Things to do near Longford & Northern Tasmania
The historic town of Longford, in Tasmania’s northern midlands, is ideally situated for exploring northern Tasmania, with some of Australia’s oldest buildings and a rich history on the doorstep. Longford – classified as a historic town and first settled in 1813 – is one of the oldest towns in Australia.
Woolmers and Brickendon, (both UNESCO World Heritage listed estates), are minutes from the centre of Longford and provide a fascinating picture into life on early convict built agricultural estates. There are numerous historic Georgian and early Victorian buildings in the town’s centre to explore, including Christ Church, a beautiful sandstone Anglican church built in 1839, which features a church clock and bell, both gifts from King George IV.
Longford also has a rich motor racing history, as host to the Australian Grand Prix in 1959 and 1965. The 7km long Longford Circuit was a temporary motor racing course laid out on the streets of Longford, and regarded as one of the best in the country. The Country Club Hotel in Marlborough Street features a great collection of Grand Prix memorabilia, celebrating this important part of Longford’s history.
Surrounded by the stunning Great Western Tiers, the northern edge of the Central Highlands plateau, we are only minutes away from some of Tasmania’s best fly fishing and fabulous fresh Tasmanian produce and wineries.
Brickendon Farm Estate
Fascinating World Heritage listed convict built farm buildings dating from the 1820s. Self-guided tour. Entry includes Brickendon Estate gardens around the main house, still lived in by the seventh generation of the Archer family.
The National Rose Garden
- Grounds only $14 adults / $32 family
- 5 mins from The Racecourse Inn
A gentle walk between Brickendon Farm Estate and Woolmers Estate, passing through gentle farmland and crossing the Macquarie River. Entry fees apply to both properties.
- Approximately 45 minutes one way
- 2 mins from The Racecourse Inn
- Entry payable at both sites
Christ Church Longford
Christ Church (built 1839) was originally intended to be the Cathedral for the district. The grave yard contains some prominent early settlers, including Anne Edmunds (d.1841 age 86), mother of the first child of British descent born on the Northern side of Van Dieman’s Land. Her son, b. 3 Nov. 1804, was named William Dalrymple in honour of Lt Col William Paterson and the founding of Port Dalrymple.
“Voices from the grave” is a walking tour through Christ Church graveyard.
Tamar Valley Wine Route
Discover more than 30 cellar doors spread over 170km along the banks of the beautiful Tamar River, north of Launceston. Purchase a few bottles from different vineyards as you tour the wine route and present your collection of wines at the last winery you visit. They will pack and send the wines home for you, just for the cost of the freight.
Discover the vineyards
Entally House was the family home of Thomas Reibey, the Premier of Tasmania from 1876 to 1877. The Entally Estate was established in 1819 by Thomas Haydock Reibey (senior) in Hadspen, Tasmania. Reiby worked in the East India company, and named the house after the suburb of Entally in Calcutta, India. Entally House is a historic homestead with various outbuildings, including Australia’s oldest conservatory, chapel, stables & carriage house. The property encompasses grand, parklike surroundings with magnificent gardens and a vineyard.
Bell & Gong Vineyard
Belll and Gong is a family owned and operated boutique vineyard, near Longford, Tasmania, Australia.The vineyard produces exceptional quality fruit for Pinot Noir and they source similar quality local fruit for their Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc – with plans for the vineyard to expand and produce their own fruit for these varieties.
Bell and Gong operate a small cellar door for wine tasting and sales, or invite visitors to use their safe online ordering facility through their website. Bell and Gong look forward to welcoming you in person and showing you their vineyard – and to sharing their passion for producing beautiful Tasmanian wine.
Liffey Falls State Reserve falls within The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, nestled within cool temperate rainforest on the slopes of the Great Western Tiers. Framed by the dominant species of Tasmania’s cool temperate rainforests – myrtle, sassafrass and leatherwood, the falls are understandably a popular spot among both Tasmanians and visitors alike. A nature walk leads from a picnic area near the carpark down through forests of towering eucalypts and tree ferns to the falls. A number of smaller falls are passed along the way. 45 min walk from the top carpark or 2.5-3 hour walk from the bottom carpark/campground. Access information
- 45 minutes from The Racecourse Inn
Cataract Gorge Reserve on the South Esk River is a unique natural formation just a two-minute drive from central Launceston.
At ‘The Gorge’ there are walking tracks, a swimming pool, the world’s longest single span chairlift, a restaurant, a café, a suspension bridge, and panoramic lookouts with spectacular views. Peacocks and native wildlife add to the experience.
Set in 7 hectares of parklands on the banks of the South Esk River, this magnificent three-storey Georgian house has servants’ quarters, a heritage walled garden, several farm buildings and a rare avenue of elms. Built in 1838 by James Cox, entry to Clarendon Estate includes the gardens, Australian Fly Fishing Museum with kids’ fish feeding pool and riverside access for anglers and picnickers.
Longford marks the confluence of the South Esk and Macquarie Rivers, which have been named as amongst the top ten stillwater fishing spots in Tasmania. The South Esk has long areas of broadwater with overhanging willows, which make for good areas for spinning and fly casting. The Macquarie, arguably Tasmania’s best known river for angling, is fishable for most of its length. There is also excellent fishing at Brumby’s Creek, Cressy, only 10 minutes away, and in the highland lakes, an easy 40 minute drive from The Racecourse Inn.
Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Bridestowe Lavender Estate runs over 260 acres and is the world’s largest privately-owned lavender farm. With an estimated 650,000 plants, the lavender rows stretch for about 200 kilometres in total.
Bridestowe is open all year round for you to enjoy each season, farm cycle and the freedom and space that comes with farm life. Bridestowe is a working farm, so they’re busy throughout the year with planting, pruning and making their famous Bridestowe Lavender Estate products. Guided or self-guided tours available.
Walk amongst the flowers 1 Dec – end January/February.
Cradle Mountain National Park
Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair National Park is located in Tasmania’s Central Highland. The park is part of the Tasmanian World Heritage Area, and contains many walks including a walk around Dove Lake. A shuttle bus service operates between the Visitors Centre and Transit Terminal, located at the former airstrip to Dove Lake.
The Aurora australis, or Southern Lights, is a natural light display in the sky. The aurora frequently appears either as a diffuse glow or as “curtains” that extend approximately in the east-west direction. Visible at times in northern Tasmania when facing south on a clear night. The clear skies in farmland around Longford and Cressy provide a good viewing platform. A Bureau of Meteorology Camera at Cressy (10 mins away) records Auroras.