A Cheapskate's Guide to
Exploring Tasmania By Car

For pre-planning or use on the run, this free site is a useful, on-demand travel guide
for touring Tasmania by car, caravan, RV, or hitch-hiking.

Campbell Town - Tasmania

 


Campbell Town was one of the early coaching stops
and is the centre of the fine wool and sheep-farming region.


List of Contents

A guide to travel, sightseeing and services - what to do, where to stay and a little history of Tasmanian cities and towns.

Front Page

Includes list of contents, Tasmanian Freedom Camping Locations Series and a free, downloadable map of Tasmania

The Towns and Regions

Looks at the towns, camping, accommodation, eating out, sightseeing, history, toilets & dump points, information centres, doctors, vets, real e

Download Free Map

This (external) link will give you access to free maps of Tasmania, Hobart City Centre, Launceston City Centre, Burnie and Devonport to print or store on your device.

Fun Pages
For Kids and their Adults

A range of free and low cost things to make and do, for kids and their adults, when driving or confined to camp.

Free and Cheap
Camping

you can choose from camp-grounds provided by councils, commercial operators or formal, and informal free camp sites.

Dump Points ~ Van Repairs ~ Public Toilets

An easy access guide to Dump-Points, Van Repairs and Public Toilets.

Environment and Produce

Loads of links to Tasmanian food, beer and wine trails for you to follow and enjoy.

Fossicking in Tasmania

Many of the locations this guide will be visiting offer the chance to do a little fosicking for such things as gold, sapphires, topaz, jasper, turquoise, agate and a range of other tumbling material for lapidarists.

Tiger Track Stamps

 

A Quirky, Free/Low-Cost Way for you to keep track of your amazing tasmanian adventures, as you hunt down over 70 Tiger Track Stamps and with luck - or skill maybe - find the elusive Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) - the most valuable stamp of all.

 

On This Page
Campbell Town

Sitting on the banks of the Elizabeth River - around 69 km from Launceston and 133 km from Hobart - Campbell Town was one of the early coaching stops and has a population of 781 (2011 census).

The town is the centre of the sheep-farming region and was named by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, after his wife’s family, during a visit in 1821.

Visitor Centre

Start your visit to Campbell Town by stopping in at the Campbell Town Visitor Centre, located in historic 'Quondong Cottage', at 15 Old Menangle Road (nestled between the Arts Centre and Catholic Club).

Centre opening hours are 8.30am - 4.30pm Weekdays; 10am - 4pm Saturday and Sunday 10am - 2pm on Public Holidays.

Built in 1840, 'Quondong Cottage' was used as St Patrick's School House,

Inside you will find a replica school room featuring artifacts from school life in the 1800s.

Well worth a visit is Campbell Town's impressive Red Bridge, dating back to 1838 and designed by well known architect and engineer James Blackburn.

Convicts fired and laid over two million locally baked bricks to build it.

Originally designed for horse-drawn transport, the bridge now carries more than two million vehicles annually and has required little maintenance since it was constructed.

The best vantage points for photography are from the adjacent foot bridge or at the foot of the stone steps on the North West corner.

A large sign at the site tells the history of the bridge.

A small park at the northern end of the bridge features a number of interesting pieces of chain-saw art.

Campbell Town Visitor Centre
Located in historic 'Quondong Cottage', 15 Old Menangle Road.

Out And About In Campbell Town
This (external) link will take you to accommodation, attractions, dining, events, shopping and tours in Campbell Town.

Toilet Facilities
Valentine's Park, Commonwealth Lane, Campbell Town - Open 24 hours

Emergencies
Police, ambulance and fire dial 000

Doctor/Medical Centre
Campbell Town Surgery, 70 High St., Campbell Town, - ph. (03) 6381 1133

Police Station
105 High Street, Campbell Town - non-emergency ph. 131 444

Real Estate For Sale
This (external) link will give you updated details of property for sale in and around Campbell Town.

Campbell Town Weather
The weather forecast (external) link includes rain, sun, wind, moon and UV as well as radar, satellite and synoptic charts.

history
A Little History

Campbell Town was one of the nine police districts established in 1827 by Governor Arthur with a stipendiary magistrate, a detachment of troops, a doctor, postmaster and lecturer or catechist.

The causeway over the Elizabeth River was done away with when the present bridge was built in 1837, and a brewery, which supplied the three hotels, was built near the stream.

While some of the settlers had been grinding their own grain years before this - with water wheels and stone rollers - a flour mill to supply the village was also put up.

The larger estates were practically self-supporting with carpenters and blacksmiths, nail-makers and all the other tradesmen needed for independence.

The township itself had been laid out, as Macquarie had ordered, by Meehan, and included a common and streets covering an area of about three miles long and a mile wide.

Nearly every bushranger recorded in Tasmanian history seems to have robbed, murdered or burned his way through the Campbell Town district at one time or another in his career.

Fine-wool Merino


Eliza Forlong

In 1828-30 Eliza Forlong walked through Saxony (Germany) buying sheep.

She selected the best fine-wool Merino and drove them to Hamburg for shipping to Great Britain.

She traveled by foot, buying sheep for her son’s voyage on the Clansman in 1829 and for her own voyage on the Czar in 1830.

In all, Eliza and her sons walked across Saxony three times, leading flocks of 100 sheep to the port at Hamburg.

In June 1829, 16-year-old son, William, sailed for New South Wales with a flock of seven rams and 90 ewes.

The Clansman stopped at Hobart en route, where Governor Arthur recognised the value of the flock and persuaded William to take up a large grant of land near Campbell Town.

On reaching Van Diemens Land in January 1831, Eliza, John (her husband), Andrew, and a second flock, joined William at the Kenilworth property.

These sheep formed the basis of the Winton superfine stud, Australia’s pre-eminent superfine wool stud, at Campbell Town, as well as much of the surrounding area.

The fine-wool industry grew to such grand proportions that, in 1847, an elegant carriage cloak, woven from the fine merino wool of the Wanstead property, was presented to Queen Victoria.

A description in 1831 says, “the delightful [Wanstead] estate comprises 8,000 acres plus a garden of 15 acres, and two orchards.

Beside the main house is a smaller one in which he previously resided, two substantial stables, granaries, threshing and corn mills and other out houses”.

The Wanstead mansion was built by the enterprising pioneer migrant, Richard Willis, in the 1820’s and is said to be the oldest remaining substantial building made of pise (rammed earth) and brick in Australia.

A description of Campbell Town c 1852
drawn from The History of Tasmania - Volume II (of 2) by John West.

Campbell Town [is] a town in the parish of Campbelton and county of Somerset, 89 miles (143 km) from Hobart, and 42 miles (68 km) from Launceston.

It is situated in a level pastoral country, on the Elizabeth River, and the main road from Hobart to Launceston passes through it.

The town consists chiefly of one long street, in which are four large inns, a brewery, some stores, small shops, and an assembly room.

There are in the town an episcopal and presbyterian church (St. Luke's and St. Andrew's), a Wesleyan Chapel, and schools.

The river is crossed by a bridge or causeway, 200 yards long, and on the southern side are numerous fine farms.

The road to Avoca, Fingal, and the eastern coast here branches off from the main line.
In the town there are also a gaol and police and post offices.

There is a resident police magistrate.

The population of the town and police district is 2,319, and the number of houses, 255 of which are of stone or brick, is 386.
Campbell Town is also an electoral district.

It is considered to be the middle district of the colony, and the Midland Agricultural Association originated here.
R. Q. Kermode, Esq., is the first member for Campbell Town.

To 'On This Page'


Sightseeing

In addition to the wonderful Red Bridge there is also:

  • The Convict Brick Trail
    In a commemoration of our convict history each brick is engraved with the names and a few personal details of convicts transported to Australia and Norfolk Island.

  • The Catholic Church
    In King St., east of the main street.

  • ST Lukes Church
    Built in 1835 is one of the oldest in Australia and is on the northern edge of the town.

  • Harold Gatty Memorial
    A memorial to the first man to fly around the world in 1931, is on the northern edge of the town.

  • Old Water Wheel
    On Franklin St., just south of the Elizabeth River.

  • Grange
    A gentleman's house built in 1847 is just south of Valentine Park, which is in the centre of the town.
    The Grange was built in about 1847 for Dr. William Valentine and was designed by James Blackburn.
    Dr. Valentine was interested in all things scientific and in 1874 his friend, Alfred Biggs, a schoolmaster, made a pair of telephones from the drawings of Alexander Graham Bell, with which the first telephone conversation in the Southern Hemisphere was conducted - between Campbell Town and Launceston.
    In 1875 the Grange played host to an American expedition formed to observe the transit of Venus.
    The observatory building resides in the garden and the telescope casings are now gate-posts, facing the highway, while the telephones are housed in the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston.

  • Fox Hunter's Return

Built in 1838 the Fox Hunter's Return is rated as the best preserved of this early Colonial style in Australia and now boasts a second-hand bookshop in the basement.

To 'On This Page'



Cemeteries

Campbell Town St Michaels Catholic
Mason / Forster Streets - Off Midland Highway (North of Town)

Campbell Town Anglican Cemetery
Church St, Campbell Town


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