Tasmania’s historic Ross and Oatlands

After another breakfast with the works from Neil and Noel at Meredith House in Swansea we packed up, checked out and started the drive back to Hobart. Our plan was to stop at a couple of the historic towns in the centre of Tasmania, Ross and Oatlands. The drive inland was very scenic with wooded hills and the occasional lake. At the main north-south highway we turned southwards. We reached Ross about 11:15 and found a parking place.

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We expected to see lots of old buildings and the bridge but not a lady walking along the street carrying a spinning wheel! It turned out the local spinning group were spinning near a few information boards detailing the history of Ross. In all we saw about twenty women and even a couple of blokes spinning away. Quite a sight to see! We walked across the road to the Tourist Information Centre, which was also a woollen garments shop and at the back Ross wool museum. We spent about half an hour looking around and soaking up the information. Just along the street was a store selling all sorts of wooden items. All very beautifully made but we didn’t really need anything they were selling. From there we followed the signs to the Female factory site which dates back to the convict times in the early 1800s. Next we made our way back across the main street to the famous bridge, built with convict labour.

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Our last stop was at the bakery 31 where Karen ordered a cup of tea and I bought the local speciality, a curried scallop pie.

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We continued southward and stopped at historic Oatlands next. There were lots of extremely well preserved buildings here. The whole town had quite a good look to it.

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However the standout feature was the Callington Mill, still turning and making flour, which was for sale in the Tourist Information Centre just next door.

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Our journey then took a detour as we went onto a back road to drive through some lovely countryside to the little hamlet of Rhyndaston where Karen’s friend Denise’s family were farmers.

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From there we rejoined one of the main routes and drove through Richmond back to Hobart and made our way to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. More about our time there in my next post.

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