The Steppes Stones are something we came across purely by chance. We were returning from our weekend at Ulverstone River Retreat, and chose to take the Lakes Highway. The road through the Central Highlands of Tasmania makes for an interesting drive. There’s many opportunities to stop for short walks or just view the unique terrain, flora and fauna.
Steppes Stones: Bronze Sculptures in the State Reserve
About 35kms north of Bothwell, is one place worth particular attention. Just south of the Interlaken turnoff and part of the Steppes State Reserve there’s a simple timber roadside sign that would be easy enough to ignore. The sign reads “Steppes Sculptures” and marks a bizarre attraction.
A short distance from the sign (marking the entrance to a carpark) is a circle of stone plinths adorned with bronze sculptures. Looking like some sort of bush grotto… just like a scene from Survivor!
Stephen Walker, Distinguished Tasmanian Sculptor
Stephen Walker is the artist responsible for the Steppes Stones. The work reflects some of the wildlife and history of the Central Highlands. The bronze sculptures on the Hobart waterfront, as well as the Southern Right Whale at Cockle Creek in the far south of Tassie, are also by Stephen Walker.
Steppes Historic Site
If you do stop to inspect Steppes Stones, be sure to allow enough time to appreciate everything on offer. Unfortunately, we didn’t realise this until later, but a walking path through the state reserve leads to the Steppes Historic Site. Apparently, the 19th Century Steppes Homestead, with bake house and other outbuildings, is a pleasant place for a bush picnic.
We must have been so shocked to find the Steppes Stones, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, that we didn’t see any sign or path leading to the homestead, and I’m bitterly disappointed about that. Hopefully we’ve now saved you from making the same mistake.
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