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Ulverstone, Tasmania

ULVERSTONE WEATHER
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North West Coast
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North West Coast

North West Coast

The North West coast extends from Burnie all the way west to Cape Grim, Tasmania's rugged north-west corner. Along the way are the beachside towns and villages of Wynyard, Boat Harbour Beach, Stanley and Smithton, as well as the rugged volcanic headlands od The Nut (Circular Head), Rocky Cape and Table Cape.

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Central Coast

Central Coast

The first European settlement of Tasmania's Central Coast commenced in the 1840s, the rich basalt soil proved ideal for cropping, and today agriculture is the principal contributor to the area’s economy. Motorists travelling along the north-west of Tasmania are well served by the National Highway. Central Coast, however, is fortunate to have retained a small section of ‘old highway’. This scenic coastal detour hugs the headlands and sandy shores from Ulverstone through to Howth and is well worth the extra time taken to travel this scenic route.

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Central Hinterland

Central Hinterland

Boasting rolling farmland, the hinterland of Tasmania's central coast is home to some of the region's finest agriculture and local produce, its narrow roads making their way through lush farmlands on their way to the alpine terrain of Cradle Mountain. The area is world-renowned for its bush-walking, mountain ranges and canyons, and laid-back small towns set againt mountainous backdrops.

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North-West Hinterland

North West Hinterland

The area is dominated by the Tarkine, a wilderness area containing a wildly diverse landscape, a world of natural treasures including Australia's largest patch of temperate rainforest, mountain ranges, wild river and cave systems and buttongrass moorlands. Waterways can be explored by canoe, kayak and riverboat cruises through forests of blackwood, myrtle and celery top pine all the way to the sea.

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Meander Valley

Meander Valley

Set against the backdrop of the Great Western Tiers, the Mradner Valley is located at the western end of the Central Coasy Hinterland, located midway between Launceston and Devonport. Dotted among the farms of the area are numerous small towns, each with their own individual character and colonial-era charm. Deloraine, on the banks of the Meander River, has become a centre for artists and craftspeople, drawn by the lifestyle and inspired by the stunning scenery.

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West Coast

West Coast

2 to 3 hours drive from Devonport and Burnie, Tasmania's West Coast region is made up of serene natural harbours, rugged coast, densely forested mountain ranges, fast flowing rivers, steep gorges, rainforest wilderness and ghost towns. The region has some of the most pristine and beautiful wilderness in the world, encapsulated in the World Heritage listed Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. Bushwalkers are rewarded by spectacular nature sights. Even the less energetic can enjoy the untouched rainforests while cruising the Gordon and Pieman Rivers.

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North West Coast
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Bass Highway

Bass Highway connects the major cities and towns of Tasmania's North West - beginning at Launceston, and following the coast through Devonport and Burnie, all the way to Marrawah on the west coast. Along the way, there are dozens of roads leading off the highway that will take you to pretty coastal villages on one side and the region's beautiful hinterland on the other.

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Great Western Tiers

The Great Western Tiers are the northern face of the Tasmanian Central Plateau, which rises up to 1420m above sea level and is dominated by Cradle Mountain. In the foothills of the Great Western Tiers can be found a wide range of attractions both man made and natural which can be explored on this drive. It is also an alternative route to reach Cradle Mountain from Launceston. Allow a full day for the drive; add additional time if you are contemplating taking any of the bushwalks in the area or spending more time than a quick visit.

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Old Surrey Road

Take a drive from Burnie along one of North West Tasmania's most historic roads, pioneered by the region's premier explorer, Henry Hellyer. In 1827, work commenced on the construction of a road from the little settlement of Burnie to Surrey Hills, an inland area selected as a suitable place for the Company’s sheep to graze. The road work employed five men, constructing a muddy track through the dense coastal rain forests. This route generally follows what is now Marine Terrace to the Emu River, then up from the coastal plain via Old Surrey Road, through Romaine, Ridgely, Highclere and on to Hampshire, a distance of around 30 km.

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Castra Road

Castra Road (State Route B15) starts at Ulverstone and winds its way south through picturesque hills and farmland on its way to Nietta, a tiny village located about 44 kilometres south-west of the town of Devonport. If approached from Devonport via Forth, Castra Road is joined at the village of Sprent. On the way you'll pass some of the prettiest dairy farming country you are ever likely to see. Drive a little further past Nietta and you'll reach Leven Canyon, a little-known tourist destination in Tasmania where you'll come face to face with nature at its most dramatic.

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Meander Valley Highway

There are essentially two ways to travel by road between Devonport and Launcestion; there's Bass Highway, which takes around an hour and bypasses just about every town on the way; and then there's the Meander Valley Highway, which follows Bass Highway closely, but takes in just about every town, village and settlement between Deloraine and Launceston. It will take a lot longer, and how much longer depends on how captivating you find the picturesque Georgian villages you pass through.

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Preolenna Valley

There are hundreds of names on a map of Tasmania, which to many Tasmanians are just that – a name on a map. Preolenna is such a place. I must admit that when a friend suggested it as a place to visit, I not only had to look on a map to find out where it was, I also had difficulty finding information about it. To my surprise I found that it was only 44 km west.

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Highland Lakes Road

Highland Lakes Road gets nowhere near the same amount of useage as Tasmania's other North to South main roads, so chances are you won't see much other traffic. This makes it easy to stop and taking in the scenery - and there is plenty to stop and take in - without having to worry about that driver who is hard on your tail and wants to go faster than you do. It's a sealed road all the way, but be aware that snow is common in winter. Highland Lakes Road begins in the north near Deloraine and finished in the south at Bothwell. From there, it is an easy drive through the Derwent Valley to Hobart.

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Forth to Sprent Regional Drive

As you enter Forth from Turners Beach, there is a road off to the right signposted to Kindred, a little village about seven kilometres away. Take this road and you'll find yourself on a delightful drive through lush farmlands and rolling hills. Before too long you will arrive at Kindred which, like many regional villages, could best be described as a string of farms scattered on either side of a few buildings that form the nucleus of the community.

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Cradle Mountain Drive

Australia's most recognisable mountain, Cradle Mountain forms the northern end of the wild Cradle Mtn. - Lake St Clair National Park, itself a part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The familiar jagged contours of Cradle Mountain epitomise the feel of a wild landscape, while abundant wildlife, icy streams, alpine heathlands, colourful deciduous beech and ancient pines reflected in still glacial lakes entice many visitors to stay and explore. There are a number of ways to get there; this drive, beginning at Devonport or Latrobe, is one of the more interesting.

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Walks
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North West Tasmania is a walker's paradise. The coastline offers plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs and explore. The hinterland has mountain peaks and canyons; the Bass Strait shoreline was created by ancient volcanic activity, leaving behind a dramatic coastline that begs to be explored and appreciated.



Fern Glade

Burnie
1 hour return

Fern Glade is a magnificent walk among spectacular tree ferns along the Emu River. There's plenty of wildlife, and if you are lucky you may see a platypus.

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Romaine Reserve

Burnie
1 hr return

Suburban Romaine Reserve features a fitness track that winds around a dam on Romaine Creek containing wild fowl. Beyond the lake is a picturesque bushland walk.

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Burnie Park

Burnie
40 mins return

A pleasant walk through the manicured gardens and lawns of Burnie Park, then up a walking trail through a strip of remnant forest to Oldaker Falls.

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Dove Lake

Cradle Mountain National Park
2-3 hour circuit

A great introductory walk to the park. Enjoy iconic views of Cradle Mountain on one of Tasmania's most premier short walks.

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Cradle Summit

Cradle Mountain National Park
8 hours return

A challenging track to the summit of Cradle Mountain. 600 metre climb in elevation. Walk includes crossing wide rocks.

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Crater Lake

Cradle Mountain National Park
2 hour circuit

Explore a series of delightfully different alpine lakes. Some bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks has a rough surface.

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Enchanted Walk

Cradle Mountain National Park
20 minute circuit

A walk to suit all age groups - featuring a cascading river and magic old-growth rainforest.

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Leven Canyon

Nietta
45 minutes

It is rare in the world to find such a powerful place as the Leven Canyon that is so easy to access. Enjoy spectacular sweeping views.

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St Valentine's Peak

Burnie
4 hours return

It a good strenuous walk to the summit of St Valentine's Peak, but well worth the effort. The track is quite steep in places.

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The Nut Walk

Stanley
45 minutes return

The Nut is a 143 metre high massif, rising from Bass Strait that towers over the town of Stanley. Walk to the top or take the chairlift.

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Mount Gnomon

Penguin
1 hr/2 km return

One of several rewarding short walks in the Dial Range, a collection of modest peaks on North-West Coast.

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Meander Falls Circuit

Deloraine
5-6 hours

One of Tasmania's best set of waterfalls, great walks and photo opportunities. One of the great short-medium bushwalks in Tasmania.

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Mt Roland

Sheffield
5-6 hours

Located on the edge of the Great Western Tiers region of Tasmania, the walk is easy to follow, with a large portion done across the plateau along to the summit.

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Liffey Falls

Deloraine
45 minutes return

Liffey Falls is one of Tasmania's prettiest waterfalls, is located in cool temperate rainforest featuring myrtle, sassafras and leatherwood near Mole Creek.

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Philosophers Falls

Waratah
1 hour return

An easy, magical walk through a rainforest with plenty of photo opportunities. There are about 200 stairs to the viewing platform. A hidden jewel of The Tarkine.

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Dip Falls

Mawbanna
30 minutes

Four short walks lead to the base of these picturesque falls, its viewing platform, an old sawmill boiler and the nearby “Big Tree”.

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Archer's Knob

Port Sorell
3.5 hours circuit

See some of the best views in Narawrntapu National Park from the supberb Archer's Knob lookout - birds, beach and paperbark swamp.

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Alum Cliffs

Great Western Tiers
50 minutes return

Enjoy a quiet country stroll to a forest lookout perched high above the Mersey River, as it flows beneath the Alum Cliffs.

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Railton to Sheffield Rail Trail

Sheffield
12 km/ 3 hrs

The Railton to Sheffield Rail Trail is a 12km, grade 3 One Way hike. This trail traverses a variety of countryside, mainly off road, following the old railway corridor.

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Don to Devonport Cycleway

Devonport
7.5 km

See some of the nicest parts of Devonport by walking or cycling the rail trail. Parts of the trail run parallel with the railway to Burnie and the Don River tourist railway.

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Quamby Bluff Summit Track

Deloraine
5 hrs return

A steep walk that is rewarded with 360 degree panoramic views across the Great Western Tiers, as far as Launceston and Devonport on a clear day. Medium difficulty.

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Mt Murchison Summit Track

Rosebery/Tullah
12 km/ 3 hrs

A hard walk with some scrambling over rocks but is worth all the effort! The Mountain has three lakes on it including Hanging Lake which looks almost like an infinity swimming pool.

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Milkshake Hills Summit Walk

Smithton
1 hour return

Branching off the 15 minute return rainforest walk, the summit walk traverses a short section of the rainforest before it begins its ascent towards the summit.

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Postmans Track, Rocky Cape NP

Sisters Beach
30 mins return

Named after the route used for horseback postal deliveries early this century, this track circles the easternmost section of Rocky Cape National Park, near Sisters Beach.

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Parsons Track

Mole Creek
6 hr return

A walk to the sandstone rock visible near the top of the Great Western Tiers, looking south from Mole Creek village. Shorter walks access signposted landmarks along the Track.

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Lobster Falls

Mole Creek
2 hour return

A walk through regrowth forest and a fine grove of Banksias to Lobster Falls lower cascade. The track follows a high route before dropping down steeply to the river bank.

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Devil's Gullet

Mole Creek
30 mins return

A short alpine walk leads to a stunning lookout platform overhanging the huge chasm of the Fisher River valley. Enjoy views to Mount Ossa, Cradle Mountain on a clear day.

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Hellyer Gorge Rainforest Walk

Hellyear Gorge, near Waratah
20 mins return

A delightful wayside stop on the Murchison Highway, the steep, winding gorge of the Hellyer River is filled with rainforest of tall myrtle beech, encrusted with mosses, fungi and epiphyte orchids. A number of walking tracks along the banks of the Hellyer River (near the rest area) provide a pleasant walk to refresh before journeying on.

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Regional Centres
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The North West region of Tasmania covers a vast area including the towns of Devonport, Burnie, Cradle Mountain National Park and the Tasmanian west coast as far south as Strahan and Queenstown. The gateway to this region is Devonport, with an airport and the Spirit of Tasmania (ferry between Victoria and Tasmania) terminus. The port handles much of the export produce from the rich agricultural areas around Devonport. The town itself is used as an arrival or departure port for most travellers rather than a destination itself.

A major farming area stretches from Devonport along the coast to Stanley. Many of Australia's finest vegetable and dairy produce come from this region. Stanley is an historic fishing village with a large volcanic headland - The Nut - accessible by chairlift. Far out to the north-west in the stormy waters of Bass Strait, King Island consists very much of uninhabited bushland teeming with wildlife. The island produces some of the best dairy products, for which it is famous.

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, in Tasmania's World Heritage Wilderness Area, offers a rugged environment with many wilderness retreats and walking tracks. Icy streams, ancient pines, glacial lakes and wildlife surround the jagged contours of Cradle Mountain. The area is one of the most glaciated in Australia and includes Tasmania's highest mountain, Mt Ossa (1617 metres) and Lake St Clair, Australia's deepest natural freshwater lake, the source of the River Derwent.

The West Coast area of Tasmania is made up of rugged coast, mountain ranges, flowing rivers, steep gorges, rainforest wilderness and ghost towns. Strahan is situated on Macquarie Harbour and is the starting point for Gordon River cruises and air tours over the South West Wilderness. Strahan is the only town on this rugged and dangerous coast.


Burnie, Tasmania

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Beyond Ulverstone




Coast Road: Ulverstone to Penguin

If you are travelling between Devonport and Burnie, it is worth taking the old Bass Highway which hugs the coast if you have the time and want to enjoy some very pretty coastal scenery. The road winds its way around the bays and headlands, so it is by no means a fast route, but the scenery and a chance to pass a train on a line that follows the road and the coast makes it worthwhile.



Between Penguin and Ulverstone are a group of small granite offshore islands known as The Three Sisters. Goat Island (above) to their east is accessible at low tide -but be very careful not to get stranded. The island is a beschcombers paradise - there are jagged edges, fiery lichen, unusual seaweed, muscles, a cave and a fishing pool that's big enough to swim in. Goat Island houses a breeding colony of little penguins.



The Three Sisters island group (above) has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because, with up to 400 breeding pairs, it supports over 1 percent of the world population of black-faced cormorants. Because landings are difficult owing to the lack of beaches and safe anchoring points they are little affected by human visitation and disturbance, although Australian fur seals haul-out on the lowest of them. Pacific gulls and sooty oystercatchers breed there every year in small numbers, and Caspian terns have nested there. White-bellied sea-eagles forage around the islands.



Nakaervis Reserve (qbove) runs along the shoreline opposite the Three Sisters island group. On the western side of the point there is a small beach, but to access it, one must cross the railway line. Though there are only a few trains travelling the line each day, care must still be taken doing this as the line is in regular use by freight trains.



The steep, narrow Claytons Beach is composed of cobbles and fronted by uniform cobble flats up to 100 metres wide. It is backed by drained grass-covered wetlands, the old railway line, with the highway 500 metres to the south and no direct public access. The Fish Pond, inside two recurved cobble spits that have converged on the point to partly enclose a shallow 100 metre wide embayment, is located to the east of Claytons Beach. A small stream drains out of the pond at its western end. No direct public access.




Braddons Lookout

9 km east via Bass Highway and Braddons Lookout Road

Braddons Lookout, located on the Upper Forth Road (enter from the Bass Highway on the eastern side of the Forth River Bridge) offers excellent views over both the coast and the hinterland. It is said that on a clear day it is possible to see Cradle Mountain to the south.



Braddons Lookout was named after Sir Edward Nicholas Coventry Braddon who, after a long career in the British civil service, arrived in Tasmania in 1878, entered state parliament in 1879 and was premier from 1894-99. The lookout stands on the site of Sir Edward Braddon's home. A secondary platform with a low fence improves the view for people in wheelchairs who may be unable to see over the stone wall that surrounds the main viewing platform. Eight plaques are dedicated to prominent local businesses, such as vegetable processing company Harvest Moon, while the others explore local history and historical figures such as Braddon himself.




Turners Beach

6.3 km east via Bass Highway

While Tasmania's north-west is famously known for the iconic Cradle Mountain and wilderness adventures, lesser known are its beaches, which are not only among the best in Tasmania, they rival some in states which have built their repulation on their ribbons of clean golden sand. Turners Beach and Leith are two localities on the shores of Bass Strait that are blessed with superb beaches, serene pieces of beach paradise that are untouched by the masses. Turners Beach and Leith sit on either side of the mouth of the River Forth where it empties into Bass Strait. The beaches are big and wide, with plenty of room for young travellers to stretch their legs and run off some energy. According to the local fishermen, the salmon and mullet run thick and fast in the river mouth of the Forth.



Turners Beach Berry Patch

Tasmania is famous for its berries, and if you like the thought of picking your own, Turners Beach Berry Patch is a place where you can do this. If you'd rather not pick your owm, there are pre-picked raspberries and strawberries available. Gluten-free options available. The Berry Patch also has a cafe serving zesty berry ice-cream or freshly ground coffee, or you can relax over lunch, morning and afternoon teas, or enjoy a wood fired pizza as we did. Gluten-free options available and you also have an option of indoor and outdoor dining. Open daily from 9am to 5pm, winter opening hours from 10am to 4pm (Closed public holidays and during June). Phone (03) 6428 3967, 0400 173 737.




Forth

9.7 km south east via Bass Highway and Forth Road

When it comes to small towns in Tasmania, Forth definitely ranks as one of the most scenic, as well as one of the oldest. Nestled on the banks of River Forth, it is only a 13 kilometre drive from the city of Devonport. Being just 'up the road' from Devonport makes it a great place to kick off your exploration of the state if you are arriving by the Spirit of Tasmania.

Previously known as Hamilton-on-Forth, the village predates the larger settlement of Devonport. James Fenton, a young man of Irish descent came to the Forth estuary in 1839 in search of arable land. Assisted by his hired male companion, he erected the first European edifice in the district, and in 1840 returned to take up permanent settlement.



Forth to Sprent Regional Drive

38 km round trip from and back to Ulverstone

As you enter Forth from Turners Beach, there is a road off to the right signposted to Kindred, a little village about seven kilometres away. Take this road and you'll find yourself on a delightful drive through lush farmlands and rolling hills. Before too long you will arrive at Kindred which, like many regional villages, could best be described as a string of farms scattered on either side of a few buildings that form the nucleus of the community.



Gunns Plains Caves

Gunns Plains

6.3 km south west via Preston Road

Gunns Plains is a rich fertile area dotted with dairy farms, potato growing, poppy growing and beef cattle. In days gone by vegetables were grown here and it was also one of the three major hop producing regions in Tasmania. The Leven River winds slowly through its pastures that support a variety of grazing stock. Agricultural endeavours are also very successful, benefiting from rich red volcanic soil. The town was named after botanist Ronald Campbell Gunn, who visited the valley in 1860. Gunns Plains Caves are in the Gunns Plains State Reserve. The Reserve overlooks the beautiful Leven Valley farmland and has toilets, a wood barbecue and a shelter hut. A shop at Gunns Plains sells food and petrol.

Being approximately 30 kilometres south of Ulverstone in northwest Tasmania, Gunns Plains is easily accessible and a relatively short drive from both Burnie and Devonport. It is an ideal half day destination if you are short of time, however there is plenty to do if you devote a full day or more to explore the area. Camping, accommodation and refreshments are also available nearby.




Wilmot

31.6 km south via Castra Road

Wilmot is one of those kind of places where the journey getting there is as much fun as being there. The big drawcard for me was always the original Coles family store, from which came "GJ", the son George who decided to move to the mainland and Melbourne, where he figured he had more chance to make a million that if he stayed in the backblocks of North West Tasmania. It was a move that paid off handsomely - his venture grew into the gigantic Coles retail empire we see today. Sadly, the original Coles store at Wilmot burnt down some years ago.



Whichever way you come up to Wilmot from the coast - and you have a choice of two - you are in for a visual treat. Follow the road from Wilmot to Devonport travel up through the aptly named 'Valley of the Views', which is also known as the Wilmot Novelty Letterbox Trail. Not only will you be treated to some great scenery, you'll find the road is lined with the most interesting and unique array of letterboxes you are ever likely to see. Someone started the trend a few decades ago, it caught on and now everyone has one! Now that's community spirit for you. Also look out for the graphic portrayal of Wilmot's history by local artists and school children on telegraph poles along the road.




Gawler

3.3 km south via Lovett Street

The agricultural district of Gawler is situated south of Ulverstone, its boundary being reached in afew short kilometres. The Gawler area was explored by surveyor Nathaniel Kentish in the early 1840s, who named the river after the second Governor of South Australia, Lieutenant-Colonel George Gawler. This name was later given to the whole district.




North Motton

9.1 km south west via Preston Road

The village of North Motton in the dairy farming district on the Preston Road is about 10 kilometres south of Ulverstone. Land in the area was occupied by William Motton in 1854, after whom the area is named. In 1865 a handful of Primitive Methodist families settled in the North Motton district including Nathan and Sarah Brothers, John and Ann Eagle, Isaac Brett and the Revell family. North Motton was one of four locations in the greater Ulverstone region where the Primitive Methodist migrants from Scotland settled and built churches; with other churches built at Gravel Hill, Norfolk Creek and Penguin. In 1877 the church was used by the Department of Education for a day school and a Sunday school was also established around this time.

The foundation stones for the new building were laid in December 1902 and the occasion was reported by The North West Post: “Methodism and North Motton have grown up together, the pioneers of this rising and prosperous district having been active adherents of that section of the Christian Church. The rapid growth and expansion of that part of West Devon has caused the old Methodist Church to become uncomfortably small for the ordinary services, and it was decided to build a much larger one on the land adjoining, at an estimated cost of £400. The contract for the erection of the building was let some time ago to Mr Manser for £385, and the work has been pushed on as rapidly as possible”.

Nothing of the church remains apart from a wall which stood in front of the church and the cemetery which contains the headstones of many of the early members of the church. The cemetery also has a headstone in remembrance of Chrissie Venn, a 13-year-old girl whose unsolved murder in 1921 was a sensation at the time. Her ghost is claimed to haunt the area of her murder.




Castra Road Scenic Drive

Castra Road (State Route B15) starts at Ulverstone and winds its way south through picturesque hills and farmland on its way to Nietta, a tiny village located about 44 kilometres south-west of the town of Devonport. Nietta is literally the end of the road. If approached from Devonport via Forth, Castra Road is joined at the village of Sprent. On the way you'll pass some of the prettiest dairy farming country you are ever likely to see.

It has been said of the British that their home is their castle, which might explain the use of the word Castra by the early European settlers for the area they now called home in Tasmania. In the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, the Latin word castrum (plural castra) was a building, or plot of land, used as a fortified military camp. In English, the terms Roman fort, Roman camp and Roman fortress are commonly used for castrum.



Silver Falls

Castra Falls Circuit

The Castra Falls Circuit near Upper Castra gives access to for waterfalls; Castra Falls, Silver Falls, Step Falls, and Secret Place. It is a grade 4 return hike which should take you approximately 2.5hrs to complete. Castra Falls is the second waterfall on the Castra Circuit. The track is commenced as an easy to moderate walk, progressively becoming more difficult the further you walk. It commences a few kilometres down Gaunts Road which is found on the way to Leven Canyon from Ulverstone.



Kaydale Lodge Gardens

Nietta

32 km south via Castra Road

Nietta is a rural community situated approximately 30km south of Ulverstone. The Wilmot River forms most of the eastern boundary, and the River Leven forms much of the western. The B15 route (Castra Road) enters from the north and terminates at Nietta village. The name was used for a Parish from 1886. Nietta is an Aboriginal word meaning “little brother”.

A visit to Kaydale Lodge Gardens at Nietta is worth including on a trip to the area if you enjoy and appreciate the labours of those blessed with a green thumb. This 2ha garden has been a family obsession for the Crowdens of Nietta since parents Kay and Robert started it in 1979 from a bare paddock around the house Robert built. Using stone from their fields, they built walls and archways while running the cattle and cropping farm, raising their two daughters and establishing a business offering accommodation and meals. A small entry fee applies.



Leven Canyon and Black Bluff from the Cruickshanks Lookout

Leven Canyon

41 km south via Castra Road

Leven Canyon is a little-known tourist destination in Tasmania but well worth seeing. To get there, continue through Nietta and follow the signs to Leven Caynon. The canyon is a 250 metre deep ravine that is part of a wildlife corridor from the coast to Cradle Mountain. The Leven River runs through 300-metre limestone cliffs carved through the Loongana Range, down to Bass Strait. The viewing platform at Cruickshanks Lookout offers spectacular views of Black Bluff, the canyon itself and the surrounding areas. Black Bluff, directly opposite Cruickshank Lookout, is the region's first peak each winter to have a covering of snow, due to its exposure to the prevailing westerlies.



The Cruickshanks Lookout viewing platform is only a short walk from the car park and only regular shoes are required. The walk passes through a stunning stand of rainforest, complete with giant eucalypts, colourful fungi furtive wildlife, tree ferns and moss on the rocks, tree stumps and fallen timbers beside the path. A second lookout, called edge, gives a different view of the canyon, and is reached on an optional loop walk. Between the lookouts there’s a steep set of stairs, which can be avoided if you return via the same track. The glade surrounding the car park is perfect for a picnic lunch - there are toilets, barbecue and picnic facilities with disabled access. Bring your own food and drink though, as the are no shops in the area - the last one you will have passed is the general store in Gawler.



For the more adventurous, the Forest Stairs Track leads from Loongana Road all the way down into the canyon itself, almost to water level, to a bridge across the raging waters of the Levin River. Leven Canyon is Tasmania's deepest limestone gulch, with challenging terrain, so this is not a walk for anyone with health issues. The path, though well marked and constructed, is steep and there are 697 steps to negotiate in both directions. Experienced walkers can continue on to Devild Elbow, a challenging walk that is an hour return from the footbridge. The Forest Stairs Track in particular is subject to severe weather conditions all year round, and the weather may change quickly. At times the track can be difficult to navigate, and when covered in snow it may be impassable.


Canyon floor

Enough water runs through the Canyon every day to satisfy the thirst of a major city. About 45,000 - 70,000 kilolitres of water flush through the Canyon daily, equivalent to water consumption for 350,000 people. Those who make it will be interested to know that the Canyon floor footbridge was made locally and components lifted in by helicopter. The Forest Stairs Track forms part of The Penguin Cradle Trail, a bush walking track developed by the North West Walking Club.




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