Waratah is encounted when traveling between Burnie and Queenstown (or vice versa). A short diversion is required to visit the town.The town was named after the Waratah That diversion is recommended. Waratah is one of the few towns that has a waterfall flowing in town central.
The Town was was constructed to support the Tin mine at Mount Bischoff The town is built at the top of a waterfall, and water was diverted from the stream to provide water for mine production and processing.
Tin was discovered at Mount Bischoff by James "Philosopher" Smith in 1871. The mine operated successfully at first. The easy ore was all extracted by 1893 when sluicing was discontinued. Mining continued opencut on the face of the mountain, and underground. The underground mine closed in 1914, but surface mining continued for some time before it also ceased after the price of tin slumped in 1929.
The mine was reopened by the Government in 1942 to support the war effort, but it finally closed in 1947. There are remnants of the mining past on display. The Waratah Museum has all the historic details.
Today the town is a tourist town and a stop off point for travelers heading to other west coast mines.