Devonport and Historical Towns

by : Jenny Brewer

The port city of Devonport is known as the gateway to Tasmania as it is also home to the Spirit of Tasmania. If you are bringing your vehicle over on the car ferry from Port Melbourne you can choose from night or day crossings, which takes roughly 9-10 hours. There is also a service from Sydney, which departs three times a week. Once you arrive you are free to explore one of Australia's most compact and beautiful tourist destinations.

Devonport is a welcoming, seaside city and popular as a base for travellers to explore the surrounding regions. It is therefore commonly known as 'the gateway to Tasmania'. Countryside, beaches, mountains, forests and historical buildings are all within a day's drive from the city, which is why it is so popular.

It is well known for its Art Centre, which is depictive of the aboriginal culture and local creativity. The Tasmanian Maritime Museum is steeped in history with fantastic maritime displays and a large number of model ships which would bring the child out of most of us. The Don River Railway and Museum are also worth a visit and provide an interesting look at the history of steam trains in that area.

The most scenic location would have to be Merseys Bluff headland, which gives fantastic views of the town, river and beyond. Tiagarra, which means 'keeping place' is located here and has over eighteen displays of Aboriginal rock carvings.

If you love historical buildings then drop in to Home Hill, which is located west of Devonport. Built almost 100 years ago it has a moving story behind it and is open to the public to stroll through the immaculate grounds and house.

Eagles Nest Retreat is an indulgent accommodation option if you are looking for a few nights retreat before you start the rest of your holiday. Alternatively, there are many choices of accommodation within the city.

Driving inland from Devonport your first stop will be Latrobe, which is also known as 'Platypus Capital of the World', for obvious reasons. This is a pretty town situated on the Mercy River and has enticing craft shops and beautiful tree lined streets.

Further inland Deloraine is an historical town that is charming and welcoming. It has the added backdrop of the Western Tiers mountain range, which is worth a detour if you have some time. Leave the city altogether and visit the limestone caves and almost 3000 lakes which have been discovered in this region.

If you love a good fishing spot there is great trout fishing in the highland lakes further inland from Deloraine, and there are also tours available.

Known for its waterfalls, the city of Burnie is located to the west of Devonport along the Coast. The main natural attractions are Guide Falls, which are best to see in winter or spring. Roundhill Lookout is also a fantastic place to be to watch the sunset. The Little Penguin Observation Centre is also found at Parsonage point, and is fascinating look at penguins in their natural habitat.

The fact that over one third of Tasmania is protected by national parks means there is beautiful scenery at every corner, and the North West region is one of the most awe inspiring. A car hire holiday is the obvious choice to see the country at its best so you can take your time to enjoy the beauty of this country that so deserves a closer look