Rolling farmland and plenty of sheep
Settled in 1808, once upon a time there were big plans for National Trust-classified Hamilton. Designs for this frontier town were grand and sandstone buildings that line the main road are evidence of this. In the 1830s a collection of hotels, several breweries and a strong illegal liquor trade kept the town booming, but the small rural farming town of today doesn’t have quite the same hustle and bustle. Dry soil forced many farmers into failure and the town grinded to a halt.
Today, Hamilton is still just as picturesque as it was in the early 1800s, sitting alongside the Clyde River with the Great Western Tiers peaks as its backdrop. Along the main street are a handful of shops and galleries dating back to convict times, including the Old School House, built in 1858.
The town may be quieter these days, but it is still surrounded by hard working farmers. There is plenty to do nearby including water skiing on Lake Meadowbank and visiting Curringa Farm where you can watch a sheep shearer in action. Once a year, the Hamilton Show offers some good old-fashioned farming fun too.
Keep an eye out for St Peter’s Church. Built in 1837, the church has just one door, on account of the congregation being around 50 per cent convicts, ensuring no easy escape during Sunday prayers. Stories of the church and the town’s interesting past are shared at the Hamilton Heritage Centre.
Read our recent blog post about Hamilton:
Take a Breath in Hamilton. Four Reasons to Stop and Linger
Highlights not to miss