Murchison AreaEconomic profile
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Murchison Area


The Murchison Area is located in north-western and western Tasmania, comprising Circular Head Council, King Island Council, Waratah-Wynyard Council and West Coast Council. The Murchison Area encompasses a total land area of about 19,100 square kilometres. The Murchison Area is predominantly rural, with townships at Queenstown, Rosebery, Smithton, Somerset and Wynyard, and smaller townships and villages at Boat Harbour, Currie (King Island), Marrawah, Sisters Beach, Stanley, Strahan, Tullah, Waratah, Yolla and Zeehan.

Key employment sectors in the Murchison Area include agriculture forestry and fishing, manufacturing, retail trade, mining, accommodation and food services, education and training, health care and social assistance, and tourism. Land is used largely for beef and dairy farming, vegetable growing, horticulture and timber production. Commercial fishing and aquaculture (including oysters, lobsters, abalone and kelp harvesting) are important industries, particularly in the coastal and offshore areas. Manufacturing employment relates largely to agricultural processing (eg. dairies, abbatoirs and vegetable processing). The main retail centres in the Murchison Area are located in the small townships and villages. Mining is performed at various locations, including iron ore mining at Savage River and Port Latta, scheelite/tungsten mining at King Island, tin mining at Renison Bell, copper mining at Mt Lyell, and sand mining at King Island. Educational facilities include TasTAFE (Smithton Campus) and numerous schools. Health care facilities are provided at three small public hospitals (Smithton District Hospital, King Island Hospital and Health Centre and West Coast District Hospital), and at various aged care facilities. Tourism is also an important industry, with numerous national parks, conservation areas, nature reserves, cruises, rivers, beaches, waterfalls, small islands and accommodation places.

Murchison Area

NOTE: The land use shown in the map is derived from ABS Mesh Block categories. Mesh Blocks broadly identify land use and are not designed to provide definitive land use. It is purely an indicator of the main planned land use for a Mesh Blocks. For more information please refer to ABS Mesh Block categories.

Transportation Networks

  • Bass Highway
  • Lyell Highway
  • Murchison Highway
  • Ridgley Highway
  • Zeehan Highway
  • Burnie Airport
  • King Island Airport


  • Devonport GPO 70-220 km
  • Launceston GPO 230-270km
  • Hobart GPO 300-350km

Major Industrial Precincts

  • Lake Margaret Power Station
  • Port of Grassy (King Island)
  • Port of Currie (King Island)
  • Smithton township (various locations)
  • Somerset township (around McKays Rd)
  • Wynyard township (around Burnie airport)