|The bridge at
Pleasant holiday resort on Tasmania's
beautiful eastern coast.
Located 184 km east of Launceston and sitting
neatly between St Helens (18 km to the north)
and St Marys (19 km to the south), Scamander is
a typical holiday resort characterised by
temporary houses, home units, caravan parks and
project homes all put up for people on holidays.
Names like Blue Seas Holiday Units and Pelican
Sands Units are typical of the area.
The area was first explored by Europeans when
the surveyor John Helder Wedge passed down the
coast in 1825. He named the future township
Yarmouth (after the English port) and the river
Borthwick. Over the years both changed until
today they are known as Scamander and Scamander
The town's most interesting historic
attraction is its infamous bridge. The Scamander
River is sufficiently wide to present anyone
travelling along the coast with a problem. This
was certainly the case when Surveyor Wedge tried
to traverse it in 1825. The first bridge, a
flimsy thing with pylons no thicker than an
average telegraph post, was constructed by
Richard Terry in 1865 and lasted until it
collapsed under the weight of a mob of cattle.
It was replaced by an ironbark and bluegum
bridge which lasted until 1889 when a
particularly heavy flood simply washed it away.
The mail coach was the last vehicle to pass
The third bridge was built by Grubb Bros. for
£4,500. It was built from ironbark and lasted a
record of 22 years until the flood of 1911,
sending numerous trees down the river, put such
pressure on the bridge it collapsed.
After this a series of bridges were
constructed but they were all destroyed either
by flood or the dreaded toredo, a voracious
borer which worked its way into the timber
quickly destroying it. The last wooden bridge
collapsed in 1929 and the town was forced to
rely on a punt across the river until a concrete
bridge was built in 1936. It has finally been
replaced by a new bridge which the town is
hoping will last indefinitely.
Things to see:
|The beach at
Like all coastal resort towns Scamander is noted
for its water activities. In summer surfing and
swimming are popular and the river is noted for
the bream which can be caught.