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New Norfolk And The Tranquil Derwent Valley
new norfolkIn 1808 the historic town of New Norfolk was established by the early settlers of Norfolk Island, and since then it has thrived into a much loved tourist mecca of Tasmania. Nestled in the gentle hills and green forests of the Derwent Valley, this beautiful town is symbolic of everything that is attractive about Tasmania. The peace and tranquility of this amazing area combines to portray a strong sense of history and heritage, which still holding status as an intriguing destination which lends itself to relaxation as much as it does to activity. There truly is something for everyone in the Derwent Valley, and whether you visit for a just a little while or an extended holiday, you are bound to remain enthralled and entertained.

New Norfolk is situated just a thirty minute drive from Hobart, and its central location within the Derwent Valley makes it the perfect base from which you can explore the surrounding countryside. A hire car or campervan will give you the freedom to explore the valley to its fullest potential. There are accommodation options wherever you look, but if you want to experience self contained comfort with river and valley views then why not check out Valley View Apartments at www.valleyviews.com.au? Their wide range of unit and world-class facilities will make you feel right at home.

The most striking thing about this region would have to be the scenery. The wide and smooth Derwent River winds its way through undulating meadows and lush forests. It is surrounded by ancient English oak and ash trees, which have kept the river company for well over one hundred year, giving the area a special charm. The Derwent flows through large wetlands, which are home to the elusive and strange looking platypus. Your will also find wildlife delights such as ducks, waders and Tasmanian native hens, which all call this region home.

A short drive from New Norfolk will take you to the Mt. Field National Park, a mystical area of towering trees and giant ferns. The ground here is carpeted in green moss and the dense vegetation creates an enchanted atmosphere, like something you would read about in a fantasy novel. For an interesting change from your car, why not take the Derwent Valley Railway journey here. This will take you on a slow day excursion through the valley with a two hour stop over in Mt. Field. This two hours is ample time for you to explore at least one of the three waterfalls the park is famous for: Russell Falls, Lady Barron Falls and Horseshoe Falls. The cool, refreshing waters of the creeks above and below the falls are the perfect temperature for trout, and the fish can be seen lazily swimming amongst the rocks and reeds.

The ancient atmosphere of New Norfolk can further be seen in the form of the beautifully preserved historic buildings that can be viewed as you take a stroll around town. The oldest church in Australia can be found here; the Anglican church of St. Matthews, was built in 1823. Quaint yet traditional, the church has sky-reaching ceilings and colourful stained glass windows. Another haunt of visitors is the Oast House, which was a working oast house from 1867 to 1969. It has now been transformed into a small museum, with a gift shop and a family run tea room. The Willow Court historic site is also worth a visit. Built as a military hospital in 1830, it was turned into an insane asylum later on. Just one room wide, it is a simple yet remarkable building that is full of character and will give you a unique slice of history.

If you want to combine your desire for history with your appreciation of fishing, be sure to pay a visit to the Salmon Ponds, the oldest trout hatchery in the southern hemisphere. Established in 1861 these ponds have grown into an extremely successful commercial business. There is lots to see and do, with the Museum of Trout Fishing and the Tasmanian Angling Hall of Fame both on site. A licensed restaurant serves the freshest trout you are ever likely to encounter in your life!

With attractions in every direction you face, you may run out of time to find a place to stay. For a low down on the best places, pay a visit to this website: www.newnorfolk.org can help you out. It compiles the details of all the accommodation options in the town and the surrounding area, making it easy to choose where to stay and what activities to take part in. It also has information on the major attractions in the region, and a rundown of the history and the heritage of New Norfolk and the Derwent Valley. So what are you waiting for? Log onto the site and organise your next holiday in the Derwent Valley and the beautiful New Norfolk!

Christine Barton

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