Before Tasmania’s famed Port Arthur Historic Site was settled, Woodbridge on the Derwent (circa 1825) was built. The almost-200 years since have seen many changes of ownership and purpose. Current owners Laurelle and John Grimley saved New Norfolk’s magnificent mansion from utter despair in 2004. The historic property boasts a prime riverfront location and now offers boutique luxury accommodation like no other.

Woodbridge on the Derwent - New Norfolk, Tasmania
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Woodbridge on the Derwent: New Norfolk, Tasmania

Tasmanian Heritage: Woodbridge on the Derwent

Lovers of history will be mesmerised by Woodbridge on the Derwent. At every turn, there’s a fascinating memento from the restoration journey. Ancient nails have been mounted into a frame to adorn the walls, and the hotel’s eight rooms have been named to honour previous owners.

Woodbridge on the Derwent - Sharland Premier Queen Room
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New Norfolk history: Sharland Premier Queen Room

We stayed in the Sharland suite. William Stanley Sharland, the Assistant Surveyor General, purchased the property in 1834 for 750 pounds, an absolute bargain for the time! The first Chief Constable, Thomas Roadknight paid more than 1,000 pounds to build his family’s mansion just nine years prior. While the history is thoroughly fascinating, guests of today enjoy all the creature comforts, ensuring a relaxing stay.

Woodbridge on the Derwent - Ensuite Bathroom
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Ensuite bathroom with river views

Boutique Luxury Plus

Strolling the magnificent grounds was a truly breathtaking experience. New Norfolk’s famous autumn colours reflected in the river, offering a tranquil haven central to the attractions of the Derwent Valley.

Woodbridge on the Derwent - Heritage Mansion
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Built using convict labour: circa 1825

We’ve not stayed in a property quite like this one before. Besides the massive, private suite we had a choice of common rooms. Our favourite was The Ballroom, with large sofas for reading by the fire. Woodbridge on the Derwent offers a “Run of the House” package for group bookings, popular for festivals including Dark Mofo. A mere half-hour drive from Hobart and you could be curled up on the couch with a glass of wine after a busy day of art and music in the capital.

Woodbridge on the Derwent - The Ballroom
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Favourite: The Ballroom with comfy lounges

Extra Special: New Norfolk Accommodation

Hosts Laurelle and John Grimley have thought of everything for guests at Woodbridge on the Derwent. We honestly could’ve stayed for a week in total bliss. Sherry in The Ballroom; port in The Salon and chocolates in The Reading Room. So many rooms!

Woodbridge on the Derwent - Sherry
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Pre-dinner drinks: mansion living areas

And little surprises, like fresh walnuts, complete with nutcracker… have you ever seen such a thing? Tasmanian apples and pears. Swiss chocolates. A delight at every turn, and a new discovery in every corner.

Woodbridge on the Derwent - Luxury Boutique Accommodation
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Extra touches: luxury boutique accommodation, Tasmania

Derwent Valley Details

Woodbridge on the Derwent is located at 6 Bridge Street in New Norfolk, the capital of Tasmania’s Derwent Valley region. Phone 0417 996 305 for details or follow Woodbridge on the Derwent via Facebook.

Think Tasmania stayed as guests of Woodbridge on the Derwent. The property is now closed to individual travellers for winter, although group bookings are still considered. You can always start planning a holiday for next spring though. New Norfolk’s crack luxury accommodation team, including stellar hotel manager Tim, will be back in September after a well-earned break.

We’ll publish a separate article detailing the food we ate in this property’s specially-built guest pavilion. So much food. And so good.

Woodbridge on the Derwent - Breakfast
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Buffet breakfast: served in The Pavilion

From our stay at Woodbridge on the Derwent, we can also share more about…

…because that’s just what we do, when we’re given these fabulous opportunities!

We’ll also share more photos via social media (from the 100s we took) of this 1825 convict-built property. There’ll be an album solely for Woodbridge on the Derwent, as we’ve done for sister property Truffle Lodge, so head over to Think Tasmania’s Facebook page if you’re keen to see more. And the occasional Instagram pic will no doubt continue to appear in our feed, beyond the initial flurry.

Woodbridge on the Derwent - Bird Cage, Breakfast Pavilion
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Absolutely amazing antique birdcage: The Pavilion

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