For history buffs and nature enthusiasts who enjoy old settlements amid diverse natural landscapes, this highway trek has plenty. Upon leaving the picturesque waterside village of Strahan, there are opportunities to view the Henty Dunes in the distance towards the coast. The Henty Road eventually takes you to the historic mining town of Zeehan. When heading towards Rosebery, there are some hazardous sections which can be affected by cold and wet weather so take care.
Soon you will arrive at Tullah which is a former mining town on the shores of Lake Rosebery and surrounded by majestic forests and mountains. The lakes around Tullah were formed after damming for hydroelectric schemes and are now well-stocked with brown and rainbow trout (a fishing license is required to fish for them).
One of the natural highlights of the trip is driving through Hellyer Gorge State Reserve, which is a mountainous and heavily forested area, and one of the most impressive sections of the Murchison Highway. Where the highway approaches and crosses the Hellyer River, spectacular views of the gorge and forest exist. Hellyer Gorge is a popular tranquil spot
, featuring a nice picnic spot
and interpretive walks along the river.
How to Use this Trek Note
Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places
on each POI page.
If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
- Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
- You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
- If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
- If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.
The Murchison Highway provides an enjoyable winding route through spectacular cool forests along much of its length. There are some magnificent mountain views, valleys of beautiful Blackwood and Myrtle forests and rows of both natural and planted eucalypt plantations. Some of the fauna that you may see on your journey include: Forester kangaroos, Tasmanian echidnas, wombats and Bennett's wallabies.
There are sections with steep terrain mainly in the central west, which gives way to flatter less winding sections as the route proceeds to the north. The route is characterised by mining towns such as Zeehan and Rosebery in the southwest, forest plantations in the southwest and central sections, and open farmlands in the north.
Construction on the Murchison Highway began in 1962 and finished in 1964. Prior to the construction, most transport from the west coast to the north was done via rail on the Emu Bay Railway or ship from Strahan/Regatta Point in Macquarie Harbour. The Murchison Highway which lies between Rayna (near Zeehan) and Somerset (on the north coast), totals 135kms and ranges from 12m to 708m above sea level.
The old mining town of Zeehan was founded in 1882 with the discovery of silver lead. This town which was dubbed the 'Silver City of the West' was once the third largest settlement in Tasmania
with a population
of 10,000 - today it is around a tenth of that size.
Rosebery is a mining town nestled 145m above sea level in the hills. In 1893, Thomas McDonald discovered alluvial gold along with boulders of lead and zinc sulphide in a creek on the southern slopes of Mount Black. Today, the town’s economy thrives primarily from mining zinc concentrate, and secondary to lead, copper and gold.