HERITAGE AND HISTORY
From grand mansions to graves, gaols and ghosts, Tasmania’s past is full of amazing stories the whole family will enjoy.
Tasmania’s past is full of amazing stories.
1 STEP BACK IN TIME
Catch a glimpse of historic Tasmania via the Heritage Highway. Built on the sweat of labouring convicts in the early 1800s, the highway follows much of the original route between Hobart and Launceston. An easy day trip by car, there’s time to stop in the Derwent Valley and explore some of the well-marked trails and get a glimpse of the less-developed side of the island.
2 FROM TASMANIA TO ANTARCTICA
Queens Domain, Hobart rtbg.tas.gov.au
(03) 6166 0451
Feel a shiver as you visit the subantarctic plant house nurturing exotic species from Macquarie Island, the World Heritage-listed island close to Antarctica, in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. Established almost 200 years ago, wander through 13.5 hectares of fascinating and diverse flora.
3 FROM SOLDIERS TO SOCIETY
Evandale Tourist Information Centre 18 High Street, Evandale (03) 6391 8128, evandaletasmania.com From humble beginnings as a small military post in the early 1800s, Evandale is now a National Trust-classified Georgian village with some of the most pristine examples of churches and grand mansions from that era. Just 20km south of Launceston, the town was the home of artist John Glover and John Kelly, the father of famed bushranger Ned Kelly.
4 BLIGH’S BRUNY
Just an hour’s drive from Hobart, including a 15-minute ferry ride from Kettering, Bruny Island is not to be missed – especially for those partial to good food and wine. The island was first sighted by Abel Tasman in the 1640s, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that James Cook and William Bligh set foot on the island. Don’t miss the Bligh Museum of Pacific Exploration with its treasures from the time of early European exploration. Stunning beaches, roving wildlife, and a wide range of accommodation (from the Captain James Cook Memorial Caravan Park to the upscale 43 Degrees eco lodges) make it a fun overnight adventure, too.
5 GHOSTLY VISIONS
George Grover was a brutal convict overseer who came to an untimely end in the 1830s. Some say he may even have been pushed off one of the bridges built by his mistreated convicts. His ghost is said to haunt the otherwise pretty and peaceful village of Richmond. But he’s not alone – other spectral visions include a large black and white dog, sometimes called Grover’s Dog, as well as a man in a straw hat. Ghostly inhabitants are also said to inhabit Australia’s oldest intact prison, Richmond Gaol, which offers a highly atmospheric glimpse of life in a 19th century prison.