Ben Lomond

Emily Bowring, 'Ben Lomond', 1859 (ALMFA, SLT)

Ben Lomond was named after the Scottish mountain by Colonel Paterson, following settlement in Northern Tasmania in 1804. The first European ascent on to the plateau, known to Tasmanian Aboriginals as Torbunna, is unrecorded. However, John Batman went up many times between 1823 and 1830 from his property Kingston near the Ben Lomond Marshes. In 1833, the artist John Glover camped up there for two nights and completed some sketches.

In 1841 Strzelecki undertook the first scientific expedition to the area. He discovered coal at Coalmine Crag, and also studied the climate. Between 1905 and 1913 Colonel WV Legge undertook seven expeditions onto the Ben Lomond plateau. His party measured the heights of some of the peaks again, and conducted botanical surveys.

The highest point of the Ben Lomond plateau (1575 metres) was specifically called Legges Tor, and for many years it was thought to be Tasmania's highest pea until the case in favour of Mount Ossa was proven in the late 1940s. The road on to the plateau was carved through the Strickland Gorge in 1966 in response to growing demand for Ben Lomond as a skiing venue.

Further reading: B Wilkinson, Tasmania's mountains over 1100m high, Launceston, 1994; D Harvey, The Ben Lomond story, Launceston, 2000; Ben Lomond National Park map and notes.

John Cannon