The Waratah-Wynyard Council area is located in north-western Tasmania, about 170 kilometres north-west of the Launceston CBD. The Waratah-Wynyard Council area is bounded by Bass Strait in the north, the Cam River, Burnie City, the Central Coast Council area and the Kentish Council area in the east, the Vale River and the West Coast Council area in the south, and the Circular Head Council area in the west.
The Waratah-Wynyard Council area includes the localities of Boat Harbour, Calder, Corinna (part), Doctors Rocks, Elliott, Flowerdale, Guildford, Hampshire (part), Henrietta, Lapoinya, Luina, Meunna (part), Milabena (part), Montumana (part), Moorleah, Mount Hicks, Myalla, Oldina, Oonah (part), Parrawe (part), Preolenna, Rocky Cape (part), Savage River, Sisters Beach, Sisters Creek (part), Somerset, Takone, Table Cape, Waratah, West Coast (part), West Takone (part), Wynyard and Yolla.
The Waratah-Wynyard Council area is predominantly rural, with small townships at Somerset, Waratah and Wynyard and smaller villages at Boat Harbour, Sisters Beach and Yolla. Rural land is used largely for dairy farming, vegetable growing, horticulture and timber production. Mining and tourism are also important industries. The Waratah-Wynyard Council area encompasses a total land area of about 3,500 square kilometres.
The Waratah-Wynyard Council area is named after the former municipalities of Waratah and Wynyard, which were thought to be named from the Aboriginal word for the tree species Telopea (red flowering shrub) and after General Edward Buckley Wynyard of the New South Wales Corps.
The original inhabitants of the Waratah-Wynyard Council area were the Tommeginer Aboriginal people.
European settlement dates from the 1830s, although population was minimal until the 1850s. The township of Wynyard developed as the centre of commerce for the district, with rapid growth in Wynyard and several smaller townships during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Growth was aided by mining and improved access. The main industries were timber getting, dairy farming and vegetable growing. Some growth occurred during the post-war years. The population declined slightly during the 1990s, falling from about 13,800 in 1991 to 13,100 in 2001. The population was stable between 2001 and 2006, and then increased marginally to 13,400 in 2011.
Major features of the Council area include Rocky Cape National Park, Savage River National Park, the Tarkine Wilderness, Hellyer Gorge, Table Cape Lighthouse, Pieman River Cruises and various beaches.
The Waratah-Wynyard Council area is served by the Bass Highway, the Murchison Highway and the Ridgley Highway.
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