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Derwent Valley



Community, Business and Visitor Guide

Derwent Valley Local History

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The Derwent Valley is a picturesque region located in Tasmania, Australia. The valley is named after the Derwent River which flows through it, and is renowned for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture.

Indigenous History

The area that is now known as Derwent Valley has been home to the Indigenous people of Tasmania for over 35,000 years. The original inhabitants of the region were the Mouheneener people, who lived a nomadic lifestyle and relied on hunting, fishing, and gathering for their food and resources. Unfortunately, the arrival of European settlers had a devastating impact on the Indigenous population, and by the mid-19th century, the Mouheneener people had disappeared from the area.

Early European Settlement

The first European settlement in Derwent Valley was established in 1804, when a group of British colonists led by Lieutenant John Bowen arrived in the area. The early settlers faced numerous challenges, including the harsh climate, isolation, and the difficulties of establishing a sustainable food and water supply. Nevertheless, the colony grew over the years, and by the mid-1820s, Derwent Valley was a thriving farming and agricultural region.

Mining and Industrialisation

In the mid-19th century, the discovery of coal and other minerals in Derwent Valley led to an industrial boom in the region. Mining and manufacturing industries were established, and the population grew rapidly as people arrived looking for work. The growth of the industrial sector brought with it new challenges, including pollution and environmental degradation. Nevertheless, the economy of Derwent Valley continued to boom, and by the early 20th century, the region was a major center of industrial activity in Tasmania.

Recent Developments

In recent years, the focus of Derwent Valley has shifted from industry to tourism. The region is now a popular destination for visitors looking to explore the area's natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Tourists can visit a range of attractions, including the Mount Field National Park, the Salmon Ponds Heritage Fishery, and the many quirky and charming towns that dot the valley. The region is also home to a thriving arts community, and visitors can take in exhibitions, performances, and other cultural events throughout the year.

History of in Derwent Valley

The Derwent Valley has a rich and fascinating history that reflects the broader story of Tasmania and Australia as a whole. From its Indigenous origins to its early European settlement, to its industrial past and modern-day focus on tourism and culture, the region has undergone many changes over the years. Nevertheless, the beauty and charm of Derwent Valley remains constant, and visitors to the area are sure to be captivated by its unique character and rich heritage.

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New Norfolk and the River Derwent
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