section of the Moorina Cemetery
Weldborough (including Moorina)
Tiny village near one of Australia's most
spectacular displays of tree ferns
This tiny settlement which is located 124 km
north-east of Launceston is notable, more than
anything else, for its exceptional pub - the
Weldborough Hotel - and the Weldborough Pass
where huge tree ferns grow on either side of the
Weldborough was first known as Thomas Plains.
It was named after an early surveyor. The
original plan was to open the area to rural
development but the discovery of tin resulted in
a sustained mining boom.
The mining boom saw a service town of pubs,
general stores, butcher's shops and the like.
Later a hotel (with good accommodation) and a
racecourse were built.
'The Centenary of Portland' describes the
town in the 1880s as 'The Chinamen came and set
up a local Chinatown, carrying on as tin
scratchers everywhere. All tin and goods went
and came from Georges Bay by pack track and slab
roads ... crops were put in, with good results,
as Christmas time, while a few cows arrived upon
the scene. This marks the earliest decade ... In
the roaring days of the Weldborough Mine the
lights were never dimmed, and with three shafts
to every bed the trade 'roared on' continuously,
and every prospect bore a pleasant smile. Having
exhausted its importance as a going concern, the
Weldborough petered out.'
It is widely recognised that this was the
largest Chinese community on any tin field in
Australia. They are said to have outnumbered the
Things to see:
The original Weldborough Hotel was built in the
1890s but was burnt down in the 1920s. The
current building dates from 1928 and, because of
the warped sense of humour of its landlord, is
known as 'the worst pub in Tassie'. His humour
extends to the menu which offers visitors such
luxuries as 'maggot mornay' and 'leeches and
A few kilometres to the east of Weldborough is
one of the most spectacular fern displays that
you will see anywhere in Australia. For
kilometres beside the road huge ferns are on
either side of the road. They are interspersed
with stands of blackwood, sassafras and myrtle.
This is Weldborough Pass which rises 595 m and
offers excellent views on either side of the
road and the range.
The Chinese section of the Moorina
10 km west of Derby on the Tasman Highway is the
tiny settlement of Moorina. Once known as 'Krushkas
Bridge' (after the Krushka brothers who settled
in the area and opened the Derby mine) it was
renamed Moorina, after Truganini's sister.
Moorina was originally a tin mining centre. It
now has a virtually non-existent population. The
only interesting landmark in the town is the
solitary Chinese headstone and small 'oven' in
the cemetery (turn off the main road - it is
clearly signposted) which recall the fact that
in the late nineteenth century hundreds of
Chinese arrived in the area to work in the tin