The Cradle Coast Local History
The Local History of the Cradle Coast Region in Tasmania, Australia
The Cradle Coast region is located on the northwest coast of Tasmania, Australia. This region is known for its stunning landscapes, including the rugged mountains of Cradle Mountain and the pristine coastline. However, it also has a rich history that is worth exploring.
The First Inhabitants
The first inhabitants of the Cradle Coast region were the Aboriginal Tasmanians. The area was densely populated, particularly around the coast, due to the abundance of food sources such as shellfish, fish, and seals. Some of the local Aboriginal names for locations in the region include Mount Roland (Pillinger) and Table Cape (Latah).
Exploration and Settlement
The first Europeans to explore the Cradle Coast region were William Collins and Bass and Flinders in 1798, followed by Henry Hellyer in the early 1830s. In 1832, the Van Diemen's Land Company was granted the lease for the region, and they established a settlement at Circular Head (Stanley) in 1836. The company's primary goal was to extract timber and wool, and they also introduced dairy farming to the area.
Convicts and Penal Stations
Several penal stations were established in the Cradle Coast region during the 19th century, including at Sarah Island near Strahan, which was known for its harsh conditions. The convicts on Sarah Island were forced to work on the timber industry, and it is estimated that up to 200 convicts died on the island during its operation.
Industry and Growth
The Cradle Coast region saw significant growth during the early 20th century, with the establishment of mining and hydroelectric power industries. The town of Rosebery was founded in 1893 due to the discovery of high-grade zinc, and it quickly became a significant mining town. The power industry also took off with the construction of the Lake Margaret power station near Tullah in the 1920s. These industries brought wealth and jobs to the region, and many of the towns in the area grew rapidly.
Today, the Cradle Coast region is a popular tourist destination, known for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. The region is home to several national parks, including Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, as well as charming towns such as Stanley and Penguin. The economy is now largely based on tourism, agriculture, and forestry.
History of in The Cradle Coast
The local history of the Cradle Coast region is an integral part of Tasmania's wider history. From the first inhabitants to the early European settlers, and through the mining and power industries of the 20th century, the region has seen a significant evolution. Today, it is a vibrant and dynamic part of Tasmania, offering visitors a window into Australia's past and present.