The small town of Beaconsfield sits on the western banks of the Tamar River in the heart of the Tamar Valley Wine Region. With a population of around 1,000 people the town's economy is focused around the revitalised gold mine. Beaconsfield is 40 kilometres (24 miles) north west of Launceston and 240 kilometres (150 miles) north of Hobart
Like so many Australian regional towns it has been through a series of name changes. Originally, it was known as Cabbage Tree Hill, and when goldmining began in the 1870s it became known as Brandy Creek. It's present name was proclaimed in 1879 to honour the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Sir Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield.
By 1881 Beaconsfield was regarded as the richest gold town in Tasmania. At its peak there were 53 companies working the goldmines. The last mine closed in 1914 when the mining technology of the day proved uneconomical. Mining started again in the early 1990s when the price of gold and advancement in technology made it more economically viable.
On April 25, 2006, three miners, Larry Knight, Brant Webb and Todd Russell were trapped by a rockfall. Two days later Larry Knight was found dead but miraculously, three days later Webb and Russell were located alive one kilometre (3000 feet) below ground, trapped in a 1.5 metre square wire cage (five feet square). After a further nine days of painstaking work they walked to freedom on May 9, 2006.