A streetscape locked in time
Roll into Oatlands and you’ll notice plenty of old buildings – in fact the largest collection of historic sandstone buildings in Australia. Take a wander down the main street and you’ll be counting them on more than one hand. There are 87 along the main Georgian streetscape with a further 150 in total across the town.
Just over one hour drive from Hobart, the town is easily recognised from the highway by Callington Mill. This Lancashire wind-driven flour mill is the only fully restored mill of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s been keeping a watchful eye over the town since 1837.
Oatlands has an interesting past, developed as a military base to manage convicts who worked on buildings, bridges and nearby farms. A good deal of the Black War (between European settlers and Tasmanian Aboriginals) happened around these parts and Oatlands was also the home turf of Solomon Blay, Tasmania’s most feared hangman.
Today, the town is far more welcoming. Antique shops, cafes and galleries have moved into original buildings and local artisans showcase their craft. Keep an eye out for the Supreme Court House (1829), St Peters Church (1888) and what’s left of Oatlands Gaol. Those in need of a woolly warmer must also stop in at Casaveen Knitwear.
Take a walking tour and find out about the colonial entrepreneurs, the farming gentry and the roving bushrangers, or head for Lake Dulverton on the outskirts of town. This is where the locals enjoy dropping a fishing line, walking trails, and spotting birdlife. You’ll find plenty of picnic spots here too.