Experience good old fashioned country charm at Avoca, a small village about a half hour drive north east from Campbell Town. The area was officially settled in 1834 as a farming, coal and tin mining village. Today, it’s all about farming (and ice cream). We’ve put together some tips on fun things to do when you visit.
1. Treat yourself at The Cow Shed
You can’t miss Avoca Berry Delights, aka The Cow Shed, so get a moove on! This place has so much character, from the dairy cow pattern outside to the plethora of quirky cow stuff inside. Relax with a coffee and try to choose between all the mouthwatering home made and home blended goodies (our two cents: try the real fruit ice cream or the hot waffles with fruit and ice cream). There are also delicious home made jams, syrups and award winning liqueurs on offer.
2. Explore the town
It might be tempting to moooch around after your tasty treats, but if you walk it off instead you can have a bit of a stickybeak around town. There are several historic colonial buildings to admire, including the striking St Thomas’ Anglican Church (c. 1842). The church was designed by James Blackburn in Romanesque Revival style. Some of the pews still carry their original numbers, and there’s one large pew at the back that was built for a particularly large warden.
Another colonial charmer is the Union Hotel (c. 1842), which offered accommodation for coaching passengers and stables for changeover horses. The Parish Hall (c. 1850) was originally built as a storehouse for the hotel, but became an entertainment centre. Today, it serves as the town’s post office. Find more info and a town map here.
3. Hear the local ghost stories
One of Avoca’s elegant Georgian homesteads, ‘Bona Vista’ (c. 1842), has a particularly interesting past (it’s not open to the public, so please don’t turn up at midnight with your ghost hunting paraphernalia). Rumour has it, Martin Cash worked there as a groom before becoming a notorious bushranger. In 1853, a raid on the house by bushrangers Dalton and Kelly resulted in murder. Then in 1890, a young man named Beckitt was killed at the homestead woodheap. It is said that his body was dumped in the South Esk River and later discovered by Tom Badkin Jr.
Today, the Bona Vista property includes ‘Greyfort’, which was originally home to Captain James Kingsley Grey. Greyfort is thought to be the earliest stone building in Avoca, and has outlasted earlier mud and timber buildings.
4. Visit the Avoca Museum & Visitor Centre
If you’d rather deal with solid facts than ghostly whispers, pop into the Avoca Museum & Information Centre. Find the centre in the old Heritage-listed school building (c. 1908). Browse the exhibits and check out the local craft that’s for sale.
You might also like to spend some time relaxing in Boucher Park. Visit the soldiers’ memorial trees, have a go on the exercise equipment, and make use of the picnic tables.
5. Enjoy the water
Avoca is located at the junction of the St Paul’s and South Esk Rivers. Go for a stroll along the riverside, walk the dog, cast a line out, or even go for a paddle or swim if you’re really brave (it will be very crisp and refreshing).
6. Soak up the rural views
Avoca boasts beautiful rural views across rolling hills, sprawling paddocks, and beautiful bushland. You can even gaze out towards a distant Ben Lomond. Those golden sunrises or sunsets are particularly beautiful in the country, so settle in and watch the show.
Avoca makes a peaceful little getaway, as well as a relaxing stopover when exploring the Midlands and Valleys of Adventure. St Paul’s River Cottages offer a luxurious wilderness retreat, set on 15 acres by one of Tassie’s leading wild trout rivers. Options include Trout Lodge or the romantic Willow Cottage. Oh, and there are also mini goats!
To see what’s on, check out our Events Calendar.
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