One of the significant focal points of historic Oatlands in central Tasmania is a flour mill. At Callington Mill wheat is ground into flour (or has been at various points in history). That makes me wonder why the town wasn’t named Wheatlands.
Oatlands: Heritage Town
Located midway between Hobart and Launceston, this town is home to almost 500 locals. The midlands region of Tasmania, with the Heritage Highway running through the middle, is a very picturesque part of the state.
Think rolling rural landscapes, dotted with sheep and interspersed with poppy farms. There’s hedges and creeks and a background of mountain ranges, sometimes capped with snow. Other towns in the Heritage Highway region are also worthy of separate articles.
One of several villages now bypassed, Oatlands is well worth the small detour from the highway. Given credit for Australia’s largest assortment of sandstone buildings, the town dates back to the 1820s and retains a distinct colonial character. A walk around the beautiful esplanades, past the Court House, the Old Gaol and Holyrood House would be sufficient reason to visit.
Callington Mill: Oatlands
The blades and cap of the 1830s sandstone mill can be seen from the highway, stretching 25 metres above the ground. The mill and surrounding complex have been undergoing a million dollar transformation, to bring the landmark back to its former glory. Artisan bakers from Companion Bakery across the road in High Street are the current operators of Callington Mill and plan to use locally produced flour and ingredients to make wood-fired, sourdough breads.
Lake Fishing: Oatlands
I cannot claim to be an expert in recreational fishing. However, Lake Dulverton was playing host to 20+ campervans on the day of my visit. So I did a little research to uncover the attraction.
As it turns out, the lake had been stocked with trout and salmon provided by the local District High School Aquaculture Centre. No wonder it was such a popular campsite. At least there’s a chance of catching something! The lake was a great place for a barbecue, with facilities and picnic shelters.
If Lake Dulverton fails the fishing enthusiast, Lake Sorell and Lake Crescent (both to the north west of Oatlands) offer variety. Fishing in rivers and lakes in Tasmania requires a licence.
Heritage Sandstone Buildings
I’m not a huge fan of fishing, but I am a huge fan of photography. Gorgeous heritage buildings provide happy-snappers a real feature. The town is peaceful, quiet and just a lovely place to visit.
Some of the sandstone buildings have been restored and converted. Cafes, restaurants, shops and accommodation houses line High Street.
Reasons to Return: Oatlands Tasmania
The buildings are not the only focal point. The township and surrounds also boast a trail of topiary sculptures, which make for more interesting photography subjects. Sculptures are big in the region, with a series of colonial-themed steel silhouettes found along the Heritage Highway. I will definitely visit Oatlands again during my next research mission to this Tasmanian region.
For more information, visit Oatlands via Heritage Highway online.