The once famed bare hills of Queenstown are slowly shrinking year on year, with just a relatively small area (known as Philosopher’s Ridge, where the actual mine sits) still remaining bare.
With this last area now peppered green with new growth, it can only be a matter of time before the wilderness of Western Tasmania closes over the landscape created by a rich copper and gold mine that has run almost continuously since the gold rush that gave birth to the town in the 1890s
The trees were felled to feed the smelters (long since closed) which gave off sulphurous fumes (like those vented by geothermal springs). The logging, fumes and lashing winter rains combined to strip the earth and hinder regrowth for as long as the smelters remained in operation.
Today Queenstown is a truly unique town that mixes mining with a strong community of artists, creative professionals and escapees from the big cities who have been drawn to the misty forested hills, mountain lakes and the stunning natural beauty of the region.