Railton is a quaint country town about 35 minutes from Devonport. Its location: one of the many scenic routes to Cradle Mountain between Latrobe and Sheffield. It is best known as the Town Of Topiary.
The topiary is part of Tasmania’s outdoor art gallery. In Railton, you’ll discover over 150 living sculptures. When visiting, you can walk the Town of Topiary Trail with the help of a free map, which you can pick up at most businesses in town. The map has information about where each topiary is located and when they were established.
While in town, make sure you pop into Railton Arts and Crafts. It’s stocked with local handmade goods including quilted wall hangings, knitted items, jewellery, toys, clothing, jams, wooden items and more. If you’re an interstate traveller, why not take home a local, Tasmanian-made item as a souvenir? At the same time you’ll be helping support small town makers.
Town of Topiary Tea Room
I stopped for lunch at the Town of Topiary Tea Room, which offers a range of home-baked food and Devonshire teas. I was feeling adventurous so I chose one of Wendy’s home-made rabbit pies. Having never tried one before, I was interested to see what they were like. It was very tasty and if I had any room left I probably would’ve tried one of their wallaby pies as well.
You’ll often see Wendy and Rodney’s food van at shows and events around the north west selling their rabbit and wallaby pies and other assorted goodies.
Seven Sheds Brewery and Meadery
When I was in Railton I also visited Seven Sheds Brewery and Meadery. Seven Sheds opened in 2008 and attracts around 5,000 visitors a year. Roughly half interstate and half international visitors pass through their doors during this time.
Seven Sheds is owned and operated by Willie Simpson and Catherine Stark. Besides the brewery, meadery and hop garden, there’s also an established, purpose-built tasting room.
Willie and Catherine also run brewery tours, have cellar door sales and can cater for groups by arrangement. There’s a focus on using fresh local produce to create the interesting flavours in every tipple. They also grow hops on site using organic methods and use local honeys for their mead.
Stark Raven Mad
Seven Sheds beers are made using handcrafted and time-honoured brewing methods and have attention-grabbing names like
- Elephants Trunk
- Stark Raven
- Paradise Pale
- Kentish Ale
- Willie Warmer
- Royal Willie
- Up Ya Kilt
Willie and Catherine are stallholders at many Tasmanian events and festivals during the year, including
- Festivale in Launceston
- Taste of the North West and Steamfest in Sheffield
- Taste the Harvest in Devonport
- Bloomin’ Tulips in Wynyard
- Tasmanian Craft Fair in Deloraine
- The Taste Festival in Hobart
Seven Sheds Brewery and Meadery has an Open Day Hop Harvest in March and an Oktoberfest Day as well. You can also find their beers at around thirty outlets throughout Tasmania and on tap at select locations (Cradle Mountain Chateau, Mole Creek Hotel and Lark Distillery in Hobart). If you want to know more about their range of beers and ales or order online you can check out the Seven Sheds website.
You can follow Seven Sheds Brewery Meadery and Hop Garden on Facebook. They’re open Wednesdays to Sundays and most public holidays (not Good Friday) from 11:00am to 5:00pm. Other times by appointment.
Michelle Kneipp Pegler writes a blog called Leven River Farm as well as articles like this about the north west coast region of Tasmania. If you’d like Michelle to visit you, please contact Think Tasmania.
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