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Small Town Tasmania- Forth And Beyond
forth tasmaniaThe beautiful state of Tasmania is rich in secrets, which can be discovered in its many charming towns and villages, which harbour stories and tales of years gone by. Its extensive heritage and interesting history are indicative of its important past, a past that is just begging to be explored.

While the big cities of Tasmania are a great place to start your exploration of this spectacular part of the country, you will find that the small country towns offer a quieter, serene and more beautiful insight into the history of Tassy. The best thing about visiting these towns would have to the wide open spaces of the lush green countryside and the quiet serenity of the wide Tasmanian skies that greet you.

Now when it comes to small towns in Tassy, Forth definitely ranks as one of the most scenic, as well as one of the oldest. Nestled on the banks of River Forth, it is only a 13 kilometre drive from the city of Devonport. This is where the ferry the Spirit of Tasmania docks from Melbourne, so for many it is their first port of call in Tasmania, making Forth a must for visitation. Devonport is a popular choice for entering the state, because most of the main attractions lie within a days drive from there. Forth is of course just around the corner, and is a great place to kick off your exploration of Tasmania. The Forth River and valley is a great place to start, but why not check out the nearby attractions of the northern coastline, as well as similar small settlements lying nearby.

Forth was the second settlement in the county of Devon, spreading its wings in the 1840's even before Devonport was settled. The population of just 350 people makes it the kind of town where everyone knows everybody and you will be made to feel extremely welcome. Many of the original buildings have been replaced since settlement, but there is still a strong sense of history about this old town. At the hub of this history is the Historic Bridge Hotel, which is one of the town's oldest buildings and still stands in almost its original form. It was first licensed and opened in 1872, and has managed to retain the old world charm and atmosphere of those times of the past. The building is in fact heritage listed and regarded as a national treasure. In fact it is also regarded as one of Tasmania's leading live music venues, with something always going on here. There really is no better place in town to grab a country cooked meal, enjoy a beer and a good yarn with some mates or your family. Be sure to try the Forth Pub Pie, which is renowned worldwide!

For all those bargain hunters and trinket seekers out there, The Forth Village Markets are sure to provide you with everything you could possibly need or want. The markets feature many unique stalls with local goods and handmade crafts as well as new goods at bargain prices. Its also regarded as a social meeting point too, with morning teas, lunches and dinners available, so a trip to the markets is a good opportunity to meet some of the locals!

If fantastic views and scenery are what you are after, make sure you take the drive up Braddons Road to Braddons Lookout. This viewing point offers stunning panoramic views over the Forth Valley and out towards Turners Beach and Leith. These scenic coastal settlements located where the River Forth meets the ocean create ideal images for your camera. Attracting just a few visitors each year, these quaint coastal settlements are up there with the best kept secrets of Tasmania! They are also the destination in the dreams of fishermen, as the salmon and mullet run thick and fast in the river mouth of the Forth.

However, if you would prefer to actually be doing something, rather than simply looking at it, a visit to Lake Barrington is essential. This 20 kilometre long expanse of water formed by the Devils Gate Dam wall is a great place for all the water-based activities you could possibly think of. It is also renowned for its 2 kilometre long international standard rowing course, where many competitions are held. There is a large recreation area hugging the foreshore which is home to a diversity of wildlife, and accommodates visitors perfectly with picnic, recreation and restroom facilities. Ideal for long summer days, there is also plenty of facilities that will accommodate you for camping here. This is a great experience that you won't soon forget.

As a holiday destination, Forth offers some truly amazing scenes, activities and attractions. It has everything you could want in a quiet and relaxing break, with the comfort of a major city close by. The best way to discover it is to just get out there and see where the road may take you. After all, this is how the best holidays are spent!

Christine Barton

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