Bridport, 1950 (AOT, PH30/1/5747)

Bridport is a popular holiday town on Tasmania's north coast. It was originally sited at the confluence of the Great Forester and Brid Rivers, but when 'The Cut' was put in, the Forester was diverted into Anderson Bay further east, so Bridport is now at the mouth of the Brid River.

The earliest inhabitants of the Bridport area were the Aborigines of the Trawlwoolway and Pyemmairrenerpairrener bands of the North-East tribe. European settlement commenced in the 1830s but it was not until 1883 that Bridport was officially proclaimed a township. Bridport experienced a boom between 1869 and 1889 when gold was discovered at Waterhouse, and tin along the Ringarooma River. A fishing industry, a timber mill at Forester and a railway line into Bridport brought an influx of families between 1911 and 1920. The mill closed in 1930, the railway line was removed and once again, Bridport became a quiet holiday destination.

Today fishing, farming, forestry and tourism continue to be important economic activities. There is also a shipbuilding industry, and a shipping service between Bridport, Flinders Island and Port Welshpool, Victoria.

Further reading: J Jennings, A history of Bridport, Bridport, 1983.

Margaret Harman