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St Marys

Trip Planner South Pacific  /  Australia  /  Tasmania  /  St Marys
(4.5/5 based on 15 reviews for 2 attractions)
Things to do: museums
St Marys is a small township nestled at the junction of the Tasman Highway and the Esk Highway on the East Coast of Tasmania, Australia just 10 kilometres (six miles) from the coast.You can reach the town from the coast by crossing the mountains via St Marys Pass or Elephant Pass.It has a population of 522 (2006 census), although in the early 2000s it was one of the fastest growing areas of Tasmania. The town is part of the Break O'Day Council. It offers a range of accommodation, a craft gallery, bakery, shops and supermarkets, and the St Marys Hotel, built in 1916, which dominates the town centre.Nestled beneath the impressive rocky outcrop, St Patricks Head (694 metres/2,277 feet), St Marys is a 240 kilometre/149 mile drive north east of Hobart, via Swansea and Bicheno or 130 kilometres/80 miles east of Launceston.HistoryThe first European contact with the district occurred when Captain Tobias Furneaux sighted and named the 694 metre St Patrick's Head in 1773. The early settlement of Van Diemen's Land, which mostly occurred between Hobart and George Town, took little interest in the St Marys area.It wasn't until the 1840s that a probation station, housing 300 convicts, was built at Grassy Bottom between the town and St Marys Pass. They were assigned to build the road across the mountains to the east coast. This was done between 1843 and 1846.The arrival of the railway in 1886 led to the town's increasing importance as a service centre. The Elephant Pass route was completed in 1888 and this resulted in goods moving across the mountains to the east coast settlements of Bicheno and Chain of Lagoons. In turn this resulted in a small increase in population as the town became a service centre for the surrounding dairy farms.
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