Mathinna

Somewhat of a ghost town today, Mathinna was once the scene of an important gold strike. After gold was discovered at Mangana, Mathinna was for a time was the third largest town in Tasmania.

Where Is it?

Mathinna is 95 km east of Launceston, 175 km north east of Hobart, 25 km north of Fingal.

About Mathinna

Today it is the name Mathinna that seems to have more significance than the history of the town itself. Mathinna was an Aboriginal girl born at Wybalenna on Flinders Island in 1835 who became caught up in the devastating way of life forced onto her people by the white man. At Wybalenna the vivacious Mathinna caught the eye and heart, of Lady Jane Franklin, the wife of Tasmanian Governor and explorer, Sir John Franklin, who decided to adopt her.
Befriended by the Governor of Van Diemens Land, Sir John Franklin and his wife Lady Jane, only to be abandoned two years later, Mathinna and her story epitomise the sad fate of the Tasmania Aboriginal people.

Fingal Valley mining villages

Mangana (10 km north west) became the first gold mining site in the Fingal Municipality and indeed, in Australia, when alluvial gold was discovered there in 1852. A minor gold rush to The Nook, as it was then known, resulted, and soon 500 prospectors were panning the creeks and digging tunnels and shafts. The township of Mangana gradually declined as one by one the mines closed, and none is operational today. A few of the town’s original buildings remain.

A scattering of old weatherboard and corrugated iron buildings is all that remains of the one-time boom town of Rossarden. Nestled at the foot of Ben Lomond, Rossarden was buzzing as late as the 1960?s, when the Aberfoyle mine was working to full capacity. The mine, which opened in 1931 produced wolfram – another name for tungsten – operated until February 1982, when its closure sounded the death knell for the town. The mine tried to sell its former employees their home for a dollar, but few took up the offer and the town’s population fell from 500 to just 90. Within a month, what was not sold was demolished and carted away.

Soon after gold was found at Mangana, a second and larger find was discovered 20 or so kilometers north at Mathinna. This find led to the opening of the Golden Gate mine, which once established, became the second largest gold producing mine in Tasmania after the Tasmanian mine at Beaconsfield. The town too grew and with around 300 men per shift working at the Golden Gate in the latter part of the 1800s, Mathinna was, for a time, the third largest town in Tasmania.

Surrounding Area

Ben Lomond

The magnificent mountain of Ben Lomond with its imposing cliffs and peak are visible over much of the northern midlands of Tasmania. Ben Lomond National Park is invaluable for the conservation of the flora communities and species diversity of the imposing Tasmania’s alpine areas. The area consists of an outstanding variety of glacial and periglacial features which are considered of national significance. The snowy slopes of Ben Lomond in Winter are a centre for downhill skiing in Tasmania.


Evercreech Forest Reserve

Evercreech Forest Reserve (23 km north) is home to the tallest White Gums in the world. They are known as ‘White Knights’ because they grow to a height of 90 metres. The reserve has many short bushland walks through the forest including a loop past the “White Knights” and to Evercreech Falls. Apart from these spectacular trees, large ferns and mountain streams abound, many flowing dramatically over falls deep in the forest.


Mathinna Falls

Mathinna Falls Forest Reserve, like Evercreech Forest Reserve, is one of many attractive spots to break your journey on the A4 between the Midland Highway and the east coast. An easy 30 minute return walk along a well graded track leads to the base of the Mathinna Falls.


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