Distance from: Hobart - 260km, Launceston - 245 km, Devonport - 196 km
Queenstown is an absolute must-visit for its unique landscape. The small west coast city experienced a mining boom back in the 1800's that attracted rough and rugged men from all over the world. Most found nothing but some struck it rich, and it came at the cost of the environment. Copper smelting and excavating stripped the hills around the city bare and has stained them with unnatural colours. The hills have had a hard time regenerating so the moonscape is still there for you to enjoy. It's a beautiful but rather haunting reminder of man's greed and his responsibility to Mother Earth.
Queenstown still bears the relics of this mining history. There's a fancy hotel and the remains of an aristocratic heyday, and it's all set in surreal surrounds. To get a bird's eye view of the town and its barren hills, head on up to the Spion Kopf Lookout on a hill at the edge of town. It's a rather easy walk on a concrete path. You'll find handrails along the way and textured steps for rainy days. And it's all kept by the local Lion's Club who've arranged for historic Queenstown mining relics to be found along the track. You'll see a pneumatic bogger, cast cannon, crotty smelters and a subterranean loco with a fitted dump truck along the way.
The top of the hill gives you panoramic views of town nestled in its otherworldly surrounds. Look towards the Empire Hotel to take the best pictures.
The lookout is on the eastern edge of town towards the Lyell Highway. Turn into town off the Lyell Highway onto Driffel Street. Quickly turn left onto Hunter Street before taking another left onto Bowes Street. By now you'll see the signs for the lookout at the end of LaTrobe Street.
Hobart is 260 kilometres away and the drive will take you 3 hours and 45 minutes. Launceston sits 245 kilometres to the northeast and that drive should take you 3 hours and 20 minutes. Devonport is closest at 196 kilometres. The drive to from the north coast port city should take you 2.5 hours.