The Dorset Council area is located in north-eastern Tasmania, about 100 kilometres north-east of the Launceston CBD. The Dorset Council area is bounded by Bass Strait in the north, the Break O’Day Council area in the east and south-east, the City of Launceston in the south-west, and the George Town Council area in the west.
The Dorset Council area includes the localities of Alberton, Banca, Blumont, Boobyalla, Branxholm, Bridport, Cape Portland, Cuckoo, Derby, Forester, Gladstone (part), Golconda (part), Herrick, Jetsonville, Kamona, Legerwood, Lietinna, Lilydale (part), Lisle, Mathinna (part), Moorina, Mount William (part), Musselroe Bay, Nabowla, North Lilydale (part), North Scottsdale, Pioneer, Pipers Brook (part), Pyengana (part), Ringarooma (part), Rushy Lagoon, Scottsdale, South Mount Cameron, South Springfield, Springfield (part), Talawa, Tayene (part), Telita, Tomahawk, Tonganah, Trenah, Tulendeena, Upper Esk (part), Warrentinna, Waterhouse, Weldborough (part), West Scottsdale, Winnaleah and Wyena (part).
The Dorset Council area includes rural and rural-residential areas, with numerous small townships. The main townships are Scottsdale and Bridport, with smaller townships at Branxholm, Derby, Gladstone, Legerwood, Ringarooma and Winnaleah. Bridport is a popular holiday destination. Rural land is used largely for agriculture (particularly dairy farming) and forestry. Tourism is also an important industry. The Council area encompasses a total land area of 3,200 square kilometres.
The original inhabitants of the Dorset Council area were the Leenerrerter, Pinterrairer, Pyemmairrenerpairrener and Trawlwoolway Aboriginal people.
European settlement dates from the 1830s, with land used mainly for timber-getting and farming. Population was minimal until the 1870s when tin mining commenced, with some short lived gold mining. Growth took place during the late 1800s, when several small townships were established. Tin mining continued intermittently until the 1950s. The coastal town of Bridport became known as a seaside resort from late 1800s, with increased popularity from 1920s, and again from the 1970s. The population of the Council area declined slightly from the early 1990s, falling from about 7,100 in 1991 to about 6,300 in 2016.
Major features of the Council area include Mt William National Park, Granite Point Conservation Area (including Bridport Wildflower Reserve), Waterhouse Conservation Area, Bridport Walking Track, various beaches (including Adams Beach, Barnbougle Beach, Boobyalla Beach, Eastmans Beach, Goftons Beach, Mattingleys Beach and Murphys Beach), Cuckoo Falls, Ralphs Falls, Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails, Barnbougle Golf Links, Bridport Golf Club, Scottsdale Golf Club, Bridestowe Lavender Estate, Legerwood Memorial Carvings, Trail of the Tin Dragon, Scottsdale RSL Military Museum, Derby Schoolhouse Museum, Dorset Museum, Tebrakunna Visitor Centre, North East Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, Musselroe Wind Farm, Harrisons Vineyard, Waterhouse Island, numerous state forests and the Ringarooma River.
The Dorset Council area is served by the Tasman Highway and the Bridport to Flinders Island and Cape Barren Island shipping service.
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