Evandale was originally established as a military post in 1811, on the banks of the South Esk River. Today, this National Trust classified Georgian village is popular among locals and visitors alike, with its relatively untouched streetscape, 19th century cottages, and traditional English atmosphere.
At just a 20 minute drive south from Launceston, Evandale makes a wonderful day trip or weekend getaway. Here are a dozen things to do in this gorgeous village.
1. Explore the town
Wander the quaint streets and enjoy the old world village atmosphere. High Street is known for its beauty and is arguably one of Tasmania’s most attractive main streets. Pay attention to the little details, such as planter boxes filled with colourful blooms along the footpath. Wander down alleyways and discover delightful courtyards. Step through charming doorways nestled amidst colonial brickwork.
2. Visit the Visitor Information Centre & walk through history
The friendly folks at the Evandale Visitor Information Centre have a wealth of knowledge to share. They can also help with travel tips and bookings for accommodation and attractions.
Grab a Heritage Walk booklet and take a walk through history. As you stroll around the town, admire the charming heritage buildings and imagine what life might have been like in the 19th century. Points of interest including one time hotel Blenheim (c. 1832), Royal Oak (c. 1840) and adjoining stables (now Evandale Antiques), the Clarendon Arms Hotel (c. 1847), Fallgrove (c. 1826), Solomon House (c. 1836), and the saddler’s shop (c. 1840).
3. Admire the historic churches
Evandale’s churches are stunning to look at. St Andrew’s Uniting Church (c. 1840) is a much admired example of Greek Revival Architecture, with its classical bell tower and Doric columns. The town is also home to St Andrew’s Anglian Church (c. 1872), St Mary’s Catholic Church (c. 1863, now a private residence), and the Wesleyan Chapel (now heritage accommodation). Many early settlers are buried in the graveyards.
4. Do a spot of shopping
Pop into the local shops and galleries to admire the art and craftwork and choose some boutique gifts, souvenirs, and collectables. Our picks include Handmark Gallery, Tasmanian Gourmet Sauce Company, Threads Boutique, and Wattlebird. Find some gems at Amnesia Antiques. Check out the art gallery, Tasmanian gifts and local wines at Ingleside Bakery Cafe. Browse the goods and souvenirs at the Pennyfarthing Emporium and pick up some Evandale fudge. Evandale is also home to Lake Leather, Tasmania’s first specialist leather goods shop.
5. Grab a bite to eat
All that exploring and shopping is sure to work up an appetite! Grab a hearty pub meal and try the local brews at the Clarendon Arms Hotel and the Prince of Wales Hotel. Grab a coffee or pick up a snack at Evandale Coffee & Takeaway. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, cake and coffee at Ingleside Bakery Cafe (in the old Council chambers, c. 1867). Sit among the roses and herbs in the courtyard or inside by the wood fire.
6. Stroll the Evandale Sunday Market
The popular Evandale Sunday Market is on every Sunday from 8am to 1.30pm at Falls Park, Logan Road. There’s something for everyone, with stalls offering local produce, secondhand books, general bric-a-brac, and local crafts. There are also food vans and hot coffee. Children’s entertainment includes the Evandale Light Rail as well as pony rides.
7. Step back in time at Clarendon
Clarendon, at nearby Nile, is a grand Georgian mansion that was built by convicts in 1838 for wealthy grazier and merchant, James Cox. Today, the estate is owned by the National Trust, and is open to visitors (check opening times on the National Trust website). Tour the house, treat yourself to Devonshire tea, explore the formal garden and grounds, wander down the tree-lined avenue, and admire the restored early colonial outbuildings. Clarendon also hosts a range of events throughout the year.
8. Dress up for the National Penny Farthing Championships & Village Fair
The statue near the Clarendon Arms offers a clue about Evandale’s connection to penny farthings! The National Penny Farthing Championships began back in 1983 and today attracts people from all around the world. Every February, enthusiasts flock to Evandale to compete in a series of races on a triangular circuit in the centre of the village. The Evandale Village Fair happens simultaneously, with market stalls, food, family entertainment, and classic cars. Don your best colonial attire—it’s a lot of fun!
9. Check out the Glover Prize exhibition
Evandale is the home of the Glover Art Prize, one of the country’s most significant awards for landscape painting. John Glover was the most important early 19th century landscape artist to work in Australia, and his paintings grace galleries throughout Australia and overseas. The Glover Art Prize is held annually in March, and awarded to the work judged the best contemporary landscape painting of Tasmania. The finalists’ paintings are exhibited at the Falls Park Pavilion, and are well worth a look!
10. Discover influential residents
In the early 19th century, John Glover was inspired by the picturesque township and countryside, and settled at nearby Deddington (see the statue of him at Evandale’s Falls Park). John Bateman lived at Evandale until 1835, then he headed off to found a little city called Melbourne. This is all very respectable, but there was more colour in the 19th century than just Glover’s paintings—notorious bushranger Ned Kelly’s old man, John Kelly, served time at Evandale as a prisoner!
In the 20th century, Evandale was the birthplace of Lt Col. Harry Murray VC, CMG, DSO and Bar, the most highly decorated allied solider in WWI (see his statue in Rodgers Lane).
11. Relax by the river
Evandale is situated on the banks of the beautiful South Esk River. During the day, go for a stroll along the riverbank, walk the dog, try your luck at fishing, or paddle out in the kayak. Sunrise and sunset are favourite times for photographers—the colours look divine reflected in the water! On a clear night, away from bright city lights, the riverbank is an incredible spot to stargaze. You might even get really lucky and experience the magic of the Aurora Australis.
12. Stay awhile
Evandale offers a range of accommodation, including heritage cottages, B&Bs and hotel rooms. The town is also RV friendly, with free camping for self-contained vehicles available at Falls Park from Sunday to Friday nights.
Options include Evandale Stables Accommodation, Arendon Cottage, Greg and Gill’s Place, Blenheim Inn, Clarendon Cottage, Solomon Cottage, Abode-Abode B&B, Esk Guest House, Farthings Village, Grandma’s House, Old Wesleyan Chapel, the Prince of Wales Hotel, and Box Cottage Apartment.
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