Oatlands: Tasmania's historic hideaway
Tasmania presents an abundance of sandstone buildings that is unparalleled in Australia, as anyone who’s walked the city of Hobart can attest. But travel a little further north, just over an hour’s drive along the state’s famous Heritage Highway, and you’ll stumble upon an exit to Oatlands — a historic and beautiful township that makes for a history-soaked stopover.
Upon arrival, it doesn’t take long for visitors to notice Oatlands’ remarkable past, given that it’s evident from the get-go, with sandstone buildings dotted about at every turn. In fact, this whimsical, landmark town indeed holds Australia's largest cluster of Georgian-style sandstone buildings, most of which can be viewed along its charming main street.
In total, there are 87 stone buildings clustered around High Street, and 138 more within the town’s wider boundaries. And with Oatlands being rather compact, it can easily be discovered by foot, welcoming a day of exploration, akin to visiting an outdoor museum.
Inside these delightful old buildings, a myriad of means take place. Some act as residencesto the 600-odd locals that call Oatlands home, along with short-term homestays, like that of the beautifully transformed, Raffah House. Others on the other hand, have been used as quaint little shops, including antique stores like the Oatlands Antiques & Collectables, and cute cafes, like The Pancake and Crepe Shop.
But without a doubt, the town's major attraction is the pronounced Callington Mill, located along Old Mill Lane.
Built in 1836, the two-storey flour mill, driven by steam and wind, was accompanied by a number of cottages, home for the millers and workers, as well as a three-stall stable for the farm animals, and a baker's shop to boot. Today, visitors can walk around the grounds, surrounded by sandstone walls, admiring the beauty of Callington Mill — all while envisioning yesteryear of flour being milled on site.
Rumour has it, the property will soon be transformed into a new whisky distillery. So despite the fact that the mill’s flour production has sadly come to an end, the making of Tasmanian whisky will soon begin. And with one door closing, and another one opening, this brings all the more reason to let the winds blow you — here to discover the historic hideaway of Tasmania that is Oatlands.