Smithton is a small coastal encountered when cruising the Circular Cape region. Smithton could be deemed the ‘capitol’. All visitors will invariably visit nearby Stanley and The Nut. Smithton is a sort of new town and there is very little heritage, which is an enigma.
The Smithton area was first explored by Europeans when Bass and Flinders passed along the northern coast of Van Diemen's Land in 1793. By 1825 the area was occupied by the entrepreneurial Van Diemen's Land Co. The Duck River, around which the town has grown, was explored in 1826 but the river banks weren't settled until the 1850s. It was shortly afterwards that the town's prosperity was given a major injection by the Victorian goldrushes. Local produce, particularly timber, was shipped across Bass Strait to meet the huge demands of the miners who were pouring on to the goldfields.
Smithton has a rich sporting and social culture, and the region is noted for its natural beauty.
The economy of Smithton is agriculture based, consisting primarily of beef and dairy farming. Other major industries that contribute to the local economy are fishing, aquaculture, crop farming, timber plantations and tourism; the old butter factory being the centrepiece.
Smithton has thrived in recent years, despite its remote location compared to the major cities, towns and highways.
The education community consists of a Catholic Independent, a Christian School and Government schools. St Peter Chanel is the local Catholic constituency.