Located 134 km from Hobart, 133 km from Launceston and 67 km from Campbell Town, Swansea sits on Great Oyster Bay and gazes across at the rugged mountains of the Freycinet National Park. It is a pretty setting and it boasts a very substantial number of historic homes and buildings which give this fishing and holiday destination a distinctive charm.
The first European to explore the Swansea area was a Captain Cox sailing the brig Mercury from England to Sydney Town. He sailed up the eastern coast of Tasmania and, having heard rumour of vast colonies of seals, on 3 July 1789 sailed along the western shore of Maria Island and into a stretch of water he named Oyster Bay.
Europeans settled in the district inn 1821. It wasn't until 1827 that any sort of substantial community was established in the area. It was in that year that Captain George Hibbert of the 40th Foot Regiment established a military outpost at Waterloo Point.
Located at 96 Tasman Highway the Swansea Bark Mill and East Coast Museum was built by the Morey family in the 1880s (circa 1885). This historic machinery plant originally processed black wattle bark which was the basic ingredient used for tanning leather. It is possible to see the machinery working today.