The Heritage Highway is perfect for a road trip, with lots of fascinating towns dotted throughout the region. With so much to explore, it’s best to take your time – just like the stagecoach travellers of the 19th century. Today, the journey is much more comfortable, with several RV friendly towns in the Midlands, and some beautiful campsites to choose from. Pack the family into the camper and head off – we promise you won’t get held up by a bushranger!
1. Longford Riverside Caravan Park
The historic town of Longford is reminiscent of a quaint English village, and is around a 20 minute drive south from Launceston. Pick up a National Trust brochure from the Post Office and take a self-guided walk around the Georgian town, learning about the history of the houses, hotels and inns. Visit the church and settlers cemetery and hear Voices from the Graves. The town is also home to the oldest continuously operating motorcar racecourse in the country. From Longford, you can take a short drive to the very grand Woolmers and Brickendon Estates, embark upon a bush walk in the Great Western Tiers, or go fly-fishing at Great Lake.
Set up camp at Longford Riverside Caravan Park, on the banks of the beautiful Macquarie River. It’s a lovely spot to bunker down for the night, and you can even fish from the riverbank! There are 78 powered and 50 unpowered sites, as well as six deluxe onsite caravans and two studio units. Facilities include two amenity blocks, laundry facilities, camp kitchen and barbecue area, plus Wi-Fi.
2. Lake Leake Campground
Lake Leake was created for Campbell Town‘s water supply way back in 1880, and is now a favourite weekend getaway spot. The lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout and offers excellent early- and late-season wet fly fishing. If you’re keen to try your luck, Lake Leake is around a half hour drive east from Campbell Town. (Hot tip: pop into Lake Leake Inn for a good feed.)
There’s a small campground directly opposite the boat ramp, with four level areas with power for caravans and motorhomes near the facilities. If demand is high, overflow camping may be available at the nearby oval. Please note, you’ll need to bring your own firewood and drinking water. Dogs are welcome, as long as they are kept on a leash at all times.
More info: Inland Fisheries Service Brochure
3. Ross Caravan Park
Ross is a bustling heritage village with amazing elm-lined streets, famed for its vanilla slice and beautiful convict-built bridge. The Ross Caravan Park and Heritage Cabins are located next to the Macquarie River, near the bridge, opposite the town’s swimming pool and children’s playground. There are 20 powered and 20 unpowered sites on offer, bordered by a lovely old dry stone wall, with lots of shady trees. The park has an upgraded amenities block and barbecue area, and you can fish for trout (in season) and red fin in the Macquarie River (fishing licence required). Pop into the Ross Visitor Information Centre at the Tasmanian Wool Centre for local tips and info on exploring the town.
Image via Instagram: @_jasonpaulraj
4. Tooms Lake Campground
Tooms Lake is around a 1 hour and 15 minute drive east from Ross, and lies within the Tooms Lake Conservation area. The lake itself is artificial and shallow, and is used for recreational fishing, for brown trout and rainbow trout. It’s gained a reputation as an early season venue due to its low elevation, and the sheltered water is ideal for small boats. The Northern Midlands Council manages the shack village and campground.
More info: Inland Fisheries Service Brochure
5. Lake Dulverton Rest Area
Oatlands is one of the state’s oldest settlements and boasts the largest collection of sandstone buildings of any Australian town (more than 150). The town was once a bustling military outpost and stagecoach depot, and wandering the mostly convict-built, Georgian streetscape is like stepping back in time. Have a stickybeak inside the historic buildings by popping into the town’s cafes, antique stores, and attractions. Pick up a Stories from the Sandstone booklet and learn about the town’s colourful history as you explore. Or, if you fancy yourself a bit of a sleuth, try a game of Skulduggery, and see if you can solve a true crime from Oatlands’ past.
Oatlands is an RV friendly town, with overnight camping available at the Lake Dulverton Conservation Area, which is an important wetland for threatened and migratory birds. The camping area is located off High Street on the Esplanade, at the northern end of town, and also offers picnic facilities, trout fishing, boating, and a scenic walking track. This spot is for self contained vehicles only, with a maximum stay of 72 hours.
6. Kempton Rest Area
Kempton was settled in the 1820s and soon became a busy coaching stop for hungry travellers and their weary horses (see if you can spot the stage coach sculpture, which is part of the Shadows of the Past Silhouette Trail). There’s plenty of colonial charm left today, so wander the quaint streetscape and check out the galleries, cafes, churches, and heritage houses. Be sure to visit Redlands Distillery and Cellar Door for a tour and tastings (if you can line up your visit with one of their Sunday Sessions, even better).
There’s a good level rest area with power (via donation box) and fresh water near The Blue Place (the old Presbyterian church), off the Main Street near Station Park at the southern end of town. There are showers and toilets, as well as a BBQ and picnic table. This spot is for self-contained vehicles only, with a maximum stay of 48 hours. There are vehicle wash-down facilities available, and a dump point at the public toilets.
Lake Dulverton, Oatlands, by @whiteangelone.jmd via Instagram