Length: 2 kilometres return
Grade: 2 (suitable for most over a bumpy cobblestone road)
Distance from: Hobart - 77 km, Launceston - 188 km, Devonport - 269 km
Old Convict Road is pleasant for a short stroll alongside the northern banks of the Prosser River just outside of Orford. It's a lesson in the brutal convict history of Tasmania. Back in the mid-1800's, the government and wealthy aristocrats were given charge of convict groups. These convicts supplied free labour and built much of Tasmania including this stone road. Take a closer look at the road to see just how difficult it was to hand-lay the bluestone bricks.
The road is built into the steep banks of the river. Get around to the side of the road near the river and you'll see layers and layers of hand-laid rocks that create its foundation. It's difficult to imagine what the convict labourers were feeling as the road leads to a probation station. Their efforts were making it easier for the government to control them.
The probation station is now a ruin at the end of the one-kilometre road. Built by convicts, the probation station housed law enforcement officials that tracked the movements of those convicts. Now a pile of bluestone rocks, the station is still recognizable as a building. After inspecting the station, it's time to stroll back down the road towards Orford.
Head north on A3 going into Orford. Old Convict Road is the first left after you cross the Prosser River. The drive from Hobart is 77 kilometres and takes a little over an hour. Launceston is 2.5 hours away sitting 188 kilometres to the north. Devonport is a 3 hour and 15 minute drive over 269 kilometres.
There is a trail that continues on from the old probation station but it is overgrown and poorly marked. The trail may not be safe and is not recommended.