Pretty little Waratah is forging a new identity, far from its origin as a tin town.
Story by Ricky French
Waratah sprang up after a mountain of tin (literally) was discovered on Mt Bischoff in 1871. The person who discovered it, James ‘Philosopher’ Smith, became not only the town founder, but also arguably the saviour of Tasmania. With the state struggling for industry and in danger of being absorbed into Victoria, the tin mine quickly became the largest in the world.
Waratah’s population peaked at several thousand in the early 1900s, but is now home to just 250. Kids travel to school in Ridgley or Burnie, 75 kilometres away. While many families have lived here for generations, today newcomers are helping breathe life back into the town.
This story excerpt is from Issue #108
Outback Magazine: Aug/Sep 2016