Trail of the Tin Dragon
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The Trail of the Tin Dragon is a local, themed touring trail within the North East Touring Route. Its aim is to attract and connect visitors to the region through stories of the Chinese and the tin mining industry in North East Tasmania.
Chinese tin miners were amongst the early pioneers of Tasmania’s North-East and the largest group of non European immigrants to early Tasmania. Their arrival commenced in the late 1870’s and at their peak numbered around 1,000.
The history of these people is closely tied to the fortunes of the State’s tin mining industry. Their ingenious mining skills and business acumen played an important role in the development of the region and Tasmania. The stories of the people and this time are a point of difference for North-East Tasmania, part of our nation’s cultural heritage and the reason for The Trail of the Tin Dragon. The remaining evidence and personal associations with the Chinese of this time are disappearing.
The Trail of the Tin Dragon is guided by memories and stories, community passion for the history of the place and an emphasis on Tasmania’s core appeals of cultural heritage, natural experiences and the region’s food and wine.
This Master Plan will guide the staged development of the Trail which will not only provide an experience for visitors but further build community identity, connections and pride. The key stakeholders for the Trail are the municipalities of Dorset and Break O’Day, the Dorset Economic Development Group and Forestry Tasmania. More than twelve other government and community organisations are actively collaborating with the development of the Trail. The University of Tasmania is also undertaking Australian Research Council funded research into the Chinese imprint on Tasmania and consequential connections with China.
When complete the Trail of the Tin Dragon will see sites, stories, photographs and artifacts of the people and the time brought together with infrastructure, services and interpretation to create a heightened sense of place and a memorable visitor experience. It will bring benefit to a part of the State where the development of tourism product and associated infrastructure is at an early stage.
From a national perspective the Trail will interpret a significant part of our Chinese cultural heritage and provide modern day links with China through a potential sister-city relationship with the immigrants’ province of origin.
Picture is compliments of Mr Garry Richardson, Wanderer Photographics