfour Mine, a copper and tin mine, was one of the westernmost mines in Tasmania. Balfour is close to Julius River Forest Reserve, Arthur-Pieman Conservation area, Mr Frankland (433 metres), Mt. Hazelton (871 metres) and the coastal settlement of Temma. Balfour is north of Cornnia via Norfolk Road.
Magnet Mining Trail
Lord Brassey Mine
Magnet Mine Trail begins 1.75km west of Waratah and traverses lush rainforest on its way to the Mount Magnet mine site. The mine site has relics to explore and good to camp. You can create a circular route using local roads, particularly if cycling. A great walk if you have the time and energy. Starting at the junction of Waratah and Magnet Roads, the trail follows a winding route, crossing back and forth over Magnet Road and also at two points, the Arthur River until finishing at the Magnet Mine site. Distance: 16km.
Western Explorer Road
The Western Explorer Road is the gravel highway between Zeehan and Smithton that takes you over the Pieman River by barge and winds idly through the beautiful Tarkine Rainforest and button grass plains. It is becoming a popular two-and-a-half day ride for bike and bike riding clubs. The Fat Man Barge crosses the Pieman to allow vehicles over, but has working hours, which change accordingly to the time of the year.
- Western Explorer Guide (PDF)
Originally a soldier settlement after World War 1, Granville Harbour (25km south) is now a small fishing, lobster fishing and holiday community. It is 45 minutes from Zeehan via a gravel and sealed road. Granville Harbour has no shops or facilities. Granville Harbour gives access to a section of the dramatic, rugged west coast.
Marked by vast sand dune systems, interspersed by rocky shores and coves, this coastline is regularly pounded by the Roaring 40 s bringing waves up to 18 metres. The nearest landmass due west of Pieman Heads is Argentina, 18,000 km away.
Take in the views from the top of Mount Zeehan (702m). This 3-hour walk along a gravel track starts opposite the Zeehan Smelters.
The mountains around Zeehan are home to numerous spectacular waterfalls. Few are easy to reach - rough mining tracks through the bush are often the only means of access - but they are well worth seeing if you have the time and inclination. Heemskirk Falls are on the Heemskirk River, 19km north of Zeehan, at the junction of Heemskirk and Pieman Rivers. The falls are visible on the side of Mt. Heemskirk from the main road.
20 minutes drive south of Zeehan on the road south to Strahan is where you will find the largest moving dune system in Tasmania. Henty Dunes are a vast expanse of rolling white desert sand dunes extending several kilometres inland, its white hilly sand reminiscent of the Snowy Mountains. It is the last thing would expect to find amid the lush rainforest of Tasmania s west coast. Pine plantations have attempted to stop the migration of the dunes inland. The huge sand formations can be explored on foot or aboard quad bikes. Sandboarding is also popular.
Henty Dunes Quad Bike Tours: 4 Wheeler Quad Bikes of Strahan operate Quad Tours out of Strahan. The three-seater buggies leave in convoy from Strahan to the Henty Sand Dunes picnic area, just 10 minutes from the centre of Strahan along the B27 highway to Zeehan. There are plenty of opportunities for photos along the way, and the ride would suit the novice ot experienced rider. Being three seaters, you can take the kids along too. Contact: 4 Wheeler Quad Bikes, Strahan. Ph: 0419 508 175