The Blue Tier: Poimena, Lottah, Goulds Country

The area surrounding St Helens is dotted with ghost towns like Goulds Country, once thriving townships servicing the tin mines 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.

Formerly the centre for local government, today Goulds Country is a speck on the map featuring an historic church and inn and 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.

But perhaps the most eerie and fascinating ghost town in the region is the old tin mining settlement of Poimena, situated on the Blue Tier, a vast sub-alpine plateau some 600 metres above sea level.

blue tier 1 bluetier.org

Situated 30 kilometres 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, which now grow wild across the grassy meadows.

Poimena feels like Middle Earth; in fact you almost expect to see hobbits strolling across the vivid green grasslands that were once busy with some 3,000 residents. In its heyday in the1880s, 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.

There are a variety of walking trails across the hills surrounding Poimena, from a 15 minute stroll through the beautiful Goblin Walk to longer treks along old pack trails leading to long-abandoned mines where mining relics rust in the silence, passing through magnificent areas of regenerated rainforest featuring titanic gums, myrtles, musk and waratah trees.

Weldborough Blue Dragon Mountain Bike Track