Preview: Wooden Boats from Tasmania, Part 3: Day Tripping North, then West

January 11, 2015

Kaci Cronkhite

Now that it’s clear how heroic the mariners with wooden boats can be in modern Tasmania, and how wild the weather can turn (See Part 2 in this series), let’s head north and west. That’s what I did on my first trip to Tassie in 2007 and according to friends there’s even more to see and do now.

Head north from Hobart along the Derwent River, a Celtic name the British chose in 1793 to describe the “valley thick with oaks.” At some point, you’ll need to pick which bridge to cross: the five lane Tasman Bridge; the four lane Bowen (where you could tie in a visit to Museum of Old and New Art; or the two lane Bridgewater causeway. Or all three!

Regardless which one you choose, keep an eye out for boats on the river. Watch for tall ships like LADY NELSON (Tasmania’s heritage ship), cruisers, dragon boats, rowers, punts, dinghy sailors and racers. Derwent Sail Squadron on the Hobart side of the Tasman Bridge and Bellerive Yacht Club on the other side are just two of the organizations that keep things, as they say, “cracking”!

The drive from Hobart to Launceston is 2.5-3.5 hours if you drive straight through. Check out the Central Highlands website for the latest information and an excellent guide map. After the hustle of Hobart you’ll quickly get a feel for rural life. Meander here, if you have the time, and see sights like the amazing rivers—part of why this state has been known for its hydro-powered electricity as far back as 1895. For me, favorites included the sandstone bridges and buildings built in the first quarter of the 19th century. Ruggedly artistic, the structures appear without warning or fanfare.

Tasmania Derwent River Historic Bridge

Tasmania historic bridge detail

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