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.

Ross - Tasmania


The main street of Ross features an avenue of English elms, that compliment the numerous convict built
Georgian sandstone buildings - offering visitors a picturesque and peaceful village experience.


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

Ross

This historic town, in the Midlands, has a population 423 (2011 Census) and is located 78 km south of Launceston and 117 km north of Hobart, on the Macquarie River.

The town is listed on the Register of the National Estate and is noted for its historic bridge, original sandstone buildings and convict history.

The main street carries an avenue of English elms, that compliment the numerous convict built Georgian sandstone buildings, offering visitors a picturesque and peaceful village experience.

Nestled in the heart of Tasmania’s wool growing area, Ross is of particular importance to the international wool industry.

Buyers frequently pay world record prices for the extra superfine Merino wool from this area and the Tasmanian Wool Centre, as well as housing the visitor centre, displays samples, production techniques and finished articles.

Tourist Information Centre
Tasmanian Wool Centre, Church St, Ross. Ph. (03) 6381 5466.

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

Emergencies - Police, ambulance and fire dial 000

Toilet - Church Street - Opening hours: Open 24 hours

Doctor/Medical Centre - Campbell Town Surgery, 70 High St Campbell Town,

ph. (03) 6381 1133

Police - Ross, non-emergency ph. 131 444

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

Real Estate for Sale
This (external) link will give you updated details of properties for sale in and around Ross.

To 'On This Page'

 


A Little History

In 1812 a garrison of soldiers was stationed at the ford of the Macquarie River to protect the development of the future town and in 1821 the settlement was proclaimed the town of Ross by Governor Macquarie.

Remaining an important part of Ross for many years, the influence of the town's military presence can still be seen today in a number of the early buildings around the town with military origins and several streets named after battles of the Napoleonic wars.

The district was opened up for settlement in 1814 and because of the surrounding rich pastures and its position on the north-south highway, the township quickly developed.

A low level wooden bridge was built in place of a ford over the Macquarie River in 1821.

This was replaced, in 1836, by the current bridge, the third oldest and one of the finest sandstone bridges in Australia.

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

Ross [is] a township on the Macquarie, in the parish of Ross and county of Somerset, 73 miles (117.5 km) from Hobart, 47 miles (76 km) from Launceston, and 6 miles (10) from Campbell Town.

It contains an episcopal church and school, a chapel, a police and post station, and two inns.

The police magistrate of Campbell Town holds a court here once in a week.

There is a bridge across the Macquarie at this township.

The district is chiefly agricultural.

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Sightseeing

  • Ross Female Factory Site
    Originally the site of a male punishment station, from 1847-1848 the buildings were adapted for use as a probation station for women.
    Known as the Ross Female Factory, it housed between sixty and one hundred and twenty women at any one time, as well as accommodating the inmate's babies.
    It operated as a hiring depot, nursery, probation and punishment station until 1854-1855.
    The prison was demolished in the 1880's leaving the foundations intact.
    This has enabled many archaeological discoveries over a series of digs at the site.
    Today the original overseer's cottage remains, being re-modeled in the 1890's to accommodate a Police Station and residence.
    It now houses rooms of interpretive text and displays related to the history of the site and is open free to the public from 9am - 5pm daily.
    Further information can be obtained at the Tasmanian Wool Centre.

  • Tasmanian Wool Centre
    Church Street, Ross. Ph. (03) 6381 5466
    This not for profit organisation was formed in 1988 as a bi-centennial project.
    It was funded two thirds by private and local interest and one third by the government.
    The centre not only houses a fantastic woolen retail area, and the Ross Visitor Information Centre, but also has two museums.
    The History museum showcases early life in Ross while the feel and touch Wool exhibition shows the importance of the wool industry to this region.
    Both have audio visual displays.
    The centre also organises guided tours for pre-booked groups.
    Open Daily (except for Christmas Day and Good Friday), Monday - Friday 9.30am - 5.00pm - Saturday & Sunday 10.00am - 4.30pm.

  • The Four Corners of Ross
    Located at the crossroad intersection of Bridge and Church Streets.
    They have been named:
    Temptation (Man O'Ross Hotel)
    Recreation (Town Hall)
    Salvation (Roman Catholic Church)
    Damnation (Original Gaol, now a private residence)

  • The Uniting Church
    The Uniting Church was opened in 1885 and is a very fine example of the architecture of the time, being in a traditional Gothic style and is open to visitors daily.
    The interior boasts hand carved sandstone walls, a ceiling of oregon pine, pews of Tasmanian blackwood, a fine Italian marble font and original gas mantles.
    This church replaced the original wooden Methodist church that fell into disrepair.

  • St John's Anglican Church
    Erected using sandstone from the original church built in 1835, the building was completed in 1868 and consecrated the following year by Charles Bromby, the Bishop of Tasmania.
    The clock in the tower from Birmingham, England and the church organ are over 100 years old.
    The first Anglican Church, built on the hillside overlooking the village, was demolished due to the failure of the foundations.

  • Catholic Church
    The Catholics were, for the most part, convicts and emancipists, too poor to build their own place of worship, and the first services were conducted at the Barracks and the female factory site after it closed as a prison.
    In 1920 Father John Graham arranged for the present church to be converted from a store, bakery and residence, raising the roof and walls and adding stained glass windows and tower complete with a large statue of Mary.
    The spire was rebuilt with a cross on top in the early 1980's.

  • Stables Complex
    The old stables on the hill, south of the bridge, were part of the early military establishment and have been fully restored, together with the shingles on the roof.
    The stables, cowshed and chicken house are built into the side of the hill with the natural sandstone providing part of the structure.
    The manger in the cowshed is carved out of a solid wall of sandstone and is considered to be an engineering feat of its day.

  • Memorial Library & Recreation Rooms
    Original headquarters of the Royal Army Ordinance Corps whose crest is carved above the lintel of the door.
    The building dates from 1836 and in the 1840s and it also housed the office of the visiting magistrate dealing with convict misdemeanours.

  • The Barracks
    The Barracks were built to house the English Redcoats responsible for maintaining law and order during the early settlement of Ross.
    In 1831 there was one officer, one sergeant and eighteen men stationed here.
    This building is now a Private Residence.

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Cemeteries

The Main Cemetery

Located to the south-east of the town centre, is divided into two sections - a Roman Catholic section and a Church of England section which is enclosed by a stone wall

Original Burial Grounds

Located on a windswept hill overlooking Ross and the surrounding countryside, the colonial cemetery contains many grave stones dating back to the 1830's and 1840's.

Some of the head-stones have been attributed to convict stonemason Daniel Herbert, who carved the remarkable icons on the Ross Bridge.

Herbert's own grave is marked by a table-top tombstone he designed for his son, who died in infancy.

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