If you are setting out from Launceston or Hobart and driving through the Midlands (the centre of Tassie), you'll travel along the Midland Highway. Also known as the Heritage Highway get the kids to keep an eye out for some notorious Bush-rangers, a horse and coach and a stealth Tasmanian Tiger overlooking the highway from atop of a hill!
Tasmania's Midlands boasts a rich colonial history. Before transportation ended in 1851, the majority of convicts in Tasmania were put on assignment helping to shape the area into what it is today. As a result, there are many buildings, landmarks and properties along the Midlands route that are heritage listed nationally, some with World Heritage recognition. Some of Australia's oldest colonial landmarks can be found at Oatlands and Ross; the convict bridge.
The drive from Hobart to Launceston, or vice versa, generally takes around two & a half hours. We suggest you make a day of it and the kids will thank you for it. Educationally, this region has a lot of history to discover and there is a strong Indigenous heartbeat right through the middle. Every town has a unique story different from the next. Tales of skulduggery, bushrangers and sheep thieves are common themes!
Towns 4 Kids Through the Midlands
Whilst this is not every town or small area in the Midlands, you'll find these places easily on a travel map. Campbell Town, Oatlands and Ross are the largest towns with the most services available.
- Cambell Town
- York Plains
If you plan on staying throughout the Midlands, we recommend Campbell Town, Ross or Oatlands. Prices range from $130 - $400 a night and are seasonal. There is a couple of great farm stays along this route as well.
A list of sites for the Midlands area, as provided by Caravanning Tasmania, is below.
- Ross Caravan Park
- Risdon Bowen Park Holiday Village
- Oatlands Caravan Park
- Longford Riverside Caravan Park
Have a small breakfast! The cafes and bakeries along this route are amazing. Your eyes will pop at the amazing Tassie produce and no one in the family will go hungry! The main towns of Campbell Town, Oatlands and Ross have great pub meals and there are some wonderful parks suitable for picnics along the way. Every time we travel through the midlands we stop at one of the following:
UT Si Cafe, Perth
This place is one of my favourites. We ordered a platter and I have never forgotten it. Great kids meals too with inside/outside seating. It's an old church done up.
Zeps Cafe, Campbell Town
This cafe would be one of the top spots along the highway. Catering for all tastes and dietaries, you'll find savouries, gourmet, cakes and hot dishes. Moderately priced too and across the road from the park and toilets. Winning.
Red Bridge Cafe and Providore.
An old building turned cafe, the menu here is simple yet delicious. Kids will love the space and old country-style tables to have lunch at. There are lounges also available if you are after a coffee/milkshake and cake stop. They also sell a lot of Tassie produce so worth stopping by.
With loads of places to stop when travelling between Launceston and Hobart to satisfy curious minds, here are our top picks to suit the family.
Township Lagoon Nature Reserve - Tunbridge
The Township Lagoon Nature Reserve, lying just to the east of Tunbridge, provides a window into the original understory flora of the Tunbridge plains and is a highly significant site for nature conservation. It is a ‘listed’ grassland community under the EPBC Act, has the highest concentration of threatened plant species in Tasmania, features a salt-pan lagoon, and is a habitat for the endangered salt lake slater.
Lake Dulverton Historic Trail
This 7km walking trail along the banks of the lake from Oatlands to Parattah follows parts of the old Tasmanian Line railway. See old remnants of the track and restored culverts. Pass my sandstone quarries used for the construction of building in Oatlands and surrounds. There is also a dam wall built by convicts in 1827. Nearby are old culverts from the Hobart to Launceston Coach Road. Note there are no toilets or shops in Parattah. For a detailed guide and other heritage finds on the walk visit this link. https://www.southernmidlands.t...
The bridge at Ross
Built-in 1836 by convicts, the Ross bridge is considered to be the most decorative bridge of its kind in the world, with 186 carvings etched into the sandstone. Ross also holds a mystery: how are a Disappearing Bridge and an ex-ruler of Iceland connected to Ross? Get the kids to sleuth out this one!
Ross Female Convict Station Historic Site
One of the best surviving examples of a female convict station in Australia, the Ross Female Convict Station Historic Site was occupied as a convict station between 1833 and 1855. This occupation included male work and chain gangs, a road station, hiring depot, probation station, and a female house of correction, hiring depot and lying-in hospital. It was one of a network of male convict stations and subsequently the only female factory in the interior of Van Diemen’s Land. Following its closure in 1855, it had a number of uses, principally as a police station and residence between 1895 and 1938, and as a farm to 1980.
Millers Way Tour (Callington Mill)
Oatlands is the only working wind-driven tower mill in the Southern Hemisphere, Callington Mill offers you a tour, This consists of climbing the mill tower and based upon the theme ‘the fortunes of Callington Mill were as unpredictable as the mill itself'. This tour takes approximately 45 minutes and favourites conducted during the hour from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm daily.
Oatlands Court House
Built in 1829, the building also served as a chapel and police station. It is famously knowns as Solomons Blays Cottage, the local Hangman from 1850 to 1969.
Parattah Junction Station
Parattah was once known as Parattah Junction due to the former Oatlands Railway, which branched off towards Oatlands from this area. Today, the railway station serves no passenger traffic, with the last passenger visits occurring in the early 2000s on heritage rail tours. The station building itself has been restored, with a small museum housed there, and is now situated beside a public picnic reserve.
- Perth Park
- Longford Village Green
- Evandale Park,
- Oatlands Playground
- Callington Park
- Campbell Town Park
What you should know
The drive through the Midlands has a variety of internet signal strengths. In bigger areas such as Cambell Town and Oatlands, the signal is better. There are a small number of dead spots along the way, which tend to be between mountains or road cuttings.
All of the major network providers are available. You will find most accommodation and eateries have internet, and usually offer WiFi hot spots.
Being a major highway, most towns offer main brand petrol stations. Fuel can be more expensive when compared to Hobart or Launceston so we suggest filling up before you leave in the morning.
Limited access. Cambell Town offers big bank ATMs. Smaller towns offer the cash out over a local hotel bar or from a redi-teller at a general store/petrol station.
- Ross - Church Street
- Oatlands - Stutzer Street and The Esplanade, on the River
- Kempton - Old Hunting Ground Rd
The Australian Government has a fantastic website called The National Public Toilet Map. It's fantastic. All you have to do is type in your location and it provides a map, address, facilities available and open times. Save it to your safari browser on your mobile. Right now.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association has compiled a list of Babycare rooms around the state. There are none listed for the Midlands area, but that is not to say there aren't any. Your best and safest option is to have everything in an accessible place in the car and change on the front seat. Use a wrap to place over yourself and the baby to feed with, the stop sunlight or distractions to your babe. Our girls refused to feed in the car without being covered up!
There are taxis that operate in Campbell Town, which also travel to nearby towns. The closer to Launceston or Hobart, the taxi services will travel from there.
The Redline Coach service travels between Hobart and Launceston daily.
The following times are approximate. Traffic, speed and stops along the way can impact the time it takes to get from A to B.
Launceston to Hobart - 2 hours 20 minutes. 200 km
RV Dump Points
Caravan Parks Tasmania has compiled a list of recommended green, environmentally friendly locations in order to protect Tasmania's environment. Dump points for the Midlands are:
- Campbelltown - King St Oval
- Ross - Caravan Park
- Risdon - Bowen Park Holiday Village
- Oatlands - Caravan Park Dump Point
- Longford - Riverside Caravan Park
- Brighton Hotel Tasmania
- Evandale - Morven Park
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