Table Cape Lookout
Important service centre on the Tasmanian
Located 16 km west of Burnie and 171 km
north-west of Launceston, Wynyard is an
attractive and interesting rural service centre
at the mouth of the Inglis River.
Table Cape, an intensely beautiful headland
with views back to Wynyard, was originally named
by Bass and Flinders who sailed along the coast
in 1798. When Captain Henry Hellyer, a surveyor
for the Van Diemens Land Company, explored the
coastline in 1827 he named the Inglis River.
It wasn't until 1841 that John King looked at
the heavily wooded coast (a notion which is
difficult to grasp these days) and decided to
settle on land which now includes the Wynyard
The first town in the area developed north of
Table Cape bridge when Joseph Alexander built a
hotel at a place known as Alexandria. It was not
successful. By the 1850s paling splitters (they
were selling their timber to Victoria) had named
another settlement Wynyard after
Lieutenant-General Edward Buckle Wynyard of the
New South Wales Corps.
The town grew rapidly. A store, a wharf and a
timber mill were built in quick succession. They
were followed by a hotel, a blacksmith's store
and a tramway. The goldrush in Victoria saw
demand for local timber boom.
field near the Table Cape Light Station
For the next 50 years Wynyard was the most
important port on Tasmania's north-west coast.
The area was cleared of timber. Dairy and potato
farmers (later onion farmers) quickly realised
the richness and fertility of the soils. In 1892
Wynyard saw the opening of Tasmania's first
butter factory. By 1900 the town had a
population of 800.
In 1913 the railway reached Wynyard and by
1936 it had its own airport.
Today Wynyard has one of the widest ranging
displays of elegant timber homes in Tasmania. It
is a charming town on a particularly beautiful
stretch coastline. The rural area around Wynyard
is very English characterised by rolling hills
and a patchwork quilt of fields. This is an area
of mixed agriculture with sheep, fresians,
potatoes, onions, and even some beef cattle.
Things to see:
Located just west of Wynyard, Fossil Bluff not
only offers excellent views but is the location
where the oldest Australian fossil of a
marsupial (it was a giant marsupial) was
discovered. It is an unusual geological
structure comprising glacial Permian Tillite,
sandstone and basalt. There is a small beach and
the rocks at either end of the beach are
characterised by shells which have been caught
Cape Light Station
Table Cape Lookout
It is possible to get amazing views up and down
the coast from Table Cape Lookout which is
perched above the ocean. The cape is actually a
volcanic plug which rises to about 190 metres
above sea level.
The Table Cape Light Station is part of a
network of navigational aids. The lighthouse was
established in 1888. The original source was an
oil wick lamp which was converted to acetylene
operation and in 1979 converted to mains
electric power. It can be seen 16 nautical miles
on the red range and 19 nautical miles on the
white range. It is elevated 190 metres above sea
level and the tower height is 25 metres.
The area is excellent for fishing. The Inglis
and Flowerdale rivers are ideal for trout
fishing and there is good ocean fishing as well.