Located 88 km north east of Hobart on the Tasman Highway, Triabunna (the word is reputedly an Aboriginal term for a native hen) is a pleasant working port which started life as a garrison town for the penal colony on Maria island. Today it is a town driven largely by its fishing industry (it is known for its scallops and abalone) and the huge woodchip mill at Point Home (it can be clearly seen from the ferry across to Maria Island).
The first European to visit the area was the French explorer Nicholas Baudin who sailed into Spring Bay in La Geographe in 1802. With the establishment of a penal colony on Maria Island some of the officers decided to settle on the mainland. One of the earliest European settlers was Major Thomas Lord who was the Commandant of Darlington Penal Settlement on Maria Island from 1825-32. He called his property Okehampton and had a signal station set up so he could communicate with his officers on the island. It was around this time that whalers moved into the area and by the mid-1820s there were four whaling stations operating along the coast.
As a result of all this activity farmers moved into the area and by 1860 Spring Bay had been declared a municipality. The local Council chambers were built in 1862.
Today the town is surprisingly ordinary. A town for fishermen and timber workers rather than a place full of interesting history although the Spring Bay Hotel, a rather modern building, does claim on its from that it is circa 1838.
The Anglican built in 1880 it is a charming sandstone church which is a symbol of the increasing importance of the town as a rural service centre. It is located in Franklin Street and has a distinctive round window. The Catholic is a modern building.