thomas bather moore


A surveyor on a corduroy track, 1900 (AOT, PH30/1/4809)

Thomas Bather Moore, (18511919), foremost of the west coast prospectors and track-makers, was widely respected for his skills, endurance and knowledge of the country. A self-taught naturalist, Moore studied the standard texts of his day and was a close observer of his surroundings. He contributed papers on geology and glaciation to Royal and Geographical Societies, and collected botanical and geological specimens for Baron von Mueller, Leonard Rodway and Robert Johnston.

From the early 1880s Moore cut the government tracks for which he is best remembered: the Linda Track to the west coast; Macquarie Harbour to Port Davey; and Hastings to Port Davey. These opened large new areas for prospecting. Moore's maps and reports were clear and detailed, and he conferred many names familiar today, notably Federation Peak and Mount Read.

Further reading: C Binks, Explorers of western Tasmania, Launceston, 1980; and Pioneers of Tasmania's west coast, Hobart, 1988; I McShane, 'T.B. Moore', Honours thesis, UT, 1983.

Chris Binks