New Norfolk

A small town to really appreciate, and the perfect weekend drive.

WHAT SPARKS YOUR INTEREST?

New Norfolk is a bustling town on the Derwent River with a rich history, quality produce and pretty rural scenery. It's also the heart of the Derwent Valley.
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Rick Eaves

Bush Inn
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

New Norfolk and the surrounding area has produced hops for over 100 years and today the majority of the hops used in Tasmanian beer production comes from here. Tasmania beer has a deserved reputation throughout Australia and overseas.
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

New Norfolk - Woodbridge on the Derwent is an elegant and luxurious bed and breakfast in a fully restored, convict built Georgian mansion.
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Veronica Youd

The Drill Hall Emporium is more than the usual antiques store, it is an experience. Step within and you can feel the passion and love for antiques.
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne

Willow Court
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy

The Salmon Ponds, circa 1861, is the oldest trout hatchery in the Southern Hemisphere. It was the birthplace of trout in Australia and the origin of Tasmania's legendary trout fishery.
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

New Norfolk

Found in the south of Tasmania, New Norfolk is located in the heart of the Derwent Valley, straddling the banks of the Derwent River, 30 minutes northwest of Hobart. A charming township, New Norfolk is 32 km from the centre of the capital, an easy drive that will take you along the Derwent River, via the winding Llyell Highway.

New Norfolk is a small town that has held on to its heritage past but also moved firmly with the times into an expanding regional hub. Dotted with eclectic antique stores, historic buildings and green hops fields a little further to the west, it is the perfect stop on your way through to the west coast, or simply for a day trip out of Hobart.

Why would you go?

Highlights of New Norfolk include the old Willow Court precinct, where a range of antiques, a small Sunday market (on every 3rd Sunday of the month), cafes and restaurants are all starting to transform this once sad place into a new era. It’s an interesting precinct to wander through, so grand, yet obviously full of haunting stories from when mental health was misunderstood and hospitals were unkind places.

Soaking in the scenery is an undoubtedly another highlight of New Norfolk. The seasons here are distinctive and are highlighted by the gorgeous trees on the riverbanks and throughout the town. In colder months, the mornings are foggy and still, so no matter what time of year you visit you’ll find charm in this little regional town.

For history buffs, foodies, and those with a small obsession for antiques, New Norfolk should definitely be a stop on your Tasmanian itinerary. A rural area, New Norfolk has remained true to its colonial roots but embraced change and is once again growing as the heartland of the Derwent Valley.

It’s impossible to visit New Norfolk and not enjoy learning something about the history of the area. With so many historic buildings and grand accommodation options, you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time. Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Rick Eaves.

Getting There

Travelling to New Norfolk by car is an easy way to see the town and will give you opportunities to travel further afield if you’re interested in seeing other attractions in the region. There are also bus options available through Derwent Valley Link bus service and O’Driscoll Coaches with their timetables available on their websites.

Accommodation Offerings

There are a range of accommodation options in New Norfolk including lodge and cottage accommodation, glamping, grand historic homesteads with luxury accommodation and hotel/motels. You are truly spoil for choice when it comes to immersing yourself in the history of this area.

Activities and Things to Do and See

New Norfolk has some of the oldest buildings in Australia, so if you’re exploring the town it is worth taking the time to peek inside Australian colonial history. New Norfolk has the oldest Anglican church in Australia, the Anglican Church of St. Matthews, built in 1823. The town also contains one of the oldest pubs in Australia, the Bush Inn, continuously licensed since 1825. The Bush Inn is widely thought to be haunted and has an interesting history that is worth exploring during your visit.

The Church of St. Matthews is located opposite Arthur Square and despite having a number of additions and alterations throughout the 1800’s there are still original parts remaining and the stained-glass windows are really quite beautiful to view.

Willow Court was originally built as a military hospital in the late 1820’s to house invalid convicts. In the 1830’s the building was expanded so that it could be used to house the mentally ill from across the colony. The name Willow Court came from the two willow trees that were planted on the site by Lady Jane Franklin, wife of Governor John Franklin who was governor of Van Diemen’s Land between 1836 and 1843.

Willow Court operated as an institution until 2000, making it the oldest mental hospital in Australia as well as one of the largest asylums in the Southern Hemisphere. Today the Willow Court complex houses antique stores, a restaurant, a motel, a café and a small community market on Sundays. It is a fascinating place to visit and the buildings and complex itself is quite interesting.

If you have a love of antiques, you’ll be so happy you visited New Norfolk. From colonial to art deco era you’ll be sure to find something that is perfect for your home in one of the many antique and collectable stores dotted through town. Even if you’re not an expert you’ll no doubt find yourself drawn into these stores, they are really worth taking a look!

For those who are not beer drinkers it may be surprising that the Derwent Valley and New Norfolk have been central to hops growing in Australia since the 1860’s. Driving a short way northwest of New Norfolk you’ll be astounded by the beautiful fields of hops and their quaint oast houses which were used to dry and process the hops before being taken to local breweries. This area of Tasmania is still very much central to the hops growing industry in Australia.

Salmon Ponds & the Museum of Trout Fishing, Tasmania, AustraliaA few minutes north of New Norfolk is the small town of Plenty which houses the Salmon Ponds. The Salmon Ponds is the oldest rainbow and brown trout farm in Australia, gorgeously nestled amongst landscaped gardens. The perfect place to picnic and enjoy the greenery of the area.

Back towards Hobart on the Boyer side of the river is the Australian Newsprint Mills. This large industrial factory is a dominating site on the river and has been in operation since 1941. Using hardwood to create newsprint, the factory is an insight into the industrial workings of the area in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Even if you only have a short time, New Norfolk is the perfect stop on the way to Mt. Field National Park or through to the west coast from Hobart. Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett and Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy.

What to Eat

When you’re in New Norfolk, try sampling local fresh produce through the restaurants and cafes, attend a cooking school or try some fresh trout locally grown and produced at the Salmon Ponds. There are also some wineries in the surrounding area so it’s worthwhile exploring the outskirts of town.

History

The New Norfolk area was first explored in 1793. It is the third oldest settlement in Tasmania and was originally established following the closure of Norfolk Island as a prison in 1807 and the relocation of residents of the island. Hence the name New Norfolk.

The first house in the area was built in 1807 by Denis McCarty who was a convict converted to police officer. McCarty found himself in charge of over 500 people who had relocated to the New Norfolk area by the end of 1808.

Between 1811 and 1825 the town received a name change to Elizabeth Town after Governor Lachlan Macquarie decided to name it after his wife. The name was returned to New Norfolk by the locals in 1825.

Down on the northern side of the Derwent River at Magra is the grave of Betty King, (originally named Elizabeth Thackery) who was the first white woman to set foot in Australia. She landed at Botany Bay in 1788 as a member of the first fleet.

Environment

New Norfolk and the surrounding countryside is truly beautiful. In autumn the trees lining the banks of the Derwent River turn golden and no matter what time of year the reflections from the river make you feel like you’ve entered a sleepy town, worlds away. Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania and Veronica Youd

Useful Information/Local Tips

In summertime you’ll often see water skiers using the river and it’s also a great place to have a paddle in your kayak.

What’s Nearby

After visiting New Norfolk, why not head up to Mt. Field National Park to see the fabulous Russell Falls?

New Norfolk

what to do

A DAY ON THE DERWENT

New Norfolk

A Day on the Derwent is a 18 km summer rafting journey on the River Derwent through the warm idyllic rural scenery of the Derwent Valley, between Bushy Park and Hayes.  Enjoy small rapids, swimming and water play with the chance of spotting a shy platypus.

Experience Highlights

Raft the Derwent River from Bushy Park to Hayes
• Enjoy the clear warm waters, swimming in rapids and a small waterfall plus water games
• Raft Class II Rapids and calm peaceful reaches
• Spot a variety of animals including the river’s resident eagle, trout, wild water fowl and platypus
• Soak up the beautiful rural scenery of the Derwent Valley

Inclusions

Full day rafting experience
• Trained and qualified guides
• Comprehensive commentary on the natural and human history of the area
• All the requisite rafting and safety gear, including wetsuit, helmet and lifejacket
• Generous & scrumptious King River Rafting Lunch, plus River snacks of sweets and nuts and water
• Transport to and from the river from Hobart or New Norfolk

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AU$160

Full day rafting experience

AU$160

Full day rafting experience

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Derwent River Charter

Hobart - Derwent River

3-hour skippered charter sailing on the wonderful Derwent River.  The charter involves sailing on one of the largest and most beautiful natural harbours in the world, with spectacular views of Hobart and Mt Wellington.  Depending on the wind, the cruise will typically take you to the gateway to the Southern Ocean and return crossing the Sydney to Hobart finish line.  You will sail aboard a fast and comfortable 62-foot luxury ocean racer/cruiser where you will be encouraged to participate as much as you like – take the helm, work with the winches, or sit back and enjoy the ride.  The best Tasmanian fare will be provided as refreshments along with tea, coffee, water and non-alcoholic beverages.  Full meals can be arranged (extra cost) and a selection of fine Tasmanian wine and beer is available at our cash bar – and at regular bar prices.

 

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AU$140

3 Hour Boat Trip

AU$140

3 Hour Boat Trip

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Mt Field, Salmon Ponds and Tasmanian Devils Day Tour

New Norfolk

Your personalized driver guide will take you for a journey, through the northern suburbs of Hobart and then following the contours of the Derwent River through to the delightful country town of New Norfolk and winding past the hop fields of Bushy Park. Mt Field National Park will appear on your right after about 1-hour into your tour.

After a short 10 minute stroll along a sealed pathway, admiring the tall swamp gum forest and observing massive tree ferns, Russell Falls can be heard in the distance as approaching. A beautiful photo opportunity will open up in front of your eyes, allowing you to capture this memory with your group.

Continuing on your day, a picturesque 30-minute drive will take you to the Salmon Ponds where you can feed the fish and see a fish frenzy.

A lunch stop at Brighton’s Best Bakehouse will be enjoyed before a visit to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, arriving at approximately 1:45pm. Here, you will be able to meet the wombats, watch the Tasmanian devils being fed, say hello to the koalas, feed the kangaroos and see many other Australian animals.

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AU$189

AU$189

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Russell Falls - Bonorong - Salmon Ponds Tour

Private full day tour starting in Hobart including MT WELLINGTON, CASCADE BREWERY, JACKMAN & McROSS  Battery Point, SALMON PONDS (EST 1861), MT FIELD NATIONAL PARK – RUSSELL FALLS WALK  and NEW NORFOLK

Starting in Hobart, we will take you up Mount Wellington, also known as ‘Kunanyi’, the Aboriginal name given to the mountain by the traditional owners of the land. Mount Wellington is the backdrop to Hobart City, with breathtaking panoramic views of the city at 1271m above sea level.

We then travel down the mountain to see the iconic Cascade Brewery standing in startling, gothic isolation next to the clean-running Hobart Rivulet, Cascade is Australia’s oldest brewery (1832). A great stop for a photo opportunity.

Enjoy lunch at the ‘The Salmon Ponds Cafe’. The early European settlers introduced salmon, largely because of the popularity of fishing but also because of the unexpected economic benefits. After a number of failed attempts to transport them, the first live salmon and a small number of trout eggs arrived at these ponds in May 1864. The cafe offers offers fantastic Tasmanian produce, including top quality seafood.

Walk to Russell Falls in Mt Field National Park, a 20 minute walk round trip will take you through a unique bush, comprising of towering swamp gums, the tallest flowering plant on earth and species typical of wet forests and cool temperate rainforests, such as dogwood, musk and myrtle towards the falls, the track is also framed by stunning tall tree ferns. The falls themselves are superbly picturesque to say the least.

Finally, stop of a drink in the Bush Inn at New Norfolk one of the oldest pubs in Australia on the way back to Hobart.

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AU$165

AU$165

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Where to Stay

Tynwald - Willow Bend Estate

New Norfolk - South East

Situated on the riverwalk, this guesthouse is 2.3 km from Willow Court Asylum and 14.3 km from Stefano Lubiana Wines. Claremont House and Myrtle Forest are also within 25 km.
Along with a restaurant, this smoke-free guesthouse has an outdoor pool and a bar/lounge. Free continental breakfast, free WiFi in public areas, and free self parking are also provided. Other amenities include an outdoor tennis court, a spa tub, and conference space.
All 7 rooms provide conveniences like refrigerators and coffee makers, plus free WiFi and TVs with DVD players.

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Claremont House

Claremont - Hobart

Situated in Claremont, this guesthouse is 0 km from Claremont House and 2.9 km from Museum of Old and New Art. Alpenrail Swiss Model Village & Railway and Moorilla Estate are also within 3 km.
A restaurant, a bar/lounge, and a coffee shop/café are available at this guesthouse. Free WiFi in public areas, free self parking, and a free manager’s reception are also provided. Other amenities include a rooftop terrace, coffee/tea in a common area, and a microwave in a common area.
All 8 individually decorated rooms feature private yards and room service. Guests will also find flat-screen TVs, refrigerators, and premium bedding.

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The Shingles Riverside Cottages

New Norfolk - South East

Situated on a river, this cottage is 2.3 km from Willow Court Asylum and 16.1 km from Stefano Lubiana Wines. Something Wild and Claremont House are also within 25 km.
This cottage features an outdoor pool, laundry facilities, and barbecue grills. Free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided.
All 4 accommodations provide kitchenettes with microwaves, plus free WiFi and flat-screen TVs with DVD players. Furnished patios, coffee makers, and hair dryers are among the other amenities available to guests.

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New Norfolk Apartments

New Norfolk - South East

Situated in New Norfolk, this apartment building is within 2 km of Anglican Church of St Matthew and Willow Court Asylum. Salmon Ponds Heritage Hatchery and Gardens and Stefano Lubiana Wines are also within 20 km.
This apartment building features laundry facilities and free self parking.
Each apartment provides a flat-screen TV with a DVD player, plus a kitchen with a refrigerator, a stovetop, and a microwave. Added amenities include free WiFi, a balcony, and premium bedding.

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Derwent Valley Resort

New Norfolk - South East

Situated in New Norfolk, this hotel is 0.6 km from Willow Court Asylum and 14.8 km from Stefano Lubiana Wines. Claremont House and Myrtle Forest are also within 25 km.
Along with a fitness center, this hotel has laundry facilities and tour/ticket assistance. Free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. Other amenities include barbecue grills.
Limited housekeeping is available.

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Heimat Chalets

Black Hills - South East

Situated in the mountains, this guesthouse is 8.3 km from Rosedown Gardens and within 52 km of Museum of Old and New Art and Salamanca Market. Mount Field National Park is 44.6 km away.
Along with laundry facilities, this guesthouse has a library and a garden. Self parking is free. Other amenities include barbecue grills and RV/bus/truck parking.
Weekly housekeeping is available.

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Colonial Accommodation @ Undine

Rosetta - South East

Situated in Rosetta, this luxury bed & breakfast is 2.1 km from Derwent Entertainment Centre and 3.6 km from Museum of Old and New Art. Tasmanian Transport Museum and Royal Hobart Showground are also within 3 km.
This bed & breakfast features an indoor pool, coffee/tea in a common area, and dry cleaning. Free continental breakfast, free WiFi in public areas, and free self parking are also provided. Additionally, laundry facilities, tour/ticket assistance, and barbecue grills are onsite.
All 5 rooms feature modern comforts like LCD TVs with digital channels, free WiFi, and DVD players. Other amenities available to guests include coffee makers, hair dryers, and ironing boards.

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Crabtree House

Grove - South

Situated in Grove, this cottage is 7.3 km from Home Hill Winery and 15.5 km from Wooden Boat Centre. Mount Nelson Lookout and Kingborough Sports Centre are also within 32 km.
This smoke-free cottage features a rooftop terrace, concierge services, and tour/ticket assistance. Free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. Additionally, a garden, barbecue grills, and free breakfast are onsite.
Limited housekeeping is available.

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