Highway One: Tasmania’s Red Bridge

By Catherine Lawson 7 November 2013
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Along Highway One, in Tasmania, is 154-year-old Red Bridge – one of the oldest in Australia.

Catherine Lawson and David Bristow, along with baby Maya, are doing a lap of Highway One, the road that circles Australia. 

I’VE TRAVELLED TO TASMANIA dozens of times but never found myself on the Midland Highway. This stretch of Highway One, which connects Launceston and Hobart follows the Heritage Highway through a string of historic towns – Campbell Town, Ross and Oatlands.

We were particularly drawn to Campbell Towns’ Red Bridge which may well be the oldest bridge anywhere on Highway One.

It’s a magnificent 154-year-old structure, built by convict labour in the 1850s and utilising around 1.25 million locally made bricks. It’s estimated that two million vehicles cross the bridge every year, which only makes its construction even more impressive.

About 50km south of Campbell Town at Oatlands, we are again impressed by another historic icon – Callington Mill, built in 1837 and today the only working wind-driven Lincolnshire Mill in the southern hemisphere.

It was restored to fully working order in 2010 and produces exceptional organic wheat and spelt flours thanks to miller Benjamin Paulsen – a real livewire in this laidback town.

Oatlands boasts Australia’s largest collection of sandstone Georgian buildings and it’s a super-friendly town that welcomes travellers with a free campground on the shores of Lake Dulverton.

A conservation park protects the lake and its flocks of black swans, ducks and migratory water birds, and the lake is stocked with trout. There’s a small boat ramp on the Esplanade near the campground and a walking trail that leads around the lake’s foreshore too.

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