A Cheapskate's Guide to
Exploring Tasmania By Car

For pre-planning or use on the run, this free site is a useful, on-demand travel guide
for touring Tasmania by car, caravan, RV, or hitch-hiking.

The Heritage Highway

The Heritage Highway concentrates on Tasmania's Midlands Highway and its surrounds.


List of Contents

A guide to travel, sightseeing and services - what to do, where to stay and a little history of Tasmanian cities and towns.

About This Guide

This work has been designed to offer the maximum amount of information possible, while remaining an interesting and manageable read

Front Page

Includes list of contents, Tasmanian Freedom Camping Locations Series and a free, downloadable map of Tasmania

The Towns and Regions

Looks at the towns, camping, accommodation, eating out, sightseeing, history, toilets & dump points, information centres, doctors, vets, real estate and emergency services.

Guest Reviews

A place for readers to write a review on their favourite Tasmanian town, caravan park, freedom camp, attraction, bakery or cafe

Fun Pages
For Kids and their Adults

A range of free and low cost things to make and do, for kids and their adults, when driving or confined to camp.

Free and Cheap
Camping

you can choose from camp-grounds provided by councils, commercial operators or formal, and informal free camp sites.

Dump Points ~ Van Repairs ~ Public Toilets

An easy access guide to Dump-Points, Van Repairs and Public Toilets.

Environment and Produce

Loads of links to Tasmanian food, beer and wine trails for you to follow and enjoy.

Fossicking in Tasmania

Many of the locations this guide will be visiting offer the chance to do a little fosicking for such things as gold, sapphires, topaz, jasper, turquoise, agate and a range of other tumbling material for lapidarists.

Tiger Track Stamps

A Quirky, Free/Low-Cost Way for you to keep track of your amazing tasmanian adventures, as you hunt down over 70 Tiger Track Stamps and with luck - or skill maybe - find the elusive Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) - the most valuable stamp of all.

 

On This Page

The Heritage Highway

The Heritage Highway concentrates on Tasmania's Midlands Highway and its surrounds.

Einstein suggested that, 'Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves'.

More importantly, however, despite the fact that it can be less than a three hour drive, I believe that any man who can drive from Launceston to Hobart in under three days is not giving the journey the attention it deserves.

although you could possibly cram some of its beauty into a three-day trip, I would expect a week or more would better allow you to take in all of its beauty, architecture, history, food and fun.

About the Heritage Highway

An overland route through the Midlands was pioneered by the Surveyor General, Charles Grimes, as early as 1807 and by 1819 there was a rough and winding track of about 260 km, between Hobart Town and Port Dalrymple in the north that [mainly] remains the route we travel today.

Major Thomas Bell of the 48th Regiment was commissioned to construct a road from the Derwent River to St. Peter's Pass near Oatlands.

Convicts carved a road through this wild and difficult terrain as settlers fought to establish crops and stock, constantly under threat from bush rangers, escaped convicts and the increasingly displaced Aboriginal tribes.

Small villages began to appear to service the needs of settlers, road gangs and overseers - beautifully crafted bridges, public buildings, churches and coaching inns followed.

Most of Tasmania's finest private estates were built in this area with convict labour.

The journey

Starting at the beautiful, heritage listed town of Evandale, I will head off to Longford then down the Midlands Highway looking at Perth, Campbell Town, Ross and Oatlands, before branching off to visit the historic town of Richmond.

While each of these wonderful destinations is more than worth the journey, the journey itself is a visually delightful and relaxing adjunct.

A quick drive will get you from Launceston to Richmond in less than three hours, but we are not doing a quick trip, are we?

Nestled in between and around the larger towns and villages of the Midlands are a number of smaller - though not necessarily lesser - villages and hamlets that, depending upon your available time and interests, you may wish to visit.

Have a flexible schedule and discover a huge sense of freedom, just stopping wherever you stop - turning off the main highway to explore anything that looks interesting.

Bush rangers

At one time, in 1825, there were said to have been over a hundred bush rangers mounted on good horses and bristling with firearms, scouring the countryside.

Murder, robbery and burning were everyday affairs committed by these gentry and the blacks were no less ferocious.

No one knew when he would be attacked and none dared go far from their
homesteads.

Farmers worked with a gun tied to their plough handles, or within easy reach, in case of a surprise visit.

Needless to say, many left their properties and sought refuge in the towns.

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Evandale


Hotel stables - now Evandale Antiques

The Evandale area was first used [by Europeans] by shepherds seeking new pastures for their flocks in the early 1800s. It is now a small, National Trust classified, Georgian village, sitting on the banks of the South Esk River, around 18 km south of Launceston and 182 km north of Hobart.

To add some depth and colour to your visit, you can pick up a Heritage Walk booklet (available from the Evandale Tourist Information Centre for $3 - at the time of writing) and spend half a day walking around this magnificent heritage listed village, or visit on a Sunday and include a couple of hours at the large weekly markets.

Read more ~ A guide to services, what to do, where to stay and a little history of Evandale.

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Longford


JJs Bakery, Longford

Situated 21 km south of Launceston and 187 km north of Hobart, Longford is a 15 minute drive from Launceston Airport.

The town has a population of 3,757 (2011 census) and is predominantly agricultural - noted for wool, dairy produce and stock breeding.

Pick up a free guide, The Path of History, at the local Visitor Centre at JJ's Bakery, or at council office in Smith Street and take a self-guided walking tour of the town, taking in much of its rich history.

The guide lists twenty local heritage sites for you to explore, along with a brief history of each.

Read More ~ A guide to services, what to do, where to stay and a little history of Longford.

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Cressy

If you are up for a spot of trout fishing, and have remembered your fishing licence, you might want to head 11 kilometres south of Longford to Tasmania's 'Trout capital', Cressy.

Fishing season runs from the first Saturday in August to the Sunday nearest 30 April.

Read More ~ A guide to services, what to do, where to stay and a little history of Cressy.

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Perth

Perth sits 20 km south of Launceston, on the Midland Highway and has a population of 2,567 (2011 Census).

You can pick up a National Trust brochure from the post office and take a self-guided walking tour past the notable Baptist and Methodist churches, some private homes and historic shop fronts.

Read More ~ A guide to services, what to do, where to stay and a little history of Perth.

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Campbell Town


The Fox Hunter's Return

Sitting on the banks of the Elizabeth River - around 69 km from Launceston and 133 km from Hobart - Campbell Town was one of the early coaching stops and has a population of 781 (2011 census).

Start your visit to Campbell Town by stopping in at the Campbell Town Visitor Centre, located in historic 'Quondong Cottage', at 15 Old Menangle Road (nestled between the Arts Centre and Catholic Club).

Centre opening hours are 8.30am - 4.30pm Weekdays; 10am - 4pm Saturday and Sunday 10am - 2pm on Public Holidays.

Read More ~ A guide to services, what to do, where to stay and a little history of Campbell Town.

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Ross

This historic town, in the Midlands, has a population 423 (2011 Census) and is located 78 km south of Launceston and 117 km north of Hobart, on the Macquarie River.

The town is listed on the Register of the National Estate and is noted for its historic bridge, original sandstone buildings and convict history.

The main street carries an avenue of English elms, that compliment the numerous convict built Georgian sandstone buildings, offering visitors a picturesque and peaceful village experience.

Read More ~ A guide to services, what to do, where to stay and a little history of Ross.

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Oatlands


Callington Mill, Oatlands

Your first stop, upon entering Oatlands, should be the Heritage Highway Visitor's Centre, in the Callington Mill precinct, where you can pick up a self guided tour map of the town along with a coffee and a snack.

Oatlands sits around 84 km north of Hobart and 115 km south of Launceston, about 1 km off the Midland Highway (you can see the windmill from the highway) and has a (2011 Census) population of 862.

The town has the largest collection of sandstone buildings in a village setting in Australia with 87 original sandstone buildings along the town’s main street.

Read More ~ A guide to services, what to do, where to stay and a little history of Oatlands.

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Richmond


Richmond Bridge

Sitting about 25 km north-east of Hobart and 174 km south-east of Launceston, Richmond has a population of 1,610 (2011 census).

Nestled in the Coal River Valley, between the Midland Highway and Tasman Highway, this classified historic town is famous for its Georgian architecture and contains Australia’s oldest freestone road bridge, the oldest Roman Catholic Church and the best preserved convict gaol.

Read More ~ A guide to services, what to do, where to stay and a little history of Richmond.


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