Australia’s island state is its most charming due to many, many factors. Yet, the small towns in Tasmania certainly help add to the charm and then some. Places like Sheffield, Richmond, Oatlands and Perth are lovely as they each have their own distinct vibe and aspects which make them a pleasant detour on any Tasmanian road trip.
There really is no better feeling than climbing into your (rented) car and driving with only the vaguest of destinations in mind.
I had a holiday like this very recently. I caught the Spirit of Tasmania from Port Melbourne to Devonport, rented a car and just drove. A bed was booked for each night of the trip, but the days were mine, to do what I wished with them.
What a delicious feeling that is.
I meandered along winding roads, stopping to photograph whatever I fancied. If a town looked interesting – even just from the tourism signs – I turned off the highway and drove through it.
It was an exceptionally good way to travel, which led me to see sights that I don’t think I would have, otherwise.
Sheffield – A Town of Murals
I’d actually driven through Sheffield a million years ago on the way to Tasmazia, the southern hemisphere’s biggest maze. I guess I wasn’t paying all that much attention, as I don’t remember Sheffield as being that standout, which is certainly is.
The town is covered in murals – they are everywhere. On the side of the pub. On a church. In the supermarket car park. Almost every inch of the town has some of kind of scene painted on it.
And they’re darn good, too! Although with Mount Roland looming in the distance, it isn’t really all that hard to see where the artists get their inspiration from.
There was also a mural competition going on at the time. It was quite fun to check them out, but I think the permanent ones are the real drawcard. Which is good, because they’re the ones that are sticking around!The charm of Tasmania lies in its small towns. @DiscoverTasmania. Click To Tweet
Oatlands – Bemused Sheep, Georgian Architecture and a Great, Big Mill
Oatlands was one of those afore-mentioned destinations that I pulled off the highway to see. There was allegedly a mill. I wanted to see said mill.
And I did.
The town itself was really quiet. I wandered around for a bit, taking photos of the gorgeous Georgian buildings and cottages and the local sheep. There were a couple of antique stores there as well. Had a rummage around in one, but most of the stuff was breakable and I didn’t trust myself or the baggage handlers at Hobart and Melbourne airports respectively not to break it.
Richmond – Am I in England, or Australia?
Richmond is a bit of a tourist hotspot in southern Tasmania and rightly so, as it is bloody gorgeous.
The town is home to Australia’s oldest bridge (well, oldest that is still in use), which was completed in 1825. To any Brits or Europeans who may be reading this, please don’t laugh at how recent that is, because it is mean. St John’s Catholic Church is also considered to be the oldest in Australia. It is really quite cute – just look at it!
Other sights include the gaol, school house and many other lovely looking buildings, with brightly coloured doors. There was a Saturday market going on when I was visiting – I walked in for thirty seconds and left $70 poorer. There are plenty of places to eat, drink and be merry, although I did nothing of the sort. Well, I suppose I was feeling a bit merry, but it wasn’t alcohol induced. Don’t drink and drive, folks.
Richmond actually hurt my heart, as it looked so much like a little English country village. The sunshine gave away the fact that it was Australian, although it really can go either way in Tassie.
Perth – Home to Tasmania’s Only Castle (to My Knowledge)
You’ll see Perth pretty early on in the drive from Launceston to Hobart. It’d be a blink and you miss it kinda place… if it weren’t for the fact that someone decided to build a castle on the side of the road.
Tasmania really is Australia’s weirdest state. And I dunno about you, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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