THE TAMAR VALLEY
There are 16 wineries in the Tamar Valley north of Launceston and a day or two put aside to explore them at your leisure is a
wonderful tour in itself. Accommodation is available at several places along the way and the scenery is splendid. Rolling green
hills, the serene river, and a dozen or so attractions to add diversity make this an excellent diversion on your Tasmanian tour.
You can do the Tamar Valley round trip from either side of the river but for this tour we will start on the western shore of the
river heading across the bridge through Riverside and up the west bank.
Just beyond Riverside on the right is a boardwalk over the wetlands where you can see prolific birdlife as you walk across the
reedy river edge. Take the A7 to Legana and stop at Brady's Lookout which offers extensive views along the river. It is named after a bushranger
who used the spot to observe police approaching the area.
On the left just after Legana is a turn-off west to Grindelwald, a Swiss style village on the top of the mountains. Return to the
main road and head north to Exeter. The Tamar Valley Visitor Information centre is located here. All along the way between Legana and
Beaconsfield a road runs east of the highway along the foreshore of the river through little towns like Rosevears, Blackwall and Deviot.
You should divert every now and then to explore them and the several wineries which are along the road.
At Beaconsfield, on the left, is the Grubb Shaft Mine Museum. The gold mine here is where two miners, Todd Russell and Grant Webb,
were trapped for 14 days in a mine collapse in 2006 which became international news.
Continue on to Beauty Point and visit the Platypus House and Seahorse World before retracing the road through Beaconsfield to the turn-off
across the Batman Bridge to the eastern shore of the river. Turn left, or north, to George Town passing Bell Bay aluminium works and the
controversial site for a proposed Tasmanian Pulp Mill by Gunn's.
George Town was the first settlement in the north of the state (1804) and this is remembered in a monument on the foreshore to Lieutenant
Colonel William Patterson and his party which settled the site. Visit the Watchhouse in the main street and 'The Grove' (1835) once the
home of port officer William Friend. Continue north through George Town to Low Head and visit the Maritime Museum there and the many
lighthouses which guided mariners through the entrance to Port Dalrymple.
From George Town, head south again to the turn-off to Bridport and turn east to Pipers River to see the wineries there.
Continue east to the Pipers Brook turn-off and head south to the wineries and the falls at Lilydale. A little further on on the left is
Hollybank Forest, a pleasant picnic spot before returning to Launceston through Rocherlea and Invermay.