A designated historic town, Oatlands is said to have the largest
collection of pre-1837 buildings in Australia. 87 such buildings are
located in the main street while a total of 138 sandstone buildings are
found within the town boundary.
Oatlands grew in the colonial days as a result of it being the ideal
stopping place between Hobart and Launceston, a role it still plays for
travellers between Tasmania’s two largest urban centres. It is
also a close enough destination to both Hobart or Launceston for a
day’s drive, and well worth the effort.
Lake Dulverton, behind the town, is regularly restocked with
fish from the Oatlands District High School Aquaculture Centre.
There are some amusing and amazing topiaries (trees and bushes
clipped to particular shapes) at St Peter’s Pass, and in Oatlands
itself. The Oatlands topiaries continue an old tradition and are made
by local residents to designs by Tasmanian sculptor Stephen Walker.
Callington Mill complex, built by John Vincent in 1837, was the
major flour mill for the region. The complex of stone buildings
includes a five-level windmill tower, a granary, steam mill, stable and
Historic buildings of note
Supreme Court House: This Georgian-styled sandstone building is the
oldest in Oatlands. It features a central entry which includes timber
casing with pilasters and simple cornice.
Old Gaol: A symmetrical two-storey sandstone Georgian building,
built around 1830. A high stone wall surrounds the former exercise yard.
Church of England Parish Hall: A stone Victorian hall that is the work
of local stonemasons, the Fish brothers. It was built in 1875.
Former Lake Frederick Inn: Constructed in 1834 by George Aitchison,
this two-storey brick Georgian building features a stone facade, raised
quoins and a four panel door with half-sidelights and fanlight.
Town Hall: A two-storey Victorian building, erected in 1881 to a design
by WH Lord. Its design, Georgian Revival, is sympathetic to other
earlier buildings in the town.
Holyrood House: Also known as the Doctor’s House, this two-storey
stuccoed house was built around 1840 for John Whiteford, the police
magistrate. In 1852, Rev Trollope conducted a school here.
National Trust Cottage: A simple Georgian stone cottage, built in 1844.
It features a finely dressed facade and textured blocks at the rear, a
central door with transom light, 12-pane windows and a stone wall.
St Luke’s (Campbell Memorial) Presbyterian Church: A Gothic
Revival church, built in 1859. Its four level square tower has a stone
spire surrounded by four corner spirelets. The adjacent manse is a
symmetrical stone two-storey house, built in 1860.
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Where is it?
Where is it?: South. 79km north of Hobart, 113km south of Launceston on the Midland Highway.
Oatlands Spring Festival (October long weekend); National Working Bullock Festival
Colebrook (30km south): a tiny village with numerous historic buildings.
Parattah (6km east): Austral Park farmhouse was once the home of Hudson Fysh who was one of the founders of Qantas.
Campania (40km south); small village with historic churches,
wineries, Coal River Valley market held on the second Sunday of the
Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary (39km south): one of the oldest private conservation areas in Tasmania.
Lake Leake was built in 1880 to supply permanent water for Campbell
Town, approx 30 mins drive to the east, enjoy the beautiful bush
scenery and great trout fishing. Currawong Lakes trout fishery and
wildlife retreat are on the Long Marsh dam Road at Lake Leake.