Derwent Valley Central Highlands

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From Hobart, your journey takes you north beside the broad Derwent River, on Highway A10, by giant poplars and willows, through historic villages, beside hopfields and orchards, and past Mt Field National Park, home to giant trees and Russell Falls, towards Tasmania's mountains and wild heart.

The road leads you into a landscape rich with stories of explorers, convicts, bushrangers, farm families and dam builders - tough pioneers who carved a living from this wild and rugged country. Their stories begin in the historic town of New Norfolk, settled by convicts sent from another penal island, Norfolk. Look for the quaint Toll House by the bridge, and the Oast House Museum and market, where the scent of hops still lingers.

Further on are the Salmon Ponds where Australia's first brown trout were hatched in 1864. Today, Tasmania is one of the world's finest fly-fishing spots. Beyond the historic farming settlements of Hamilton and Ouse, the highway climbs towards the Central Plateau, crossing rivers where dams and power stations harness the boundless energy of falling water. Here the world changes to the stark beauty of boulder fields, deep gorges, sweeping valleys and Australia's deepest high altitude lake - Lake St Clair.

Turning north off the A10, your route travels through to the lake country, where glaciers once blanketed the land. Today, a myriad of lakes, many teeming with trout, sparkle across the Plateau, and here, unexpectedly, in the hamlet of Bothwell, is Australia's oldest golf course, and names that evoke the original Scottish settlers highland homes.

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