David and Anne Kernke are the owners of Shene, the historic Tasmanian property located in Pontville. Anne has been following Think Tasmania on Facebook, and was impressed by the photographs taken by Dan Fellow. She invited him to visit and inspect the work they’re doing as the custodians of this Heritage Highway treasure.
Shene: Heritage Treasure
photos by Dan Fellow
The story of Shene dates back to 1819, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie issued a land grant to Edward Paine, grandson of King George III. The homestead and stable complex were designed by Francis Butler, son of prominent English lawyer Gamaliel Butler. Francis was the architect responsible for many of the iconic buildings throughout the Hobart region, but the construction of this Pontville property was a symbol of the wealth and power of the landed gentry.
These days, Shene is providing owners David and Anne Kernke with a wealth of history to share. Built using convict labour, there are tales of conflict between the settlers, the convicts, local Aboriginals and the occasional bush ranger. As a vital agricultural holding, the wheat grown on the property was used to sustain the colony in both Hobart and Sydney Cove.
The public can now gain an incredible insight into early colonial times by joining a walking tour of Shene. David and Anne Kernke escort visitors around the privately owned estate, taking in the Georgian homestead, servant’s quarters and the iconic stables and barn.
Tours are strictly by appointment and operate Friday through to Monday at 2:00pm (or at other times by special arrangement). Bookings are essential, and are to be made at least 24 hours in advance. Visitors are advised to wear sturdy footwear appropriate for walking. All bookings are made online.
The guided walking tour of Shene Estate lasts approximately 90 minutes, but guests are welcome to stay on and appreciate the heritage experience. The official tour concludes with High Tea served in the homestead, and features produce grown on the property at Shene.
Shene Tasmania is located at 76 Shene Road Pontville. It’s about 30 minutes north of Hobart on the Midland Highway, driving towards Launceston. For more details, contact David and Anne Kernke on 0408 020 007 or visit the Shene website. You can also follow Shene Tasmania on Facebook and Twitter.