Sunrise at Swansea in Tasmania

This is photo taken from the shores of Swansea in Tasmania, looking towards the Freyciney National Park at sunrise.

Swansea is a town in the heart of Tasmania's east coast, on the north-west shore of Great Oyster Bay and overlooking Freycinet National Park. It was the first municipality in Australia to be established after Hobart and Sydney. The town was settled until 1821 when George Meredith, his family and workers arrived from Pembrokeshire, Wales. Meredith obtained a grant from Lieutenant Governor William Sorell to farm in the area around Oyster Bay.

The land was developed and made suitable for seasonal crops and grazing stock and a tannery and flour mill were established by the Meredith River. Whaling stations were also set up on nearby islands to enable the export of whale oil. Swansea was originally called Great Swanport and Meredith built the family home, Cambria, which is now in private hands.

There are other important buildings in the town including Morris’ General Store which has been owned and run by the Morris family for over 100 years. The Swansea Bark Mill which processed black wattle bark was used in colonial times in the tanning industry and is now a combined museum, tavern and bakery. Schouten House is a fine early Victorian colonial house built in 1844 and is now a hotel.

At the 2006 census, Swansea had a population of 557.


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