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Heritage Highway

The history of the Heritage Highway region is intrinsically linked to the extraordinary road builidng that occurred in Van Diemen’s Land in the first half of the 19th century.
An overland route through the Midlands was pioneered by the Surveyor General, Charles Grimes as early as 1807; remarkably it is the route we continue to travel today. By 1819, there was a rough and winding track of about 160 miles between Hobart Town and Port Dalrymple in the north, well worn by cattle, sheep and carts. It was the task of a Major Thomas Bell of the 48th Regiment to construct a road from the Derwent River to St. Peter’s Pass near Oatlands. Known as Bell’s Line of Road, it would ultimately become part of the finest highways in the Australian colonies. Some of Bell’s original road can still be seen from the Heritage Highway passing through the Southern Midlands. Look out for dirt farm tracks winding around and across hilly, rural properties.
As you journey through the historic heart of Tasmania, spare a thought for the convict road gangs, many of whom laboured under appalling conditions to open up the interior of a fledgling colony whose very existence remained in the balance.

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We acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal people and their enduring custodianship of lutruwita / Tasmania. We honour 40,000 years of uninterrupted care, protection and belonging to these islands, before the invasion and colonisation of European settlement.

As a destination that welcomes visitors to these lands, we acknowledge our responsibility to represent to our visitors, Tasmania’s deep and complex history, fully, respectfully and truthfully.

We acknowledge the Aboriginal people who continue to care for this country today. We pay our respects to their elders, past and present. We honour their stories, songs, art, and culture, and their aspirations for the future of their people and these lands. We respectfully ask that tourism be a part of that future.

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Tasmanian Travel and Information Centre
16-20 Davey St, Hobart TAS 7000

(03) 6238 4222

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