Location

Trial Harbour is located on the west coast of Tasmania, 20 kilometres (12 miles) south-west of Zeehan. It is one of the remotest settlements in Tasmania.

Map view of Trial Harbour.

History

Trial Harbour was established in the 1880s to service Zeehan. It was originally called ‘Remine’, the native name for the Blandfordia plant, which grows all around the area.

In 1881, a gale blew a ship called Trial up onto a beach near Remine. A journalist from The Mercury arrived shortly after. When he was told the name of the ship, he raised his glass and, as the story goes, declared, “Here’s to the health of Trial Harbour!”

A bushfire destroyed Remine in February 1887, but it was promptly rebuilt.

In 1891, the town had a population of around 200 people. It had a general store, a couple of hotels, a café, a post office, a blacksmith shop, and a police station.

Like many locations on the west coast of Tasmania, Remine has had its ups and downs. A devastating blow was dealt to the town when it was made redundant as a service port when the railway between Zeehan and Strahan opened in 1892. It was destroyed by another bushfire a few years later and at that time there was no reason to substantially rebuild.

The town was not re-occupied until after the beginning of the twentieth century. It was renamed ‘Trial Harbour’ in 1987.

Today

Today, Trial Harbour is a quiet and peaceful settlement. It had a population of 24 in 2016.

Bibliography
Photo gallery

*   *   *   *

Tas That Was is a column that includes:

  • anecdotes of life in Tasmania in the past;
  • historical photographs of locations in Tasmania; and/or
  • documentaries about locations in Tasmania.

If you have an anecdote or photograph you’d like to share with us, please send it to [email protected].