Dec
08
2011

Discover platypuses and more in Latrobe

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On the north coast of Tasmania – about 15 minutes' drive south of Devonport – sits Latrobe, a beautiful historic town well worth stopping to see on your drive around the island state.

This former port was once a bustling regional hub, but is now a smaller and more peaceful town housing 76 heritage-listed buildings and unique shopfronts lining the main street.

On a walking tour you can unravel the fascinating history of the region, as your guide takes you down and around Gilbert Street while reciting stories of the past.

Nestled on the eastern bank of the twisting and turning Mersey River, Latrobe is known as the platypus capital of the world.

At the Warrawee Forest Reserve you might be lucky enough to spot one of these unique flat-billed creatures from a viewing platform, or join a tour where a guide will ensure you get an up close and personal meeting.

The town's impressive list of achievements include hosting the country's oldest continuously playing brass band and richest wheel race, as well as being the birthplace of competitive wood chopping – a phenomenon that has since spread to agricultural shows across Australia.

You can learn about the heritage of this quintessential Australian sport at the Axeman's Hall of Fame on Bells Parade.

Throughout the year Latrobe puts on a number of fantastic festivals such as the Chocolate Winterfest and Frogmore Fair.

A highlight of the events calendar is the annual Henley on the Mersey festival, which takes place on Australia Day (January 26) and features the always-popular ferret race.

Perhaps you will spend a lazy afternoon picnicking at Bells Parade – the site of the old port – or head to The Cherry Shed to sample delicious exotic varieties of cherries such as Merchant, Stella and Sylvia.

If you love what you taste it is possible to have fresh cherries, jams or liqueurs sent interstate for you to enjoy when you get home. 

Entrance to the Reserve. Image Credit: Dirk Veltkamp

The relaxing enviroment inside the reserve. Image Credit: Dirk Veltkamp

The Mersey River in Latrobe. Image Credit: Dirk Veltkamp

Axemans Hall of Fame Image Credit: Dirk Veltkamp

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