How to get there: From Tin Dragon Trail Cottages turn right onto the Tasman Highway (A3). Drive up over the hill out of Branxholm. Continue along the Tasman Highway through Derby, Moorina to Weldborough (26 Km), or turn right into the Mt Paris Dam Rd (C425) just on the outskirts of Branxholm and travel to Welborough by this gravel road (19km). From Welborough you can continue on the A3 to the Little Plains Lookout (6.8 km from Welborough) and turn left into Lottah road. On Lottah road take the left-hand forks in the road till you reach the Lottah junction, 7.6 km from the Tasman Highway turnoff. When you reach the Lottah junction turn left onto Poimena Road and continue till you reach the abandoned town of Poimena (11.5 km from the Tasman Highway turn-off).
An alternate route is to continue past the Little Plains Lookout, till you see the Anchor Road (to Goulds Country) turnoff (17 km from Welborough on the Tasman highway). The Anchor Road has signage to direct visitors to Poimena. Although there are some gravel stretches, Anchor Rd is a better maintained road than Lottah Road. Less than 1 km along the Anchor Rd is a turn-off to the right to the Halls Falls car park then another 4 km further along is a small car park for the Anchor Stamper’s – a short 10 min walk. Continue past Lottah (8 km from Tasman Highway) and take the Poimena Road till you reach the abandoned town of Poimena.
Watch a short video of the road trip here
The Blue Tiers was our favourite camping area, before it became a popular mountain biking destination. I love that the environment is so varied, from wind-swept alpine shrubs, stressed tea tree, myrtle, pepperberry, open grass, eucalypts, marshy peat moss, temperate rain forest and clear-flowing streams. Signage at Poimena describes the many walks that will keep you going back. There’s great interpretation too, with stories of the old miners. Our favourite walk is from Poimena to Welborough. The reward after a four-hour walk? A great meal and cold cider at the Weldborough pub! But you need to be organised for this walk, with one car at each end; well at least if you don’t want to turn around and head back up the hill (and up, and up, and up).
The efforts of the Friends of the Blue Tier keep the walking tracks maintained and keep up the pressure for the precious timbered slopes of the Blue Tiers to be protected from logging.
The Blue Teirs, called Meenamatta, has a long Aboriginal history. The first Europeans came when tin was found and in 1878 Blue Tier Junction was a small town with one pub, two hotels (temperance), blacksmith, butcher, three general stores and several cottages. It was a company town. All but one of the buildings were owned by the Marie Louise Mine, with only a few private allotments being taken up after 1883. Despite a name change to Poimena, the town didn’t recover from the 1890 depression. In the early 1900s and continuing through to the 1950s several families used the sparse areas to run cattle and sheep. Finally the school house was removed, too, in 1954.
It was in 1958 that the Blue Tier was claimed as a forest reserve, and by 1997 more than 5000 hectares had been included to conserve the flora, fauna and rich cultural heritage. More recently some former reserves have once again been declared as productive forest available for industrial logging.
Poimena is a ghost town now, so poking around is fun. You can almost feel the bustle of the old school and the cattle sale yards. See if you can find the old school lav!