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7 Incredible Derwent Valley Experiences To Have On Your Big Lap

by Rose Foster

1. Fly Fishing on the Lakes

The lakes around the Derwent Valley make for some of the best fishing spots in all of Australia. There are dozens of lakes to choose from and many are easily accessible by road and boat. The lakes are teeming with trout, salmon and flathead and some of the best spots include Arthurs Lake and the Tyeena River. If you don’t want to catch fish, you can feed them at Salmon Ponds Hatchery and Gardens. Top tip: visit Pancakes By The Pond if you do visit the Salmon Ponds for delicious crepes in a lovely location.

 
 
 
 
 
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2. See Historic Villages

Many of the small towns dotted throughout the heart of Tasmania tell the fascinating story of Australia’s colonial past. A number of them were initially built to house convicts and their families whilst others thrived from industries such as farming and wool. Head to places like Evandale, Oatlands (with 87 historic buildings!) or Hamilton Historic Village, where you can see what life used to be like, and the role this area played in shaping the Australia we know today. Ross, in particular, is abundant with historic sites; check out Australia’s oldest bridges, the century-old bakery (still operational!) and The Tasmanian Wool Centre.

 
 
 
 
 
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3. Discover Old Convict Sites

Believe it or not, this region is home to one of Australia’s newest World Heritage sites – the Australian Convict Sites. The Woolmer and Brickendon Estates around Longford are the two standout examples built in the late 1820s to house convicts arriving from England. These have evolved into tourist attractions featuring stunning gardens, heritage displays and fascinating exhibitions detailing some of the darker days of Australian history.

 
 
 
 
 
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4. Hike in Mount Field

Whilst it may not be as well-known as Cradle Mountain, Mount Field National Park offers just as spectacular scenery. The National Park is home to stunning waterfalls such as the wide berths of Russell Falls or the tiered cascades of Lady Barron Falls. It is also home to many of Australia’s most famous residents including wombats, bandicoots and the Tasmanian devil.

 
 
 
 
 
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5. Explore Gordon Dam

The stunning Gordon Dam stands a daunting 140m above the Gordon River and is a stunning example of how Tasmania is utilizing hydroelectric power. You can explore how hydroelectric power helps power major cities like Hobart or take stunning pictures from the top of the dam. If you feel daring, you can also abseil down the side of it to the bottom of the river.

 
 
 
 
 
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6. Visit Pretty Gardens

This beautiful region of Austalia is home to some of the prettiest gardens you’ll come across. Walking the streets of the small towns, you can admire the cottage gardens of the local residents. Head to Prospect Garden in Hamilton, Hawthorne Lodge or Woolmers Estate & Rose Garden for botanical beauty on a bigger scale.

 
 
 
 
 
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7. Hit The Water

In the colder months, you’ll likely just want to admire the water from dry land, but during the warmer months, getting in is one of the best things you can do. From swimming in Lake St. Clair or one of the many rivers to taking a SUP lesson or white water rafting tour, getting wet is a must!

 
 
 
 
 
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Want access to the best free camps, top walks, events, local secrets (and more) in the Derwent Valley region? Click here to get your Big Lap Bible now.

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