New Norfolk Travel

New Norfolk

New Norfolk sits astride the Derwent River on the Lyell Highway. An excellent place to base yourself for exploring Hobart and the south of Tasmania being 30 minutes from Hobart, Mount Field National Park and Richmond. Closer is MONA a short 15minutes’ drive away.Strathgordon is an easy day trip along one of the most scenic drives in Australia.

Derwent River
New Norfolk accommodation varies from Bed & Breakfast to the 5 star Woodbridge on the Derwent. Close by, along the road to Mt Field is the rural village of Bushy Park with Hawthorn Lodge, a popular tea room and guest house built in 1869.

Heritage Accommodation at Bushy Park

New Norfolk was first settled on the 9th of November 1807 with a group of 34 arriving from Norfolk Island on the Lady Nelson. Norfolk Island was one of two first settled areas in Australia. The other being Port Jackson better known as Sydney. Norfolk Island became a burden for the administration to run as there was no market for the product, mainly pork. By 1814 Norfolk Island was abandoned.

New Norfolk Tasmania

Over the next two years others joined persuaded by the offer of 4 acres of land for each acre owned on Norfolk Island.
The first name for New Norfolk was “The Hills” matching the gentle hills that surround New Norfolk.
The first individual to construct a house at New Norfolk was Denis McCarty who had converted from convict to police constable and went on to build the road to Hobart in 1812.
In 1811 Governor Macquarie mapped out the town and named the location “Elizabeth Town” after his wife.Residents never accepted this name and wanted to remember their origin and used the name New Norfolk.

Visit Horseshoe Falls

In 1846 the first hop plants were introduced and this turned into a thriving trade producing in the traditional “New Norfolk” landscape of oast houses and windbreaks of Lombardy Poplars.
The Derwent Valley Railway opened in 1887 but now closed. Plans are being made to open the railway as part of the development of New Norfolk tourism.

Visit New Norfolk Derwent Valley Railway
The Derwent Valley in the early 1900’s grew fast due to the wealth of timber and fertile soils and the addition of the railway line. River steamers making access to markets easy. A further boost in 1907 was the Hydro-Electric Power & Metallurgical Company operating at the Great Lake.

Visit Derwent Valley

Today New Norfolk is a thriving town and for the tourist the many antique shops are a draw card and the New Norfolk historical buildings. Easy to walk around and along the esplanade by the river.

New Norfolk Antiques

‘Willow Court’ is a unique old stone building which was built as a military hospital in 1830-31 by Major Roger Kelsall. It was named ‘Willow Court’ because Lady Franklin planted a willow in the courtyard.

Willow Court

Just one room wide, with wide verandas and gabled two storey sections at the corners and in the centre, Willow Court was initially planned by Governor Arthur as a location where invalid convicts could be located. Inside the area are antique shops and cafes.

New Norfolk Shop

One of the largest New Norfolk residences is Tynwald with views over the Derwent Valley. Now a restaurant and bed & breakfast and another place for New Norfolk accommodation. The location was initially used by John Terry, one of the district’s initial settlers, who built the Lachlan River Mill close by. In 1898 the famous politician, William Moore, bought the house and added a tower and other features and renamed it ‘Tynwald’ after the parliament on the Isle of Man.


The Colony Inn was in 1815 a cellar for storing hops. A convict brick upper floor was incorporated in 1835 and now used for accommodation in New Norfolk.
St Matthew’s Anglican Church, built in 1823 and believed to be the earliest church in Tasmania. The church is opposite Arthur Square. Consecrated in 1828 by Archdeacon Scott from Sydney. A tower was added in 1870.

Travel New Norfolk Tasmania

Drill Hall Emporium is one of the original antique stores and housed in a former army drill hall. The same owners operate Flywheel a store with a vintage letterpress and operating studio.
Pulpit Rock Lookout is the place to view the Derwent Valley and the town of New Norfolk.

New Norfolk Drill Emporium

Betty King’s Grave in the Methodist Cemetery remembers Elizabeth Thackery who was the first white woman to set base on Australian soil on 26 January 1788.  She died in New Norfolk on 6 August 1856, aged 93. Convicted in Manchester on 4 May 1786, and sentenced to seven years’ for stealing five handkerchiefs to a worth one shilling.

Ann Bridger established the Bush Inn in 1824 and is the longest serving licenced hotel in Australia.The Bush Inn formany years was where it all happened in New Norfolk and where plans for thefirst toll bridge to cross the Derwent were made in 1838 with completion in 1841.

New Norfolk Bush Inn

The Bush Inn also enjoyed Vice Royal patronage with Sir John and Lady Franklin staying in this New Norfolk accommodation. William Vincent Wallace composed the theme song to his famous opera, “Maritana” as he sat on the hotel balcony in 1838.

Bushy Park

Downriver from New Norfolk is the large Australian Newsprint Mills at Boyer that were opened in 1941. The mill is the first in the world to produce newsprint from hardwoods.
Going up the river from New Norfolk is the small village of Plenty with its popular salmon ponds and the first rainbow and brown trout farm in Australia starting in 1864.

Derwent River New Norfolk

Just beyond is Bushy Park, 10 minutes from New Norfolk,the hop capital of Tasmania. A pleasing, little village where 19th century houses, deciduous trees and hopfields merge to give an extremely English feel.

Bushy Park Hop Fields

The striking exotically shaped oast houses are surrounded by tall hop vine frames. Named by William Blyth after the Blyth family estate near Hampton Court in England.The most significant building in Bushy Park is Ebenezer Shoobridge’s Text Kiln on Glenora Road an Oast House completed in 1867.

Bushy Park New Norfolk

Shoobridge adopted the idea that ‘Union is Strength’ and viewed that texts from The Bible should be motivation for his workforce. on the walls of the ‘Text Kiln’ Shoobridge wrote ‘And these words that I command thee this day shall be in thine heart and thy shall write them on the posts of thine house and on thine gate’. In the middle of the building is the sign ‘God is Love’ and on the far side is ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life’.

Visit Bushy Park

On the corner of Uxbridge Road and Glenora Road, in Bushy Park is the restored Hawthorn Lodge built in 1869, and the home of Ebenezer Shoobridge’s son, Robert. Now a popular guest house with an impressive driveway and gracious gardens. Passing visitors can step back in time and enjoy afternoon tea at Hawthorn Lodge or stay here as an alternative to staying in town accommodation in New Norfolk. Hawthorn Lodge also organises tours of Mount Field and transfers from Hobart for those visiting without a car.

Bushy Park Derwent Valley

The region is fast becoming known for its produce and well-illustrated with the Agrarian Kitchen a sustainable farm-based cooking school offering paddock-to-plate experiences in a 19th century schoolhouse at Lachlan. At the Redlands Estate is the single malt Whisky distillery on the way to Bushy Park also close to the Two Metre Tall Farmhouse Ale & Cider a farmers brewing farmhouse.

Bushy Park Australia

Mount Field National Park 15 minutes from Bushy Park has many beautiful walks, starting twenty minutes to a whole day. The most popular walk is the two-hour circuit walk to Russell Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Tall Trees Circuit and Lady Barron Falls.

Visit Russell Falls

In the winter skiing is possible at Mount Mawson near Lake Dobson 16Km form the park entrance. In the summer an area for Alpine hiking.

Visit Mount Field

Thirteen kms beyond Mt Field is Maydena with the Rail Track Rider giving access into the southern Tasmanian rainforest along the historic rail line, using pedal powered transport.
Beyond is the Styx Valley tall trees reserve with Giant Swamp Gums up to 87 metres tall, the tallest hardwood trees on earth. And the Junee Cavea large cave system stretching 30km through some 295 caves including Niggly Cave, the deepest Cave in Australia.

Styx Valley

flickr image by kusito

The road ends at Strathgordon deep within the Tasmanian wilderness on the banks of Lake Pedder.

Attractions close to New Norfolk

Salamanca Market
Hobart waterfront
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Mount Wellington
Oatlands Georgian Flour Mill
Mount Field National Park
Cadbury Factory
Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
Lake Peddar
Royal Tasmania Botanical Gardens
Mount Mawson Ski Resort
Maritime Museum of Tasmania
Port Arthur
Styx Valley


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