Smithton sits in the shadow of The Nut, a volcanic plug rising almost 200 meters out of the ocean on a nearby peninsula. On a clear day, you might be lucky enough to see Perkins and Robbins Islands off in the Bass Strait. This pretty little coastal town sits right on Duck Bay and River and is an important industrial and administrative center for the northwest Coast. The economy is driven by a robust timber mill and potato processing plant. You'll find Smithton at the end of the Bass Highway past other picturesque coastal towns like Penguin and Burnie.
The nearest big city is the northern coast's Devonport. It's a beautiful 1 hour 40 minute drive along the well manicured coastal Bass Highway. You'll find plenty of vacationers trekking down this coastal highway to experience all the rugged northern coast has to offer.
Gateway to the Tarkine Wilderness
This important industrial town is the very last stop on the road to the Arthur River and the Tarkine Wilderness beyond. It's quite a rainy town because it sits right in the teeth of the Roaring Forties, the wind and weather system that continually churns in the Southern Hemisphere. All of this precipitation makes the fields around Smithton incredibly green and lush. The whipping wind of the Roaring Forties also makes the air in Smithton some of the cleanest in the world. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Adam Gibson
Adventure seekers love coming to Smithton to explore the Dismal Swamp which has a hidden Blackwood Forest and can be reached by foot. And just a little further west of town, Marrawah attracts adrenaline junkies for its notoriously powerful and jaw-droppingingly high surf.
Nature Enthusiasts, Extreme Surfers, Timber Workers and Farmers
Smithton is the gateway to the rugged lands of far northwest Tasmania. It makes for a picturesque base camp for nature lovers venturing off into the wilderness beyond. This industrial town sitting right on the Bass Strait is also the perfect home for extreme surfers looking to challenge themselves on the massive waves of Marrawah.
Smithton is also an important administrative centre for the lush farming fields of the northwest coast. The productive timber mill in town also employs many of Smithton's citizens. You'll find that Smithton has a blue-collar charm sitting right on a picturesque coastline.
You'll find a handful of hotels, bed and breakfasts, cottages and cabins available in Smithton. These warm beds are inviting for those exploring the nearby wilderness on foot. You'll also find a caravan park on your way out of town towards the Tarkine Wilderness. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Supplied Courtesy of Tall Timbers Tasmania
The Allendale Gardens is a delight to explore. You'll walk through rainforests and different Botanic Gardens on your pleasant walk through the area.
The Lacrum Dairy sits just 6 kilometers from Smithton. Head out there during an afternoon to catch a milking session and then stick around to taste some high-quality dairy products including different cheeses.
You'll find a nice variety of restaurants in Smithton. All in the center of town near the Duck River, you'll find eateries ranging from hearty hotel pubs to take away restaurants to delicious Chinese food.
Smithton was originally named after the Duck River. A post office was established on the river in 1873 but was renamed Smithton in 1895. But Smithton would not be declared a town until the nearby Mowbray swamp was drained for use as farmland in 1905.
The town came to life when a regular rail service called the Marrawah Tramway began back in 1913. It would be a while before schools were opened in town. The first high school was established in 1937 while the first kindergarten was opened in 1951. The town really began to flourish in the '50s when a public hospital was opened.
Smithton features an oceanic temperate climate. It never seems to get very hot in the summer nor does it get very cold in the winter. But you can expect lots of wind and rain coming in on the Roaring Forties. But if you arrive in Smithton during a windy rainstorm, just remember that the Roaring Forties gives you the cleanest air to breathe on earth.
Smithton is surrounded by some of the best farmland in all of Australia. It is incredibly rich with indulgent dairy products and beef. You'll be able to pick up some of these products at farm side stands, but the restaurants in town also use these incredibly fresh ingredients to perfection.
The Tarkine Wilderness Reserve is a massive plot of land just outside of Smithton. It contains the absolutely gorgeous Savage River National Park. This incredibly dense land full of rainforests, sand dunes and rugged coast has particularly close ties to the Aboriginal population. It's worth exploring. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett