The Apsley Waterhole, is a great spot for a picnic, scenic bushwalk and a leisurely dip on a hot summer day.
Image thanks to: Pete Harmsen
Mixed media art, fibre and textile creations, retail, exhibitions, workshops, groups, agent for kit ...
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Rita Summers
Christ Church 1847
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Brian Dullaghan
Mixed media art, fibre and textile creations, retail, exhibitions, workshops, groups, agent for kit ...
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Rita Summers
A St Marys Farm
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Dan Fellow
Purple Possum Cafe
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett
Douglas-Apsley National Park is a place of rugged river gorges, waterfalls, tall stands of eucalypts...
Image thanks to: Tourism Tasmania & Geoffrey Lea

St. Marys

A uniquely quaint town underneath a mountainous outcropping and surrounded by thunderous natural beauty


St. Marys


St. Patrick's Head towers over the tiny town of St. Marys. This rocky outcropping stands 694 meters from the ground and juts out over St. Mary town. And while this small town is on the east coast, you cannot access it from a coastal road. You'll have to cross into the mountains and traverse either the St. Marys Pass or the Elephant Pass, but the effort is well worth it.

A St Marys Farm, Tasmania, AustraliaYou'll find this small township right at the intersection of the Tasman Highway and the Esk Highway. It sits just 10 kilometres inland from the ocean and has a population of less than 1,000. But the people of this tiny town offer up a craft gallery, bakery, shops and a supermarket as well as the 1916-built St. Marys hotel in the centre of town. Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Dan Fellow (Farm)


Getting There

St. Marys features rugged terrain, incredible vistas and beautiful natural surrounds. It sits right up against the Douglas-Apsley National Park making it well worth the 128-kilometer drive from Launceston. Sitting nearly 600 meters above sea level, St. Marys is an uphill drive 222 kilometers away from Hobart on the Tasman Highway.

Stunning Natural Surrounds

Enchanted Walk, Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, AustraliaIt's worth spending a few days in St. Marys. You'll find incredibly preserved heritage houses and bed and breakfasts for hire. Or you can just rock up with your caravan and park for free for a few days. From town, start your exploration of St. Marys rugged beauty on the Grey Mare's Tail nature walk to a stunning waterfall. Or choose to head on over to the South Sister Lookout for incredible views of St. Marys environment. Look above you to St. Patrick's Head. Challenge yourself to a hike up the town's most prominent geological feature for 360° views of the valley. You'll be able to see all the way to the coast on a clear day from the top of the outcropping.

And don't worry if it's raining. Head on into town to experience the whimsically unique Cranks and Tinkerers Museum. Or you can head on over to nearby Cornwall to take an informative walk by the Coal Miners Heritage Wall and Heritage Walk. Image Credit: Jack Mohr Photography (Trails)

Rich Heritage and Jaw-dropping Scenery

St. Marys was once a convict working station. Back in the early 1800's, much of Tasmania's infrastructure was constructed by Australian convicts working for free. Put under the direction of local aristocrats, these convicts built much of Tasmania's early buildings, bridges and roads. And you'll hear plenty of stories from St. Mary's convict working station past in town.

In fact, you can see some of these convict-built buildings along Main Street in town. There is an original train station with a unique Museum housing odd artifacts from St. Mary's past. And after you drink in all of Tasmania's east coast history, take a stroll through town to experience local cafés and shops full of character. And make sure to stop by the grand old pub for a pint and a story. Then stretch your legs on one of many St. Marys nature walks to drink in the surrounding forests, valleys and coastal views. Image: Pub

Romance, Nature and Quirky History

This quaint and tiny little town is perfect for a romantic getaway. Lovers can slow down to enjoy the scenery while getting to know the local publicans and shop owners by name. And there's nothing more romantic than a dark and quiet night where you can snuggle up next to a fire in one of St. Marys downtown heritage homes.

St. Marys is crowned by St. Patrick's Head; one of the world's most unique geological features. It's also surrounded by forests, valleys, national parks and coastal views. It's the perfect quirky base camp for nature lovers looking to reconnect with Mother Earth. And when the weather does not cooperate, a stroll through town will unveil unique Tasmanian history.


St. Marys offers up some of the most unique accommodations in Tasmania. Heritage homes in the center of town can be had for a night. You can also take advantage of eco-lodges on the edge of town which are perfect for nature lovers. Or you can snuggle up inside a historic bed-and-breakfast underneath St. Patrick's Head.

Activities and Things To Do and See

Christ Church was built back in 1847 and it sits just outside of town. This Georgian-era building boasts a columned veranda and iron roof. It's also incredibly unique because it is built of rubble stone.

QVMAG at Inveresk, Tasmania, Australia The Cranks and Tinkerers Museum offers up interesting displays of old cars, motorbikes, planes, buggies and boats. You can also gander at cameras, books, bottles and a bunch of other interesting nicknacks. You can find this unique museum inside St. Marys train station. If you're lucky, an employee may be playing the banjo as a walk in.

The St. Marys Hotel is the most prominent building in town. The 1916-built hotel is a testament to the prosperous past of this east coast town. This is not the first iteration of the hotel. Previous hotels were built using timber and burned to the ground. Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett (Museum)

What to Eat

You may be surprised to find two delicious Chinese food restaurant in the centre of this small town. There's also one local restaurant and pub as well as a bakery.


Captain Tobias Furneaux was accompanying Captain James Cook in 1773 when he cited St. Patrick's Head, but it wasn't until 1837 that the town got its first settler. Francis Groom named the area St. Marys after his church back in Britain.

A convict station was built a few years later housing 300 inmates. The convicts built access roads to town for the next few years before 20 German families settled in the area in 1855. The Germans came to Tasmania on a boat named America. Now St. Marys is populated with alternative lifestyle seekers, coal miners and timber workers.

Environment and Climate

The most pleasant time to visit St. Marys is between January and December. Temperatures remain pleasant and you're likely to experience nice weather. The coolest month is July, but it rarely gets to freezing. And while January is the driest month, August is the wettest.

Local Tips

Nearby Mathina Falls is 17 metres high and worth a picture with your smartphone.

Pay homage to Tasmania's coal miners by visiting nearby Cornwall to experience the Coal Miners Heritage Wall. Nearby Fingal Valley is also worth a drive for exploration.

What's Nearby

Bradys Lookout, Tasmania, AustraliaYou can find a walking track to the top of St. Patrick's Head on the southern side of the outcropping. It is an incredibly steep and difficult hike that is reserved for the physically fit. But the panoramic views at the top are well worth the 2 to 3 hours it takes to complete.

The St. Marys Pass State Reserve has an easy 10-minute nature walk to a lookout where you can see the coast on a clear day.

And if you don't want to hike at all, drive up to the South Sister Mountain Lookout. It is 5 kilometers up Germantown Road and provides 360° views of St. Marys terrain and coastline. Image Credit: Pete Harmsen (Mountain Lookout)

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