Last Sunday myself and 30+ Instagrammers took a coach up a small part of the Heritage Highway, starting at Oatlands before coming back through Kempton, Pontville and Brighton. It was a rainy day but that didn’t dampen the spirits of our group as we got off at our first stop, Callington Mill. It’s a working Georgian windmill built in 1837. The restoration of Callington Mill to its former glory was completed in 2010. The mill is the only working example of its type in the southern hemisphere and produces quality flours driven by the fresh winds of Oatlands. While a lucky few were drawn out of a hat for a more personal tour of the site, the rest of us wandered the grounds and surrounding town. We were given some interesting insights into the former jailhouse whose steps are probably the most worn I’ve ever seen. Archaeologists and historians have been working at the site for years, with their efforts hampered by the construction of a swimming pool over the old exercise yard.
Our next port of call was Kempton and a trip to Redlands Distillery. I know I know, what a tough day out having to visit a distillery! 🙂 We were warmly greeted by the staff who had put on a very tasty banquet of food for us slightly damp Instagrammers. After a cheeky glass of wine and some nourishment we wandered out to the distillery itself, where Jack Lark, son of the legendary Bill talked us through the process of creating Whiskey. All of this was dutifully watched over by Abbey the dog who followed us around as we explored.
Lucky us getting to visit a distillery and taste their wares right? Well, what’s better than visiting one distillery? Why visiting TWO of course! Our next stop (yes there’s still more to come) was the absolutely quainteriffic (It’s a new word that applies perfectly to this place) Shene Estate. It has been lovingly restored by the wonderful Kernke family and is chock full of the most beautiful scenes of style and class. There’s the Gothic Revival stable complete with chapel, the sumptuous barn and of course the newest addition, the distillery which is housed in a very tastefully constructed wooden building with stone fireplace. I’ve been to Shene three times and look forward to going there on many more occasions. The hard work of the Kernke family and their partners has been rewarded recently with their Poltergeist Gin (amazing by the way) taking a Gold medal at the recent World Gin Awards.
We had one more stop to go before calling it a day on this wonderful adventure through the Heritage Highway and Midlands of Tasmania. It’s a place I’ve been to before but like Shene (and indeed Redlands and Callington Mill/Oatlands), I look forward to returning again and again.
If you drive around the roads of Tasmania you’ll unfortunately see a lot of roadkill. It’s partly due to people driving too fast as well as a sign that there is an abundance of wildlife lurking beyond the tarmac. Sometimes this leaves orphaned or injured animals and this is where Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary steps in. They take in injured animals and restore their health to be returned to the wild where possible. The work they do has been paramount to the survival of the Tasmanian Devil as well as numerous other species found throughout Tasmania. The highlight of any trip to Bonorong for me is always going to be the wombats. They’re just so darned cute! A close second and I’m sure a favourite amongst children is the gated area where you can feed kangaroos and wallabies. It’s such a nice feeling when a little wallaby hops over to you and holds your hand while you feed it.
Bonorong gets a lot of visitors and that’s great for their funding and for supporting their efforts. The other places on this trip may not perhaps receive as many visitors and that’s a shame as they are truly fantastic places to visit. I always implore people to get out of the city and main tourist spots, take the road less travelled and explore the other great sights and experiences on offer. Oatlands, Redlands and Shene are certainly well worth the short drive out of Hobart as are the numerous other sights along the Heritage Highway and throughout the Midlands of Tasmania. Basically…..go everywhere 🙂