We love to see the quirky attractions that make Tasmania so notable. So we couldn’t visit Queenstown without seeing the legendary gravel oval with our own eyes.
Queenstown’s Infamous Gravel Oval
What do you do when your town’s high levels of rainfall make grass an unsustainable surface for the local footy team? You build a gravel oval, of course!
The gravel oval in Queenstown has been called many things. It would not be polite to mention some of the more colourful descriptions used by opposition teams. Whether you prefer “famous” or “infamous” as a term of reference doesn’t matter. The heritage-listed footy field boasts a 100-year history and has hosted many a brave soul in Aussie Rules battles on Tasmania’s west coast.
Queenstown’s recreation precinct includes a fine-looking grandstand for the viewing pleasure of footy spectators. There may – or may not – have been more modern change rooms for the visiting football teams, but those we photographed were looking pretty “rustic”. The asphalt bike track around the perimetre hasn’t been used for many years, and was due for removal soon after our visit. Imagine that though, barrelling off the gravel oval and onto a lovely landing of bitumen, just to add to the collection of bruises!
The gravel oval was a sight itself, especially with the bike track still in place. But the graders in the middle, repairing the surface? You just wouldn’t dream of seeing that. What luck! The workers were probably quite bemused by our attention.
Premiers: the Queenstown Crows
The Queenstown Crows took out the premiership for the senior team in the 2014 season. The club lost players to the Mt Lyell mining disaster, so the end-of-year celebrations would’ve been quite emotional.
Queenstown is part of the Darwin Football Association, which is confusing. The Australian Rules football league IS in Tasmania though, not the Northern Territory, and other clubs come from Ridgley, Somerset, Natone and Burnie. It’s the only competition in Australia to include games on a gravel oval. Probably no shock there.
Thanks For Having Us Queenstown!
So that’s all folks. This article about Queenstown’s gravel oval brings us to the end of the current series, published on behalf of generous sponsors. Again, we thank them for hosting us, and for the invitation to visit such a fabulous part of the world. We will be back. And no doubt we’ll continue sharing random photos via social media… we took so many, we can’t let them go to waste.
Think Tasmania was a guest of…
- Mt Lyell Anchorage Bed and Breakfast: 17 Cutten Street, Queenstown TAS 7467 ~ phone (03) 6471 1900
- Queenstown Heritage Tours: 24 Sticht Street, Queenstown, TAS 7467 ~ phone 0407 049 612
- West Coast Wilderness Railway: 1 Driffield Street, Queenstown, TAS 7467 ~ phone (03) 6471 0100
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