Going home to Tasmania

Going home to Tasmania

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dover tasmania
Photos: Garry Norris

I grew up in a small country town in the far south of Tasmania. Our house was on the coast road between Dover and Geeveston, in a place called Police Point. I lived there until I completed high school, when I had no choice but to move to the city to start my chef apprenticeship.

I didn’t realise how I loved the country until I moved away, how much I missed the simple things like knowing every single person in my school.

Growing up in Tasmania, I remember wandering through the forest and stumbling across hidden waterfalls. I loved riding my bicycle along the coastline and stopping wherever I felt like it for a spot of fishing. Thinking of home makes me long for the smell of my nans baking on a Saturday afternoon, when there would always be cakes and delicious treats.

Police Point, Tasmania

going home to tasmania
Tasmania Police Point

I spent the first few years of my life in Dover, the main town in the area. Later, our family moved to a farm in Police Point.

We lived in a small country-style home perched on the top of a hill on our property. We had views of the Huon river and all the way to Bruny Island.

I wanted to bring my friends to southern Tasmania to show them the beautiful places I spent my childhood.

It’s hard to describe to a city kid how amazing life is in the country. So I thought the best way to show my friends was to bring them on a trip.

In Tasmania, it’s not unusual to experience four seasons in one day. Even though the weather was a bit of a challenge for us, it was an amazing feeling for me to be able to photograph these places with a great group of photographer friends.

It’s a wonderful experience to be able to share my little slice of Tasmania with the world. I never imagined I’d ever get the opportunity to do this.

Cockle Creek

Tasmania Cockle Creek
Tasmania Cockle Creek

Cockle Creek is about 150km south of Hobart. It’s the furthest place you can drive to the south in Australia, the end of the road. This place is truly amazing. It has the cleanest water, the freshest air and deserted white beaches.

I spent most childhood summer holidays camping here. Even though there were no shops, no phone service, no electricity and no running water the summer never seemed to last long enough.

Ida Bay Railway, Lune River

going home to tasmania
Ida Bay Railway Lune River Tasmania

When I was a kid, my mum used to drive the train at Ida Bay Railway.

So we would hitch a ride from Mum down to the end of the line at Deep Hole Bay and spend the day swimming, fishing and wading in the secluded Southport Lagoon.

The railway is about a two-hour drive south of Hobart and is Australia’s southern-most railway.

Newdegate Caves, Hastings

Newdegate Cave Hastings Reserve Tasmania
Newdegate Cave Hastings Reserve Tasmania

I remember visiting the caves as a child and feeling overwhelmed by the size of this cave system. Visiting again, after such a long time still had the same effect.

I feel that this place is truly magical. The caves are about 125km south of Hobart, they are the largest dolomite caves in Australia.

Bathurst Harbour, South West Wilderness

Tasmania - Bathurst Harbour
Tasmania – Bathurst Harbour

Landing in the Southwest Wilderness is like being dropped into Jurassic Park. The only way to get here is by air, sea or foot. It’s a rugged land with massive mountain ranges that form a backdrop to the awe-inspiring Bathurst Harbour.

Dover (see main photo)

Dover is about a 1 ½-hour drive south west of Hobart and it is my home town. The lovely seaside town has a population of less than 1000 residents. It’s where farmland meets the ocean.

The major industry in this area is aquaculture. Some of the best Atlantic salmon in the world comes from these waters.

When I was young I could walk in the water beside this jetty and collect shellfish that we would cook up on the public barbeque facilities nearby. It’s one of the simple pleasures I remember well.

Lake Osborne, Hartz Mountain National Park

Hartz Mountain Tasmania
Hartz Mountain Tasmania

The weather here is always changing. It can be a beautiful sunny day one minute and then a complete white out the next. That’s what happened to us.

When we started the walk to Lake Osborne from the car park, the sun was shining. Half way up the track, those crazy roaring forties winds kicked in and the snow arrived! It was still worth the hike though.

Tahune Airwalk

Tahune Airwalk Tasmania
Tahune Airwalk. Photo: Garry Norris

The air walk is 43m above the forest floor and hangs over the Huon River. You can see the Hartz Mountains in the distance and the intersection of the Picton and Huon rivers.

Franklin Stone Fruit Orchard

Franklin Stone Fruit Orchard
Franklin Stone Fruit Orchard

Franklin is a great place to stop and get some fresh stone fruit in season.

Franklin Tasmania

Franklin River 5

Franklin is home to one of the only wooden boat schools in Australia, where you can learn to build boats the old way.

It’s a great place to capture the sunrise as there is usually fog along the river banks.

It’s also very well known for the delicious scallop pies made at the original old courthouse, Petty Sessions Café on the banks of the Franklin River.

Discover Tasmania

Getting there

Dover is 83km from Hobart (about a 90-minute drive).


Kermandie Hotel in Port Huon has newly refurbished rooms with views of the Huon River, a funky modern restaurant and traditional country pub.

The Jetty House in Southport operates as a bed and breakfast or book the entire house (sleeps 12).

Garry Norris was a guest of Tourism Tasmania

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