Posted by: RasmaSandra | March 23, 2016

George Town on the Tamar River

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Located in north-east Tasmania George Town has a lovely location sitting on the eastern bank of the mouth of the Tamar River. This is Australia’s third-oldest settlement after Sydney and Hobart. The town is surrounded by beautiful vineyards, orchards, berry and lavender farms. George Town is one of the largest towns in the amazing Tamar Valley. It is home to two of Tasmania’s largest industries – Comalco, operating Australia’s oldest aluminum smelter and Temco, producing iron alloy products. Both of these plants are open to the public.

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Other places of interest to explore are the lovely Pipers Brooke Vineyards. This is one of Tasmania’s most recognized wine labels. At Low Head visitors can surf and swim at the beaches and visit a fairy penguin observatory where twilight tours are available and visitors can see the penguins coming out of the sea at this hour.

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Cruises are also available with departures from George Town. There is a company, offering wildlife watching tours that take passengers to the fur seal colony and dolphin and seabird spotting. You can also experience “thrill seeker” cruises and day or weekend cruises to the Bass Strait Islands on the SS “Furneaux Explorer”. There is a daily ferry service available to take visitors across the Tamar River between George Town and Beauty Point.

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Take the time to explore Provincial Tamar, the gateway to the Tamar Valley.

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Take a look at The Watch House at George Town. This is a historic old Gaol site. Here visitors can see displays about the regions rich history. The present building here was built in 1843 and was reopened in 2004 as part of George Town’s Bicentenary of European Settlement. There is an impressive model village so visitors can see what life was like in George Town in the early nineteenth century. The acclaimed Departures and Arrivals display describes the Female Factories and links to the convict experience. Visitors can enter a primitive cell to get an idea of what life was like for prisoners awaiting trial. Changing displays offer a look at the best of Tasmanian Arts and Crafts. In the Community History Room you can see local information for historians and for those researching their ancestry.

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Centrally located in George Town is The Bass and Flinders Centre. Bass and Flinders were explorers who were sent to discover if Tasmania was or was not an island. Today in the centre you can see a replica of the sloop “Norfolk” and a replica of a whale boat known as “Elizabeth”. You can also see two old racing fours and a banana boat surfboard.

To really get to know Tasmania you must explore its coastline. You can now have access to the coastline along the Kanamaluka Trail. This trail stretches for six kilometers from George Town to Low Head. Along the way you can take in the beauty of the Tamar Valley, Lagoon Beach, Windmill Point and York Cove. Along this route are also historic buildings, museums, nature reserves and the shopping precinct. You can choose to walk or cycle.

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A most interesting and amazing place is Low Head, bounded by the Tamar River and Bass Strait, stretching out into the ocean. Visit the lovely Low Head Pilot Station with its impressive white buildings and well-preserved ground dating back to 1835. Picturesque Low Head Peninsula is located at the mouth of the Tamar River. This is Australia’s oldest pilot station. Here you’ll find a cluster of cottages in a lovely setting with tall Norfolk Island pines and boating facilities. Inside The Pilot Station Maritime Museum you’ll discover information about shipping on the Tamar River and there is an extensive display of relics from the days of steam and sail.

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Children are encouraged to handle the ship’s helm, operate the engine room’s telegraphs, sound the fog horn, ring the ship’s bell and even send messages in Morse Code. In the boat shed is a collection of small sailing boats. After your visit you can relax at the Coxswain’s Cottage Cafe or enjoy a picnic and go swimming in the old boat harbor or at any of the nearby beaches.

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Here you can also visit Australia’s third oldest light stations, with its marvelous light house, which replaced the original in 1890. Here is the only operating G-type fog horn in the Southern Hemisphere. The horn sounds off at noon each Sunday. Visitors can also see one of the replica semaphore masts, which relayed messages between Low Head and Launceston until 1858.

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