Campbell Town and the Midlands
The Norfolk Plains - the area around Longford, Cressy, and Perth, south of Launceston - draws tourists to its beautifully preserved historical buildings and pleasant pastoral landscapes, reflecting the fact it was once one of the most important regions in the whole of Australia. It got its name from the Norfolk Islanders who had been relocated to Tasmania from Norfolk Island, to encourage them to take roots in the area. The failed to see the area's potential and moved on.
First coming across the Norfolk Plains after the establishment of Port Dalrymple in about 1804, British settlers began taking up farming land in earnest in 1813. The primary stakeholders in the area at the time of establishment included the Cressy Company (formerly known as The Establishment) as well as the Archer Family. The Cressy Company and the Archer family transformed Norfolk Plains into an area that supported the whole of Australia at the time. By the mid 19th century, it had developed into the bread basket of Australia, growing wheat, the barley, and all the crops they needed, as well as well as grazing sheep and cattle.
Once one of the early coaching stops between Launceston and Hobart, Campbell Town is nestled on the banks of the Elizabeth River on the main road between Hobart and Launceston. The town has an impressive collection of colonial buildings from the Georgian era. The town is a feast of delights for visitors, particularly lovers of history. There are no fewer than thirty-five buildings in the Campbell Town district which have been listed on the National Estate.
A classified historic town, Evandale is a storehouse of superb Georgian heritage buildings which remain in largely original condition. It is an agricultural and administrative centre located on a knoll rising from highly modified plains. Just minutes down the road from Launceston Airport, Evandale offers accommodation with that lovely village atmosphere.
Situated in one of Tasmania's greatest pastoral areas, the town of Longford is an agricultural and administrative centre located at the junction of the South Esk and Macqarie Rivers, in a low-lying highly modified landscape. Longford and its surrounding area is home to some of Tasmania's finest Georgian era buildings and historic farming estates of the Victorian era.
A National Trust classified town situated by the South Esk River, Perth is the first major town out of Launceston on the route to Hobart, and also serves as a major junction for people bypassing Launceston on the route from Hobart to the northwest of the state. Perth is a quiet historic village which has largely been by-passed by the tourism that has turned many of Tasmania's other historic villages into centres full of gift shops and antiques retailers.
Whitemore is a small rural community in Tasmania's Central North. Its most prominent features are its 1864 brick church, adjacent to the original church building dating from 1857 - now a community hall - and the large workshop and offices of Shaw contracting, the most significant business in the town's history. Whitemore consists of a small cluster of buildings on either side of the only road, surrounded by farming land.
Located 34 km south west of Launceston, Cressy is a small, attractive, and historically significant town which came into existence in the 1850s to service the surrounding wheat farms. It was named after a land grant which was taken up in 1826 by a British company which had been formed to exploit Van Diemen's Land's agricultural potential. This substantial wheat farm prospered until 1856 when it was broken up. It was around this time that a distinctive settlement emerged.
Though not in the Meander Valley, the town of Longford is only 15 km from both Carrick and Hadspen, and close enough to be included in a visit to the Meander Valley. Situated in one of Tasmania's greatest pastoral areas, the town of Longford is an agricultural and administrative centre located at the junction of the South Esk and Macqarie Rivers. It's grid structure is bent on a central axis, giving interesting views along streets at the town centre, which is tightly designed, with generally harmonious buildings. Longford contains some of Tasmania's finest historic homes and estates.
The village of Conara used to be very well known by travellers on the Midland Highway, though very few knew its name. What caught their attention was what they called "the disappearing house". Standing at the turnoff to St Marys at Conara, the so-called “Disappearing House” earned its name by the illusion of its sinking into the ground as travellers approached along the main road from Hobart to Launceston, due to the peculiar conformation of the landscape.
The village of Cleveland, 5 km north west of Conara Junction, was established in 1842 as a stopping point on the coaching route between Hobart and Launceston. It is said that in its early years, Cleveland was a gathering point for travelers before they ventured onward through the dangers of Epping Forest, a notorious area for bushrangers. A convict station accommodating up to 100 prisoners at a time was built in 1839 as a serving station to build and repair roads in the area.
Nestled between the junction of the St Pauls and South Esk Rivers, the small village of Avoca is the most westerly of the Fingal Valley settlements and is overshadowed by the sentinel of the entrance to that region, 1027 metre high St Pauls Dome (Ben Lomond vNational Park). The town was officially settled in 1834, and has relied almost continuously upon farming and mining for its economic stability, likewise enduring the fortunes and failures of these industries. Sadly the coal and tin mines which for so long provided the life blood for this isolated community, are now all closed.
A small historic town that is the commercial centre for a district that produces high-quality merino wool. Ross has a very English country village feel, with its warm Ross sandstone reminiscent of the towns of the Cotswolds or North Oxfordshire, England. One of the most attractive aspects of Ross is that it has not been overly corrupted by modern tourism that the Midland Highway (the main route between Hobart and Launceston) by-passes Ross, thus preserving the original, sleepy character of the town is largely the reason for this being so.
Originally known as Tunbridge Wells (after the famous English spa town), Tunbridge is located 92 km from Launceston and 107 km from Hobart. It has been by-passed by the main Midland Highway and consequently has a quiet charm well removed from the urgency of the highway. The town came into existence in 1809 and quickly developed into an important coaching stop between Hobart and Launceston. The area grew rapidly in the 1810s as convicts worked on the road from the north to the south of the island.