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Tasmanian Tour

South West


A. Hobart City
B. Trips South
C. Melton Mobray

Other Regions

1. North West
2. Central North
3. North East
4. East Coast
5. South East
7. Highlands
8. West Coast
9. North Coast


South East

Tasmanian Tour

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Tasmanian Tour

6. The South West Region

A. Day Trips West of Hobart

Head north out of Hobart along the Brooker and Lyell highways. New Norfolk, population 6,500, was chosen by Governor Macquarie in 1811 for the Norfolk Island refugees. St Matthews Church (1823) is Tasmania's oldest. Bush Inn (1825) is the oldest licensed hotel in Australia. Ride the river in a Jet Boat. Return via the east shore through Risdon Cove to see the site of the first settlement and the dinosaur fossils in the road cutting.

Derwent Valley Preservation Society (phone (03)6221-0381 bh or (03)62493-250 ah) runs train trips 75km into Mt Field National Park. Monthly sunday trips can be booked through Birch Travel in 45 Victoria Street, Hobart (phone (03)6234-6049 bh or (03)6223-7264 ah). Fares are adult $26, child $13, family of 4 $70. At the moment X class Bo-Bo diesels haul three ex TGR 'Tasman Limited' and two ex Emu Bay 'West Coaster' carriages. Powerful steam locomotive H2 (Mountain 4-8-2 wheel arrangement) will re-enter service in 1996.

Plenty was the first place in this hemisphere to raise salmon. The ponds date from 1864 and are open for public tours. Take the back road to Bushy Park and then head for Strathgordon. Bushy Park, population 200, is the Hops capital of Australia, with golden leaved Poplars forming the tall windbreaks. The 100 year old Oast House (hot air drying barn) still stands. Westerway has cheap petrol.

National Park is the entrance to Mt Field National Park. A Trout Farm is adjacent and Russell Falls is on a hiking trail 20 minutes away. Maydena is the logging town for Australian Pulp and Paper Mills. The 84km Gordon River Road travels through temperate eucalypt forest and climbs the Humboldt Range (650m).

Turn off at Frodshams Pass down a road leading south to the Scotts Peak Dam on Lake Pedder. Continue along the Gordon River Road, through McPartlan Pass with views of Lake Gordon and then Lake Pedder, to the HEC town of Strathgordon. Just beyond town is the terrific curved concrete wall of Serpentine Dam (140m) and the underground Gordon Power Station, producing 20% of Tasmania's electricity.

McPartlan Pass Canal and Sluice Gate

B. From Hobart to Melton Mobray

The distance is approx 135km over the Lake and Midland highways. The scenery is dry and surprisingly reminiscent of the New England area of New South Wales around Tamworth. Many of the place names are from the Bible and the Arabian Nights, books carried by soldier /explorer Hugh Germain on his hunting trips for food. Granton, population 3,000, has a 1.3km convict built Causeway (1830). The Watch House (1838) with its 2m by 50cm square cells, is now part of the Petrol Station/Store.

If you like fishing stop and buy a license and bait, as trout like to be fed. The steam locomotive in the park is an ex TGR H class. Head north over the bridge. Bridgewater, population 7,500, is the northern extremity of Hobart suburbs, and has the Gothic style St Mary's Church. Brighton, population 1,200, was considered by Governor Macquarie as the site of the future capital, and has been Tasmania's main military centre since 1826. Head north up the Midland highway.

The lifting road/rail bridge at Bridgewater

Pontville, population 850, on the Jordan river, has a sandstone bridge with piers dating from 1842. The Row (1824), the white cottages beside the bridge, were originally the police barracks. The former Post Office dates from 1830. Local quarries supplied building sandstone across the state. Nearby Mt Dromedary was the hideout of bushranger Martin Cash, who held up the night coach twice in 1844. Bagdad has an Italian style Congregational Church, and is the home of childrens author Nan Chauncey.

Kempton, population 450, is a stopping place and market town from the early days of the Hobart - Launceston road. Dysart House is a substantial two storey stone house.The Georgian Wilmot Arms (1850) is open for guests. St Marys Church dates from 1841. Spring Hill (488m) overlooks the sandstone Lovely Banks property. The road to it was constructed by Canadian convicts, transported after a little known rebellion in 1840. Bushranging led to the construction of the 1840 guardhouse. Tedworth (1831) originally opened as the London Inn.

C. From Melton Mobray to Perth

Melton Mobray has a hotel with a license from 1849. Turnoff northeast to the Midland highway. Jericho has mud walls which are protected sections of a 1840's convict probation station. Oatlands, population 650, was the proposed Midlands capital in the 1830's and is full of Georgian buildings. The oldest is the courthouse (1829) with its central police office and chapel built by two convicts in irons in four months. Stone Callington Mill (1837) stands 16m high. Originally wind powered, it now has a 1850's steam engine. Stucco finished Holyrood House has served as a Grammar school run by a Rev. William Trollope, a relative of author Anthony Trollope. The White Horse Inn (1853) and Waverley Cottage have accommodation.

High Street in Oatlands looking South

St Peters Pass has carved animal shapes in the shrubs. Antill Ponds is a dining spot for the colonial coaches and railway journeys. Tunbridge, population 250, on the Blackman river, was created in 1809 as the main coach stop on the 199km Hobart to Launceston run. In the main street is a replica of a 1834 coach. Victoria Inn has the steps used to enter the coaches. The Blind Chapel has no windows to prevent convict minds from wandering.

Ross, population 500, is on the Macquarie river. Elegant sandstone Ross Bridge (1836), is Australias third oldest. It is inscribed with Celtic symbols and images plus the mileages to Launceston and Hobart. The two convict sculptors are buried with interesting headstones in the old cemetery. The Man-O-Ross Hotel (1831) has several old signposts, and The Scotch Thistle Inn (1832) has meals. The Ross Wool and Craft Centre used to house the British Regiment until 1869.

The historic convict built Ross Bridge

Campbell Town, population 1000, is on the Elizabeth river. The sturdy brick Red Bridge (1838) was built by convicts and has never required repair. The Grange (1847) was the homestead of William Grange, a scientist with interests in astronomy and telephony. In 1874 the first telephone call in the southern hemisphere took place to Launceston. The instruments, designed by Alexander Graham Bell, are now held in the Queen Victoria Museum.