The Break O’Day Council area is located in north-eastern Tasmania, about 160 kilometres east of the Launceston CBD and 250 kilometres north-east of the Hobart CBD. The Break O’Day Council area is bounded by the Dorset Council area in the north, the Tasman Sea in the east, the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council area and the Northern Midlands Council area in the south, and the City of Launceston and the Dorset Council area in the west.
The Break O’Day Council area includes the localities of Akaroa, Ansons Bay, Avoca (part), Beaumaris, Binalong Bay, Chain of Lagoons, Cornwall, Eddystone, Douglas-Apsley (part), Douglas River (part), Falmouth, Fingal, Four Mile Creek, Gladstone (part), Goshen, Goulds Country, Gray, Lottah, Mangana, Mathinna (part), Mount William (part), Pyengana (part), Ringarooma (part), Rossarden (part), Royal George (part), Scamander, Seymour, St Helens, St Marys, Stieglitz, Tayene (part), The Gardens, Upper Blessington, Upper Esk (part), Upper Scamander and Weldborough (part).
The Break O’Day Council area includes rural, rural-residential, residential and holiday areas in numerous townships and villages. The main regional centre is St Helens, with the other main townships being St Marys, Fingal and Scamander. Smaller townships and settlements include Beaumaris, Binalong Bay, Falmouth, Four Mile Creek, Goshen, Mathinna, Pyengana and Stieglitz. Rural land is used largely for agriculture (grazing and cropping), with forestry, tourism, mining, fishing and aquaculture also being important industries. The Council area encompasses a total land area of about 3,500 square kilometres.
The original inhabitants of the Break O’Day Council area were the Kunnarra Kuna Aboriginal people.
European settlement dates from the 1820s, with land used mainly for farming and timber-getting. The first land grants were made in the 1830s. Population was minimal until the 1850s when gold mining commenced in Fingal, and later in Mathinna. Growth took place during the late 1800s, spurred by tin mining around St Helens, Lottah and Pyengana, with St Helens becoming the shipping port for the mines. From the early 1900s the main industries were agriculture, mining and forestry. Growth resumed during the post-war years as land was opened up and mineral production expanded. The population increased in the immediate post-war years, rising from about 5,000 in 1947 to 5,800 in 1954, and then declined slightly to 5,200 in 1966 and 4,500 in 1976. The population increased from the 1980s, growing to about 5,500 in 1991 and then to about 6,000 in 2006. This growth was largely in the coastal towns of Beaumaris, Scamander and St Helens and the surrounding holiday settlements of Akaroa, Binalong Bay and Stieglitz. The population was relatively stable from 2006 to 2016.
Major features of the Council area include Douglas-Apsley National Park, Mt William National Park, Bay of Fires Conservation Area, Four Mile Creek Conservation Area, Scamander Conservation Area, St Helens Point Conservation Area, Humbug Point Nature Recreation Area, St Columba Falls State Reserve, St Marys Pass State Reserve, Evercreech Forest Reserve, Peron Dunes, Evercreech Falls, Halls Falls, Mathinna Falls, St Columba Falls, various beaches, the St Helens CBD, Pyengana Dairy Company, Eureka Farm, Cerise Brook Orchard and Family Golf Course, Priory Ridge Wines, St Helens District Hospital and various state forests.
The Break O’Day Council area is served by the Tasman Highway and the Esk Highway.
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