A symbol of the west coast’s rugged mining past and an intriguing look at the ‘moonscape’. Iron Blow Lookout is an attraction that will briefly captivate and amaze you. You’ll drive past Iron Blow Lookout on your way to Queenstown and Strahan, we recommend stopping and taking a quick look at this unique geological wonder.

Getting to Iron Blow Lookout

Driving from Hobart to Iron Blow Lookout is a 257km 3.5 hour drive, driving from Launceston to is a 248km 3.25 hour drive. Iron Blow Lookout is only an 11 minute drive from Queenstown, for most visitors this will be an attraction they incorporate into their west coast trip, as they visit towns like Queenstown and Strahan.

Weather at Iron Blow Lookout

On most days, the weather at Iron Blow Lookout is cold and windy. Rainfall is also common throughout the year, bring clothing to protect you from rain and cold temperatures, even in the summer. You’ll feel exposed to the harsh weather, particularly at the top of the lookout. Don’t let this put you off, many say the somewhat harsh weather adds to the rugged nature of the Tasmanian west coast.

  • Average summer temperature: 19 degrees celsius
  • Average autumn temperature: 15 degrees celsius
  • Average winter temperature: 10 degrees celsius
  • Average spring temperature: 14 degrees celsius

Mining History of Iron Blow Lookout

Iron Blow Lookout, like many parts of Tasmania’s West Coast, has a rich mining heritage. Gold was first discovered at Iron Blow in 1883, which led to an influx of miners at the site. However on arrival they found that the significant copper deposits were more profitable. The miners cleared as much copper as possible, which caused a significant impact to the environment. Not only was there a gigantic hole left in the Iron Blow mine, the trees were chopped down on the surrounding hills to fuel the mine’s furnaces. The sulphur fumes from the copper smelters caused the plants to die. The lack of plant life and high level of rain in this part of Tasmania, caused the hills to have a very bare appearance (known by locals as the ‘moonscape’) which has still made it difficult for plants to grow back.

Things to See at Iron Blow Lookout

View from Iron Blow Lookout. Image Source: Thomas Williams

As the name suggests, there is a cantilevered lookout which gets you close to the steep edges of the Iron Blow mine pit. The sides are very steep and depending on the angle of the sun at the time of day, can show off the colours of the rocks in different ways. The water has a unique aqua-blue colour, due to the high levels of copper exposure.

Iron Blow Lookout is very high up so you’ll not only get to see the mine below, you’ll get to see across the baron hills surrounding Queenstown, known as the ‘moonscape’. It’s not the prettiest sight, yet it’s fascinating and deeply intriguing at the same time.

Surrounding Attractions

Iron Blow Lookout is part of the town of Gormanston, a now almost ghost-town, one of many on the west coast of Tasmania. Gormanston had a larger population during the mining era and played a key role in the disaster relief of the 1912 North Mount Lyell disaster, where a fire tore through the mine killing 42 men.

There is something eerie and interesting about driving through the village of Gormanston and nearby Linda, another town that time has left behind.

However like most visitors, you may be visiting Iron Blow Lookout as part of a trip to Queenstown. In this village you’ll find several places to eat and drink, as well as accommodation. There are museums for those who wish to learn more about the interesting mining history in the area, as well as a range of attractions including rafting, hiking, four-wheel driving and the West Coast Wilderness Railway.