New Norfolk has just been announced as the winner of the 2010 Tasmanian Tidy Towns Award. Having some tough competition, what’s so special about this town? Located about 30 minutes from Hobart in the Derwent Valley, it’s time to find out.

New Norfolk - Derwent Valley, Tasmania

River Derwent: New Norfolk (photo by Dan Fellow)

New Norfolk: Winning Ways

I was actually a local for about 6 weeks during a house-sitting assignment a few years back. The thing I remember most, apart from my delightful foster-pets Mishka and Tessa, is the scenic drives. All manner of tourist routes lead from New Norfolk, and you can enjoy day-trips taking in a variety of landscapes. Choose from the snow-capped mountains of nearby Mt Field National Park, to the farming hillsides en-route to historic Hamilton.

New Norfolk - Mt Field National Park

Mt Field National Park via New Norfolk

Bushy Park

Driving past the Salmon Ponds (having their own parkland gardens and trout fishing museum) leads you to Bushy Park. The hop-growing capital of Tasmania, the river flats are interspersed with the tall-standing hop vines, grape vineyards and orchards of cherries and olives.

Bushy Park via New Norfolk

Bushy Park via New Norfolk (photo by Dan Fellow)

Derwent Valley

The Derwent Valley has about 10,000 residents. While many commute to Hobart for work, New Norfolk also provides services for the surrounding forestry and agricultural community. With the Derwent River winding through town and hills climbing either side, the town has a very peaceful setting. Peppermint Hill Reserve and Pulpit Rock Lookout provide panoramic views.

New Norfolk - Derwent River

Derwent River: New Norfolk (photo by Dan Fellow)

Autumn Colour for Photography

For photographers, New Norfolk is well known for its autumn showing along the river, but there is beauty in every season. From the parks and gardens in the centre of town, to the trails leading further afield, there’s plenty to shoot.

New Norfolk - Autumn Colour

New Norfolk: autumn

Antiques, Collectibles and History

Also a draw-card are the antique stores and historic buildings like the Willow Court precinct. Built in the 1830s as a hospital for convicts, the facility became an asylum for the mentally ill. Architecturally important to New Norfolk, several of the Willow Court buildings are heritage listed, and some have been adapted for commercial ventures. And the Anglican Church, located opposite Arthur Square, was built in 1823 and has a magnificent array of stained glass windows.

New Norfolk - Anglican Church

1823 Anglican Church: New Norfolk (photo by Dan Fellow)

Tasmanian Tidy Towns Award

Would you agree then? Is that enough to take out the Tasmanian Tidy Towns Award? When you consider other recent winners (Richmond, Oatlands, Ross and Swansea) you’d have to agree New Norfolk must be pretty special. But if you’re not into antiques or history, New Norfolk also has a wild side. You can take a devil jet boat ride on the Derwent to rev things up.


Map: New Norfolk, Tasmania

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