The Blue Tier is a large area of native forest characterised by a range of hills, mountains and alpine plateaus, situated approximately 25kms North West of St Helens, the area has a rich mining history, magnificent natural heritage and is dotted with ghost towns like Goulds Country. These once thriving townships serviced the tin mines which were established in the surrounding hills in the 1870s. Drive through these narrow winding country lanes dotted with gracious buildings and imagine life how it used to be. There are a range of walks in the area from a short 400m circuit to a 10.5 km walk one way to Weldborough for the more adventurous.
Why not immerse yourself in the forests and tackle the Big Tree Walk, situated half way between Pyengana and Weldborough. You’ll see a sign off the Tasman Highway near the Little Plains Lookout, from there just follow the signs to the parking area. The walk takes you through huge eucalypts and myrtle forests, past the mosses and ferns to the majesty of the Blue Tier Giant, the widest living tree in Australia, with a girth measuring an amazing 19.4 metres.
Formerly the centre for local government, today Goulds Country is a speck on the map featuring an historic church, with a scattering of houses spread across an idyllic pastoral landscape. The nearby farming community of Lottah was once the site of a number of tin mines including the Anchor Mine, which produced more than 30,000 tons of ore from 1880 to 1896.
Perhaps the most eerie and fascinating ghost town in the region is the old tin mining settlement of Poimena, situated on the Blue Tier, 30 kilometers north-west of St Helens, the abandoned town is surrounded by towering wooded hills splashed with colour from the foxgloves planted by Chinese miners a century ago. In its heyday in the 1880s, Poimena boasted three hotels, three shops, a school, and blacksmiths and butchers shops. The closure of nearby Mt Michael tin mine in 1928 heralded a demise of the town, and it was completely abandoned in the 1950s. Nothing at all remains of this once-thriving town except a few signs that indicate the sites of Poimena’s school, a hotel, and main street, and you can see the outlines of the foundations of several houses. Today this spectacular spot is silent with the ghosts of its past, the thud of wallabies, and the chirrups of birds.