A Travellerspoint blog

Ye Olde England Downunder

sunny 28 °C

Tasmania is roughly half the size of England but has merely 1% of the population, so it’s hardly surprising that most of the country is given over to agriculture. The island has perhaps the perfect climate – rarely too hot or too cold, (though sometimes too dry) - and northern climate crops of all kinds flourish here: vineyards and olive groves vie for land amongst fruit orchards and fields of vegetables, while sheep, goats, alpacas and cattle graze the paddocks alongside wallabies and kangaroos…
Tasmania is just about as far away from Britain as it is possible to get without dropping off the edge and it is understandable that it was chosen as the first place to transport the ‘great unwashed’ of Victorian times when they became a nuisance at home. It was perhaps inevitable that the administrators, guards, and even the prisoners, would try to make their new home as much like the old as possible. Every town and city has a wealth of buildings straight off the pages of “Victorian British Architecture.” This is Launceston’s High Street…
This ‘Olde Worlde’ stone bridge at Ross was built by convicts in 1836…
As was this perfect little church that could be at the centre of any English village…
…as could Ye Olde British Hotel in Deloraine…
…and this Lincolnshire flour mill in Callington that still grinds flour today…
Tasmania is much more British than British Columbia and is even more British than today’s Britain. Tasmania’s high streets are reminiscent of the English high streets of our youth, when sweets could be bought by the ounce from jars like these in Evandale’s general store…
Unlike the high streets of Britain today, Tasmania’s aren’t awash with charity shops and mobile phone emporiums. Big box malls, dollar stores and American fast food joints are probably coming, but the town centres are still delightful reminders of a lost world. This Fly Fishing store has been here in Launceston a century or more…

Cornish Pasties, Fish and Chips and Devonshire Cream Teas are staples in Tasmania but just when you are convinced that you’ve slipped through a time warp and ended up in 1960s Britain you round a corner and find yourself in Switzerland…
This is the town centre of Grindelwald in central Tasmania while Interlaken is not far away.

Tasmania has a great deal to offer visitors – much more than we anticipated – if only it weren’t so bloomin’ far away. Sentiments no doubt echoed by the thousands of convicts who ended their days here in this corner of a foreign field that will be forever England.

Posted by Hawkson 02:24 Archived in Australia

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I am just home from Colombia visiting Kelly. I slept in the same lovely bed as you two had when you were there. It was very hot at times as they have not had rain but it was great to be outside all the time. I never got to Tasmainia when I lived in New Zealand and went often to Australia. It looks very interesting. Here I am first again as I cant get used to the time.

by Jean McLaren

Fascinating.I had pictured one giant sheep farm. Shame to see it ever change--i.e. the first Golden Arches rearing their ugly heads.

by R and B

You are the perfect friends for someone who isn't a great traveller. I feel like I have been everywhere! I loved Tasmania!
Love Peggi

by Peggi Diebel

What a charming place. Apparent that they value their architectural heritage enough to keep it in use and maintained. Hats off to them.

by Tom

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