If you like getting away from the main roads and the popular tourist routes, I have found a road that gives you that option. People driving from Hobart to the East Coast will travel up the centre of the state on Route 1 and turn off at either Campbell Town or Conara depending on their destination while others will choose the Tasman Highway to see a greater portion of the coast.
Alternative Route: Hobart to the East Coast
Oatlands is only an hour out of Hobart and they have unique bread made from stone-ground flour that was milled over the road at the Callington Mill. The first time tourist will love the Callington Mill, the tour and the town in general.
From Hobart to Buckland via Oatlands
Now for the east coast! If you don’t mind getting your car dirty and driving on dirt roads, you can make a turn out of Oatlands that will take you to Buckland. This winding road is easy to drive and will show you a side to Tasmania that only those living there see. It’s mainly rugged sheep country and scrub where only the hardy will survive. I was interested in the small towns that were only names on the map when I commenced the trip; Parattah, Baden, Tunnack, Whitefoord and Woodsdale.
Apart from the first mentioned, you wouldn’t want to blink else you’ll miss them. Renowned for heavy frosts, fine swedes and turnips I stopped in the centre of Tunnack, near the cemetery, just to get a feel for the place and what it would be like living there. I’d seen cheap houses advertised on Domain. Good value. Bargains; and I can see why. If you weren’t involved in farming, you would be stagnant and depressed where a scarce neighbour would be your only contact.
If you want to know more about these small towns, I can recommend the book titled A History of the Lower Midlands of Tasmania by J.S. Weeding.
From Buckland to Orford
Buckland features regularly on Think Tasmania. Why? The Church of John the Baptist and the magnificent stained glass windows therein. In all of Tasmania you won’t find a better church. In my opinion only the church in Deloraine comes close. Take a breather to walk the grounds. Enter through the solid wooden door with hinges and locks that were made to last. Marvel in the streams of natural light entering the stained glass windows. To show your appreciation, buy a booklet or leave a gold coin donation in the box. Drive away feeling spiritually better without feeling religious!
Ten minutes and you’ll be on the east coast in Orford. Have a stroll, fish or play golf. Maybe stay the night in one of several choices that Orford offers. If not, continue to the sister town of Triabunna where you can do the same.
If you’re continuing north, you will find the next part of the drive tedious. Swansea looks close on the map but in reality it’s further than you think. Just south of Swansea you will need to stop at Spiky Beach on your right before stopping again at Spiky Bridge on your left.
Swansea is also a great place to stay. It’s a lovely town with unspoilt beaches and surrounds. For the serious fisherman, Swansea is the place to go. There’s a well-equipped pier, boat ramps, maps and parking. Quality restaurants, cafés and wineries will satisfy the gourmet traveller.
9 April 2013 ~ As a follow on from this article by Roger, we’ve published another from local Tasmanian and guest author Margaret Morgan: Hobart to the East Coast.
Roger Findlay spends all his holidays in Tasmania, then writes about the
experience for Think Tasmania. If you’d like Roger to visit you in the name of
research (so we can publish information about your business), please contact us.
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