A rural inland town in Tasmania's north west, Railton promotes itself as the Town of Topiary. The main attraction in the town is topiary, which is the art of shaping bushes and trees by careful pruning to resemble familiar objects such as animals. The idea to use topiary to bring visitors to the town birthed in the late 1990s. It began when local business owner Neil Hurley created Railton's first character topiary at his shop -Looking Glass Cottage - A horse and farmer working an old plough - a living monument to the pioneering farmers of the district.
The next topiaries followed shortly after - Ned Kelly - in Dowbiggin Street and Bluey'scrocodile - outside the Railton Motor and Tyre service station. Community support quickly gathered momentum and other businesses and private individuals took up the art. Today there are over 100 individual topiary in the town, many forming their own story or scene, like the topiary service men and women to be placed at the cenotaph in town. There is even a park full of topiary animals in the Cradle Mountain National Paddock on Crockers Street. Download map of topiary locations
Additional to the topiary are six murals in town painted on shops and buildings mainly depicting the history of the area as a part of Kentish outdoor art gallery.
Where Is it?: 24 km south of Devonport, 12 km north east of Sheffield.
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In The Area
Sykes Sanctuary is 40 acres of bushland with abundant birdlife, walking tracks and memorials to Norman Sykes. He was an eccentric conservationist who gave up city life to live in a small shack, close to nature. He bequeathed his property to the Railton community with the instruction that it be conserved as a bird and fauna sanctuary.
Henry Somerset Orchid Reserve is renowned for the diversity of native terrestrial orchids, some of the orchids are listed as rare and endangered species. Moreover, some of the orchids are not only endemic to the state of Tasmania, but to the local area. A walk takes approximately 45 minutes and starts from the carpark off Railton Road.
Warrawee Forest Reserve has a five kilometre walk with access to barbeque facilities, tables and three ponds stocked with trout. Platypus can sometimes be viewed on tours conducted early in the morning or at dusk with the Latrobe Landcare Group. Tours should be pre-booked a day or two before arriving at the reserve.
Kimberley Warm Springs
Kimberley Warm Springs are a geothermal feature and semi-developed visitor site located within the village of Kimberley. The micro climate created by the warm springs results in a unique habitat. Water from the springs remains at a constant temperature of 24 -25 degrees Celsius. The water's chemical composition suggests it gains its heat from hotter sub-surface materials. The spring is the only one of its kind in the north-west of Tasmania. The reserve features a constructed pool, approximately 13 metres by 20 metres and 1.2 metres deep, a sheltered barbecue area, parking and public toilets. Access to the site is from Warm Springs Road off Morrison Street. The site is well signposted within the town.
Once a thriving village with a school, railway station, shops and two churches, the village of Kimberley has declined since the 1960s and is now a collection of houses with one church (St Michael and All Angels Anglican Church) remaining. Much of the surrounding farmland has been planted with plantation timber in recent years. Papua New Guinean politician Barry Holloway was born at Kimberley and is buried there, and Kimberley Warm Springs is nearby. Kimberley is the site of the Dasher River Conservation Area.
The World of Tasmazia is a crazy complex located in the wonderfully named town of Promised Land in the heart of Tasmania s beautiful Cradle Mountain and Lakes District. Tasmazia includes 8 mazes, featuring The Great Maze, reputedly the world s largest, as well as The Village of Lower Crackpot, a whimsical model village built to 1/5th scale.
Lake Barrington is best known for its 2,000 metre, eight-lane international-standard rowing course, used for rowing, canoeing and water skiing competitions. Lake Barrington is ideal for water-based activities such as swimming, rowing, water skiing, power boating and canoeing. Picnic areas with sheltered tables, BBQs and toilets are available within the reserve. A kiosk operates on weekends in summer and during major sporting events.
Often described by visitors as a hidden treasure, somewhere that they have stumbled across, Westbury is a pretty English-style village on the Great Western Tiers tourist route between Devonport and Launceston. A village green, lots of tree-lined streets, old courtyards and stables, elegant old inns and a feast of charming old buildings means a visitor could easily spend a day just wandering around the streets.
A classic Georgian village and classified historic town, Westbury was developed as a military garrison and the troops were barracked around what today is the Village Green, reputedly one of the few traditional village greens in Australia. Prisoners were put in stocks on the green.
A rural inland town in Tasmania's north west, Sheffield is known as the Town of Murals because of the many murals that decorate the walls of buildings around the town.
Names like Promised Land, Paradise and No Where Else were used to encapsulate the beauty of the region. Visitors today believe this still rings true!View rich agricultural fields, rolling green hills and natural vistas when journeying to Sheffield, Cradle Mountain, Wilmot and Railton.
The Great Western Tiers are the northern face of the Tasmanian Central Plateau, which rises up to 1420m above sea level and is dominated by Cradle Mountain. In the foothills of the Great Western Tiers can be found a wide range of attractions both man made and natural which can be explored on this drive.
Allow a full day for the drive; add additional time if you are contemplating taking any of the bushwalks in the area or spending more time than a quick visit. The Great Western Tiers are the gateway to Tasmania's best known National Parks - Cradle Mountain, Lake St. Clair and Walls Of Jerusalem - as well as an alternative route to the west coast of Tasmania.
Though it has a population of around 500, Elizabeth Town is one of those places that if you blink you might miss it. But if you do miss it, you will miss out on some of the best gourmet produce of Tasmania's north-west, because Elizabeth Town at the heart of a productive agricultural region producing dairy products and small fruits.
An historic farming centre on the Mersey River that was once an inland port serviced by ferries from Devonport. The town is just off the highway on the way to Launceston after leaving Devonport. Bells Parade was the first Port on the North West Coast for shipping produce. Attractions at Letrobe include the Australian Axeman's Hall of Fame and Timberworks; Courthouse Museum; Warrawee Reserve Platypus Tours. Location: 17 km from Port Sorrell via Port Sorrell Road to Wesley Vale, then via Wesley Vale Road to Latrobe.