Heritage Highway

Heritage Highway

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The midlands route through the centre of the island from Hobart to Launceston, offers a whole complete holiday on its own.

The Heritage Highway is replete with the stories of a colonial past that are completely absorbing. Convicts, bushrangers, farmers, artisans, merchants, writers and painters have all left an indelible mark on this region.

The undulating plains and broad valleys of the Tamar, Macquarie and Jordan rivers support a cluster of small towns where the colonial gentry attempted to recreate a piece of Mother England by building elegant mansions and formal gardens. Today these towns provide the perfect setting for thriving farming, wine growing and gourmet food industries.

From Hobart, the Midland Highway leads to the beautiful stately homes and churches of Pontville and then on to the old bushranger’s refuge of Bagdad, now home to the Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary. Kempton is the next stop, where you can walk among intriguing historic gravestones near St Mary’s Church, which was built by convicts in 1839.

Turn off the highway at Melton Mowbray for a brief sojourn at Bothwell, home of the Australian Golf Museum.

Nearby Ratho is the oldest golf course in the southern hemisphere. Bothwell has 53 buildings classified by the National Trust, many built by convict labour.

Oatlands is another historic town with distinctive metal sculptures on the roadside and quaint topiaries to keep you amused. Australia’s oldest courthouse is here, along with the country’s largest collection of colonial sandstone buildings.

More of these significant heritage treasures await you at Ross. The Macquarie River sandstone bridge vies for the honour of the most beautiful bridge in Australia. It was decorated with ghoulish faces and fine carvings by a convict who later won his freedom for carrying out this task. The Female Factory site and burial ground are the source of gruelling tales. Some 12000 convict women and their babies were incarcerated here between 1847 and1854. On a more uplifting note Ross has a reputation for producing the world’s best superfine wool.

Campbell Town, just up the highway, has more colonial treasures on view in antique shops, art galleries and the Heritage Highway Museum. Longford is a compulsory stop as it has Australia’s foremost colonial building, a mansion called ‘Woolmers,’ which showcases early Tasmanian life. The National Rose Garden is here, with a very fine collection of heritage roses.

Approaching Launceston you can enjoy pleasant walks along the banks of the beautiful South Esk River. Evandale is noted for the stately Clarendon Homestead and its antiques and crafts.

After arriving in Launceston you will want to relax in your campervan and reflect on the amazing depth and breadth of history and culture along the Heritage Highway – it is truly a mind-blowing and stimulating holiday experience.

By | 2015-04-10T14:47:31+00:00 October 7th, 2014|Tasmania Itineraries|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek

Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people.

My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch.

My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

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