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Step Back in Time: 6 Things to Do at Oatlands

Oatlands is one of the state’s oldest settlements, and was originally established as a military base to manage the convicts who worked on the area’s buildings, bridges and farms. The Georgian streetscape was mostly convict-built in the early 19th century, and today offers a glimpse of what life looked like in colonial Tasmania. The town was even transformed into a film set for The Nightingale, an upcoming period drama about a young convict woman seeking revenge for her family’s murder. This captivating town is just over one hour’s drive from Hobart along the Heritage Highway – here are six things to do when you get there!

[mk_title_box color=”#393836″ highlight_color=”#06369c” highlight_opacity=”0.6″ size=”18″ line_height=”34″ font_weight=”inherit” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]1. Explore the local shops, galleries and attractions[/mk_title_box]

Oatlands boasts the largest collection of historic sandstone buildings of any town in Australia (87 along the main street, with more than 150 in total). Many of these historic buildings are living their best 21st century life as antique shops, cafes, galleries, accommodation, and attractions. The jewel in Oatlands’ crown is Callington Mill, a fully restored, working Georgian windmill (c. 1837). Although guided tours are currently unavailable, you are still welcome to wander around the historic site.

In summer, cool off at the local swimming pool, or have a game of golf at the local club. On the first Sunday of each month, search for treasure at the Oatlands Community Market (from 9am to 1pm, at the Oatlands Community Hall). Meet the local makers and growers and pick up something special, such as homemade cakes, handmade cards, goat milk soap, glass painting, photography, and bric-a-brac.

flowerqueen123456 sunrise Callington Mill rose_red_ladybug
Images: @flowerqueen123456/Instagram | @rose_red_ladybug/Instagram

[mk_title_box color=”#393836″ highlight_color=”#06369c” highlight_opacity=”0.6″ size=”18″ line_height=”34″ font_weight=”inherit” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]2. Step back in time on a self-guided walking tour[/mk_title_box]

There is a tonne of history to discover as you explore Oatlands. Pick up the Stories from the Sandstone self-guided walking brochure and take a stroll back in time to the town’s beginnings as a military base and stagecoach depot. Keep an eye out for elegant churches, such as St Peters Church (c. 1888), and fascinating heritage sites, such as the Supreme Court House (c. 1829) and the remains of the Oatlands Gaol complex (c. 1837). Informative signs around town tell tales of sheep farming, convicts, bushrangers, colonial entrepreneurs, and colourful local characters such as Tasmania’s most feared hangman.

natalie.m.jones eleni.avraam
Images: @natalie.m.jones/Instagram | @eleni.avraam/Instagram

[mk_title_box color=”#393836″ highlight_color=”#06369c” highlight_opacity=”0.6″ size=”18″ line_height=”34″ font_weight=”inherit” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]3. Enjoy a fun day at Soba at Callington[/mk_title_box]

On Sunday, 25th February 2018, 20 master soba noodle chefs from Japan will demonstrate soba noodle making, using Tasmanian buckwheat ground at Callington Mill. Entry to the event is free, however the demonstration and tasting is limited to pre-registered ticket holders.

There will be a range of fun activities on between 12pm and 4pm around the Callington Mill precinct, with food and refreshments available to purchase on the day. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the historic Callington Mill, and explore the heritage vegetable garden, blacksmiths forge, and other aspects of the site. There will be a range of Japanese cultural and artistic activities on offer, including a performance by a visiting Japanese opera singer.

japanese_chefs2 japanese_chefs
Images: https://www.callingtonmill.com.au/events/

[mk_title_box color=”#393836″ highlight_color=”#06369c” highlight_opacity=”0.6″ size=”18″ line_height=”34″ font_weight=”inherit” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]4. Lake Dulverton Conservation Area[/mk_title_box]

Lake Dulverton is a waterbird sanctuary on the outskirts of Oatlands, and is an important wetland for threatened and migratory birds. It’s also a favourite spot for locals to enjoy trout fishing, boating, bird watching, and strolling along the scenic walking track. Take a picnic for a relaxing afternoon! Oatlands is an RV friendly town, with overnight camping available at the Lake Dulverton Conservation Area (off High Street on the Esplanade).

warrenleahy Lake Dulverton arthurbenandbarrow
Images: @warrenleahy/Instagram | @arthurbenandbarrow/Instagram

[mk_title_box color=”#393836″ highlight_color=”#06369c” highlight_opacity=”0.6″ size=”18″ line_height=”34″ font_weight=”inherit” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]5. Play Skulduggery to solve a true crime[/mk_title_box]

Put the whole family’s sleuthing skills to the test with a game of Skulduggery! There are three games in the series, each focusing on a true crime committed along the Heritage Highway in the 1830s (available to purchase at Heritage Highway Visitor Centres and the Northern Midlands Council). Forgery for Fools is based at Oatlands, and involves the nefarious dealings of publican, gaoler, trickster and black-guard George Dudfield. Will you crack the mystery?!

Skulduggery
Image: heritagehighway.com.au

[mk_title_box color=”#393836″ highlight_color=”#06369c” highlight_opacity=”0.6″ size=”18″ line_height=”34″ font_weight=”inherit” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]6. Walk the Topiary Trail[/mk_title_box]

Oatlands’ amazing Topiary Trail was designed by Tasmanian sculptor Stephen Walker and made by a local resident. You’ll find the topiary sculptures in several locations around town, with a range of delightful creations to spot. The leafy characters are sure to put a smile on your dial!

hmmfood Oatlands raffahhouse
Images: @hmmfood/Instagram | @raffahhouse/Instagram


We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook. We’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog!


Related posts:
Tours, Tipples and the Great Outdoors in the Southern Midlands
#HeritageHighwayMeet – Windmills, Whisky, Poltergeists and Wombats
Winery Tastings & Tours: Cellar Doors of Southern Tasmania
Four Reasons to Make a Modern-Day Coach Stop at Kempton

Header image:
@janet_a_g/Instagram

Words:
Isabel Galloway

 

For more great events in southern Tasmania, be sure to visit our Events page.

We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook – we’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog.

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We acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their enduring custodianship of lutruwita / Tasmania. We honour 40,000 years of uninterrupted care, protection and belonging to these islands, before the invasion and colonisation of European settlement.

As a destination that welcomes visitors to these lands, we acknowledge our responsibility to represent to our visitors, Tasmania’s deep and complex history, fully, respectfully and truthfully.

We acknowledge the Aboriginal people who continue to care for this country today. We pay our respects to their elders, past and present. We honour their stories, songs, art, and culture, and their aspirations for the future of their people and these lands. We respectfully ask that tourism be a part of that future.

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