Sunday, November 2, 2008

Darwin Town...but not the one in the Top End.

Did you know that Darwin was once a mining town?
Or that it gets snow?
And that it's a tad difficult to drive into Darwin at any time of the year?

Well, if you'd read the title of this post correctly you'd know I wasn't waffling on about Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory.
I am, in fact, burbling on about Darwin Town in Tassie.
It was a short-lived mining town, named after the mountain on which it was perched, Mt Darwin.
This peak is parked in the West Coast Range (on the West Coast of Tassie, of course) with it's sister Mt Jukes with both having had many a digging site pock-marking their sides that are known as the Jukes-Darwin fields.

But back to Darwin Town.
Well, there's not a lot to say as there's sweet bugger-all available online about this long-forgotten place and I'm too cheap and lazy to hunt out The Peaks of Lyell history book by Prof. Geoffrey Blainey (I'll let you have the honour of doing that).
Enough souls called it home for the North Mt Lyell Railway to chug into, and beyond, the town from 1900.
The Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company recognised a decent option and took the railway over in 1903, running it until it closed for good in 1929.

Darwin was plopped on the eastern side of Mt Darwin, no doubt enjoying a hefty snowfall in Winter and lovely breezes in Summer.
But we won't know that for certain as you really can't get to it these days along the old railway due to over-grown tracks, undergrowth and distance.
Oh, and flooded valleys, too.
So, wave in the general direction of the meandering Mt Darwin Track in Google Maps, coz there's nothing else marked to lead you to the lost town that lasted barely 30 yrs.


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