Tullah is located on the edge of Lake Rosebery in the northern part of the West Coast Range about an 80-minute drive, 111 km south of Burnie. Following the discovery of silver lead ore (galena) in 1897 by Josiah Innes, the township was established in 1900 among the forested slopes of Mount Farrell and Mount Murchison. Mining ceased in 1974.
In 1973, the Hydro commenced building of the Pieman River Power Development. Within a couple of years, the Hydro Electric Commission had built over 250 dwellings to house employees working on local power schemes. A construction town extended southwards during the making of the Pieman Scheme in the 1970s to early 1990s – its population reached 2500. Up until 1994, Tullah was also the base for the King River and Anthony Power Hydro projects.
The town, today with a population of approximately 270 people, is roughly divided into two “suburbs”, an older northern and a younger, more planned out southern. The northern half was the original mining town called Mount Farrell because of the mountain that looms above (a 712 metre mountain, often shrouded in mist). Mount Farrell Post Office opened on 1 April 1900 and was renamed Tullah in 1910.
Until the early 1960s the only access to Tullah (other than by foot or horse) was via a steam train to a siding off the Emu Bay Railway. Prior to adequate roads being built in the area, Tullah was serviced by the steam train ‘Wee Georgie Wood Steam Train’ that was built in 1924 for the ‘Wee Georgie Wood Railway’ under its earlier name of the North Farrell Tramway. Today the majority of the original track is under the waters of Lake Rosebery but a short length of track close to the Murchison Highway is still in use along with some rolling stock. Have a look at this VIDEO to see the train running for tourists, and to see the love and devotion with which locals maintain the steam engine. Unfortunately our visit did not coincide with the opportunity to participate in this experience.