Fingal is a township with a population of approximately 400 in an elevated valley in the North-East of Tasmania.
Located 237 km east of Launceston via the Tasman Highway and 249 km north east of Hobart, Fingal was named, probably after Fingal's Cave in the Hebrides, by Roderic O'Connor who surveyed the area with John Helder Wedge in 1824.
Shortly after the survey, land was granted in the district and two substantial holdings were taken up by William Talbot ('Malahide' - located 2 km north of the town it is a gracious two storey stone Georgian house which was built in 1828) and James Grant ('Tullochgoram' - the property is located 5 km out of Fingal on the road to Avoca).
The Fingal Valley lies east - west, adjacent to the coast and at a low elevation. It is surrounded by the forests of the Eastern Tiers which are managed by Forestry Tasmania, with extensive logging being carried out in the area over many years.
Fingal came into existence in 1827 when it was established as a convict station. It grew dramatically, if briefly, after the discovery of gold at Mangana, 10 km north west of Fingal, in 1852. This discovery is widely regarded as the first discovery of payable gold in Tasmania
Mining for various types of ore including Gold, Tin and Wolfram has traditionally sustained another large segment of the population but now the only mining is carried out by the Cornwall Coal Company which directly employs 60 persons.
The landscape is rural and several medium size landholdings still derive an income from agriculture, grazing sheep (for wool and fat lambs) and cattle as well as cropping. Common cash crops are poppies (for morphine production), potatoes, wheat and other grain and fodder crops.
Information provided by Jim Haas
St Patricks Head & Esk Valley Historical Society Inc - www.fingalvalleyhistory.com
The town has a number of historically significant buildings, particularly in Talbot Street, the town's main street. The Holder Brothers Store dates from 1859 and nearby is the old Tasmania Hotel, constructed, in part, from the stones which were originally used to build the Prison barracks in the 1840s. It became a hotel in the 1850s and is now the local Tourist Centre. It sells arts and crafts from the district.
Also in Talbot Street is the Fingal Hotel, a two storey hotel built in the 1840s which, in the spirit of the town's name, has a fine collection of Scotch whiskies - reputedly the largest in the southern hemisphere. And, at the west end of the street, opposite the Town Hall (1882) is St Peter's Anglican Church, the town's oldest church which was consecrated in 1867.
In Seymour Street, which runs south from Talbot Street, there are a number of historically significant buildings. The local primary school, with some modern additions, dates from 1884 it is one of the oldest primary schools in Tasmania and Uniting Church (1881) and St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church (1880) indicate a period when, towards the end of the nineteenth century, the town was growing rapidly.
Mathinna Falls - Mathinna Falls are located about a 15 minutes drive from the township of Mathinna on good unsealed roads. The falls consist of 4 separate cascades each 40 or 50 metres apart, from the car park, an easy 30-minute return walk leads to the base of the falls but you will hear the water falling long before you see it.
The falls cascade over a total drop of 80 metres(262 feet) – a truly spectacular sight, especially after rainfall.
To reach the falls, head north from the town of Mathinna towards the Evercreech Forest Reserve.
There is a log crossing of the creek part the way along the track that can become slippery after heavy rain, the track from the bottom of the first cascade is steep and tricky. The climb is well worth the effort to these see these superb falls.
Mathinna Falls are located about 15-minutes’ drive from the town of Mathinna, travel via the Mathinna Road (B43) from the centre of Fingal.
The weather on Tasmania’s East Coast is typically settled and warm, with an average maximum temperature of 22.5 degrees Celsius (72.5 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer and 10-15 degrees Celsius (50-75 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter.
St Andrews Church - Fingal, Tasmania