Take a breath in Hamilton. Four reasons to stop and linger.

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Hamilton is one of those places that you seem to pass through, and always say to yourself “I must stop here sometime. Next time.” as you trundle your way up to the Central Highlands of Tasmania, or even all the way through to the wild west coast.

I’m here to tell you that you should stop. Even take a day trip out there – this weekend maybe? It’s a beaut little spot full of things to see and do and somewhere you really can just take it easy for a few hours, or a few days.

We recently visited, and here’s our four reasons to linger in Hamilton:

Stop for lunch.
Wild Fennel Cafe launched in the last year or so, and they offer some scrumptious lunch options, plus fresh bread (fresh bread!) and cakes baked on site. Great coffee as well!

While we were there I spotted a few motorcyclists who looked like they’d just driven out to Hamilton for the outing – the road out there is luxuriously twisty and smooth for the last 15km or so, so I can see why they would like it. They all stopped for a cake, drink and a chat, then popped their helmets back on and headed back towards Hobart. What a life.

Ham-Fennel
Ham-bread

Hunt a platypus.
Platypus walk is a short stroll along the banks of the River Clyde, with a little gate accessible off the bottom of Grace St. The kids loved the adventure of strolling across a paddock (say hello to the cows!) and to a little weir (small dam). If you’re quiet enough, you might see a platypus… but obviously we weren’t quiet enough as we saw nothing. Still, it’s a great little jaunt to stretch the legs and do some exploration.

Ham-plat
Ham-plat2

Indulge in afternoon tea.
Following our platypus chasing we wandered back up to Jackson’s Emporium, a fascinating cafe that offers a great selection of gluten free afternoon tea options (as well as normal food, of course ;). The cafe is situated in a small sandstone building and it has a real country cafe feel – in a good way! Lots of dark timber, interesting curios and a great outdoor spot to while away the afternoon.

I opted for a gluten free lamington, and it was goooood!

Ham-Jackson
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Become a streetwalker.

Not a streetwalker of Babylon, but go for a wander through the streets and just take some time to check out the architecture. There’s some fascinating and well preserved buildings that really speak of Hamilton’s bustling past. It used to be a much larger town, boasting several breweries, a bunch of hotels, and a huge illegal liquor trade, and the vestiges of this past are still there to see. Georgian cottages, hotels, St Peter’s Church (1837) and the Old School House, which dates back to 1858 and had separate doors for schoolchildren to enter, depending on their sex.

Ham-street
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Discover more about Hamilton.

Words: Jared Mendham
Images: Natalie Mendham

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