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Somerset is a small coastal town at the mouth of the Cam River. In the early years between the 1860's and 1880's, Somerset was a busy port but, as with a number of smaller north coast towns, its importance gradually gave way to the larger, more prosperous town nearby. Today, Somerset is mainly a residential town for Burnie, located just 7 kilometres east.
Two attractive swimming beaches, Fairlands and Somerset, line the shore of Bass Strait and there are facilities for boating and ocean fishing. Both ocean and river fishing are popular; the upper reaches of the Cam River are well stocked with brown trout while mullet and black-back salmon in its estuary also tempt anglers to the area. An extensive recreation area with barbecue and picnic facilities extends along the riverbank and behind Somerset Beach.