North East Tasmania Tourism

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Trail of the Tin Dragon

The Trail of the Tin Dragon has been developed to create a trail of experiences between Launceston and St. Helens that tell the tale of our past mining history.

The Trail of the Tin Dragon is the untold story of North East Tasmania.
It is a Chinese story.
It is a story of tin mining, of boom and bust, flood and drought, riches and poverty, hope and despair.
It is a story of racial hatred and racial harmony. 
A story of human transience and the power of nature.

In Western legends and myths, the dragon is usually depicted as a medieval fire-belching monster, representing evil, or a beast to be vanquished by moral force and valour. For the Chinese, the dragon symbolizes goodness, strength, fertility and change.
As the essence of change, the dragon is the spirit of life itself.
As you follow the Trail of the Tin Dragon through the picturesque townships of the North East, you will discover the stories of the Chinese, and the land they once called home.

It is a visitor journey, as follows...

Launceston:  The Queen Victoria Museum now houses the magnificant alter of Guan Di, which once stood in the Chinese Temple, or Joss House, at the Chinese Mining Camp at Weldborough.

Branxholm:  Site of the infamous 'Showdown on the Bridge' - Tasmania's first race riot in a confrontation between European and Chinese miners. Branxholm was also where the Ah Moy family owned a shop and rich mining leases of Ruby Flat.

Derby:  The Tin Dragon Interpretation Centre & Cafe showcases the history of tin and it's impact on development and exploration. It is also the site of the Briseis Mine; in it's heyday one of the richest tin mines in the world. Experience the power and fury of A BILLION LITRES OF WATER with nowhere to go, in the epic story of the Tin Rush and the miners who sought their fortune from this remarkable metal.

Moorina:  Transport hub of the Tin Rush, with roads that were wet enough to 'bog a duck', this was the site of a Chinese monument and burning tower. The interpretive marker will hold you enthralled, with stories of success and despair, transport of the precious tin, and of bodies! Find out why the European graves all face east, while the Chinese graves all face west, and the intriguing ritual of the second burial.

Weldborough:  Cultural centre for the Chinese miners, this was the site of mining camps, festivals and a casino. A replica statue of Guan Di resides at the historic Weldborough Hotel.

The Blue Tier:  Mountain of Tin. The breathtaking beauty of the Blue Tier belies its amazing history of toil, hardship and lonliness for those who sought to make a better life for themselves and their families through mining for tin.

St Helens:  Eastern-most gateway to the Trail of the Tin Dragon, the St Helens History Room and Visitor Information Centre's 'The Chinese Experience" encapsulates the Chinese tin mining story as it occurred in North East Tasmania.

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Events

Annual Arts Festival

While elsewhere in Tasmania people are tucking up by the fire and going into winter hibernation, North East Tasmania comes alive to celebrate and showcase local arts and crafts annually on the June long weekend.

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Bridport CWA Market

The Bridport CWA Market is held on the first Saturday of every month, undercover in the CWA Hall. There is a large range of fresh local fruit and vegetables, home-made jam, sauces and cakes. Jewellery, plants and bric-a-brac are also available.

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