Tasmanian country towns have a style and character that makes them special, each in their own way. We passed through a few and stayed in three of them on a recent visit to the island state. Though we weren’t able to spend longer in each, the two main things that stood out were the beautiful sandstone buildings and the obvious level of community pride in each little town.
We passed through Oatlands at just the right time for a coffee and ended up lingering longer than we expected at the TKO Bakery Cafe, on the main road half way through town – cut off the Midlands Highway to go in to Oatlands, or you’ll miss it. The outside of the building gives no indication of the treasures within – all sorts of movie and music memorabilia, even the toilets are a museum!
Richmond, another old settlement, one of the oldest in Tasmania, is also worth a stop, their gaol was the first built in Tasmania, predating the more well known one at Port Arthur.
Tasmanian Country Towns
Three of the lovely little towns we had the chance to look around are definitely worth a longer stay if you can manage it.
Deloraine, where we stayed overnight after our stop at Cradle Mountain, is a small town in a farming community just off the main highway to Launceston. We stocked up at the local supermarket, but not before checking out the colonial era buildings, some with impressive iron lace decorations. Then a closer look at the street art sculptures dotted along the sidewalk. Look out too, for the alpacas on the farms here and in other spots around the island.
We also stayed overnight in Ross, along the central highway. In Ross, we discovered the first convict build stone bridge, still very much in service today. The village is well kept and has a number of old convict built buildings still in use, including the Ross Female Factory, slightly outside the town proper. Have a walk around the town in the early morning and pick up a pie at one of the bakeries, or sit with a coffee to chat with the locals or fellow travellers.
We stopped mid afternoon at Swansea, a small seaside town on the east coast, on a rainy day. There’s an old style grocery store, but if you’re looking for more substantial supplies, there is a larger supermarket nearby. The rain didn’t encourage walking, so we weren’t able to enjoy the view out to Nine Mile beach, or visit the nearby Freycinet National Park, home to the famed Wineglass Bay. We did however, find the well set up local museum, definitely worth an hour or so.
And if you do visit Tasmania and love it so much you want to live there and have your family and friends along as well – then why not buy a town? Tarraleah in the Central Highlands is a couple of hours from Hobart, has facilities suitable for tourism and went on sale earlier in 2016 for AUD 11million.