QVMAG at Royal Park

History and Heritage in Northern Tasmania – Part One!

Tasmania has a rich history, a wealth of stories to tell, from the native Australian Aboriginals to the colonial settlers, mariners, convicts and bush rangers. We would like to highlight several significant places that may be of interest, located close to Beauty Point Tourist Park during your stay in Northern Tasmania, Australia.

“Perhaps the virtue of coming from a place like Tasmania is that you had the great gift of knowing that you were not the centre of things, yet life was no less where you were” – Richard Flanagan

Low Head Pilot Station

Low Head Pilot Station

Low Head Pilot Station
Credit: Tourism Tasmania and Peter Cox

399 Low Head Road, Low Head, Tasmania.

Who cannot resist a grand old light house? Standing majestically tall in her mysterious way with stories and sights locked away.

Dating back to 1805, the Low Head Conservation Area makes it the oldest Signal and Pilot Station in Australia!

Enjoy the fresh ocean air as you walk around the renovated cottages, lighthouse and surrounding area over looking the Bass Strait before you have a bite to eat and drink in the Coxwain’s Cottage Cafe. On site is also a Maritime Museum (entry fees apply, click on the link below to find out more), a worthy visit for all ages. The restored fog horn is also very popular with visitors and is only one of two operating left in Australia. It is sounded at 12 noon every Sunday.

Situated on the East Tamar Highway, on the Eastern Side of the Tamar River, adjacent to pilot Bay. Approximately 45 minutes drive from Beauty Point Tourist Park and approximately 40 minutes drive from Launceston.

For more information: http://lowheadpilotstation.com

 

Mt Direction Historical Site

Semaphore Station

From Beauty Point, 28 min (31.4 km) via W Tamar Hwy/A7 and Batman Hwy/B73
25km North of Launceston.
Free entry and easy access.

The Mt Direction Semaphore Station was one of several stations set up in the mid 19th Century in the Tamar Valley. One of the earliest in Australia; an example of the British military communication systems of that time, used for maritime and Government purposes. This particular one was central for communication between the stations situated between Launceston to Low Head.

Mt Direction is the only one in the area that was not demolished or built over, leaving several parts in place, such as the old residence.

A touch of history: “By the time the technology entered colonial Australia, the average speed of transmission was about 2 words per minute. Of course the system was limited by bad weather and could not be used at night, despite attempts to do so by putting lamps on the arms.” – Parks and Wildlife Services Tasmania website (link below).

For more information: http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=19158

 

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (Royal Park location).

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery

Credit: Tourism Tasmania and Sean Fennessy

2 Wellington Street, Launceston.
The closest public parking is at Paterson Street West car park.

The first thing worth mentioning to any unfamiliar visitors to the area is that the Queen Victoria  Museum and Art Gallery has two sites, this one at ‘Royal Park’ and another not too far away in Invermay, Launceston. Both are quite unique, so worth visiting both if you have time!

QVMAG holds a wealth of information, sharing the Tasmanian natural and cultural history currently recorded. We would like to highlight  the permanent exhibition on the local Australian Aboriginal History – ‘The First Tasmanian’s: Our Story’. This new addition is very much welcomed as many visitors (and locals) have highlighted over the years the lack of recognition and information regarding the indigenous custodians of the land in such a format that is easily accessed and made publicly available. ‘The First Tasmanian’s: Our Story’ exhibition is a continuing narrative addressing the 40,000 history like never before, including the rich ecological history as well.

For more information: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/qvmag/index.php?c=400 or Phone: 03 6323 3777. Opening hours and special events can also be accessed on the link above.