Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Westerway TAS


Postcode: 7140

Westerway is a small town in the South West of Tasmania in Australia. It is situated 68 km west of Hobart on the Tyenna River. The Gordon River Road from New Norfolk to Strathgordon passes through it. It is in the Federal electoral division of Lyons and is in the Central Highlands Council local Government area.

It was first was known as Russell or Russelldale and was named after Surgeon J J Russell, one of the party who discovered a set of waterfalls 3 km from Fenton Forest (although these not the present day Russell Falls). The Derwent Valley Railway line reached the town in 1909 and a post office was opened in 1910.

Due to confusion between the town of Russell and Russell Falls further up the road the towns name was changed in 1920 to Westerway. It was named by, and after, W H Westerway (1851 – 1930), the main resident and responsible for many developments in the area. He built an accommodation house and store where Coniston siding is now, owned the Coffee Palace at Glenora and started a livery business driving tourists to Russell Falls.

Westerway School opened in 1920 with thirty six students, from 1920 to 1960 there was a bakery and, from 1947 to 1970, a police station. At the time of the 1934 bushfires, the original Westerway Hall became a temporary hospital and in 1939 a recruitment office for enlistees. That hall was pulled down and rebuilt in 1940. The present hall replaced the 1940 hall after it burnt down.

Westerway railway station was important as it was the starting point for the pack horse journey to the long abandoned Adamsfield osmiridium mine. As the timber industry became more important to the area, a sawmill was built and the number of timber mills in the area increased and the train line was used to transport logs to Boyer and Hobart. The Derwent Valley Railway was, until recently, used by tourists to visit the area.