10 things to see and do in Sheffield Tasmania Australia
Updated: Jan 4, 2022
As with most inland small rural towns, there may not seem to be a lot to see and do at first glance, but look deep into the area and you will discover hidden gems.
Sheffield with a population of just over 1,500 is 23kms inland from Devonport and 88kms from Launceston.
Visitors will often stop for a quick coffee and snack break on their way through to Cradle Mountain, but this town nestled near the majestic Mount Roland deserves a long visit.
Surrounded by areas with the unlikely sounding names of Promised Land, Paradise and No Where Else, this is rich farming land. Driving to Sheffield takes you through rolling green hills that are so green, words just cannot describe their beauty.
My favourite things to see and do in Sheffield, Tasmania are (in no particular order):
1. The Murals
Known as the Town of Murals there are more than 60 murals in this outdoor art gallery around town. The murals celebrate the region’s history, telling stories of the early pioneers and display Tasmanian flora and fauna.
2. Mural Park and Mural Fest
There is an annual Mural Fest held during Easter each year. This international competition sees nine artists create their masterpieces in front of an audience. Each year a different poem is selected and the artist completes a 2100mm x 4800mm mural, using the poem as inspiration. People can see the art being created in front of them and watch the progress. There is then a public choice and a professional artists’ choice winners. This is a great opportunity to show case the talents of the artists and to promote murals as a valuable art form. The paintings remain on public display for a year in Mural Park at no charge to visitors. The Park is next door to the visitor information centre, with plenty of parking, public toilets, and barbeques.
3. Mount Roland
No matter where you stand in Sheffield, you cannot miss seeing the glorious and majestic backdrop of Mount Roland. Standing 1234 metres above sea level on the edge of the Great Western Tiers, this mountain can be climbed by a number of well-marked bushwalks. Be prepared for a full day of exercise going up and down this dolerite mount. There are two tracks to the summit which is well worth the effort. Standing on the summit, you can see 360 degree views north to Bass Strait. Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff can also be seen from this vantage point. There has been a move to establish a cable car to the top for those unable to navigate the climb, but this has been postponed for the present.
Located in Promised Land, this award winning tourist attraction will hold the attention of all visitors, no matter their age. Comprising eight mazes, a cubby town, the village of Lower Crackpot, Embassy Gardens, a Lavender farm, gift shop, and pancake parlour and tea rooms, this is a delight.
5. Steam trains and Steam Fest
At the Sheffield Steam and Heritage Centre visitors can explore the world of yesteryear at the museum of vintage machinery, as well as taking a steam train ride on a one kilometre of track. (check their website for running days and opening hours)
Steam Fest is a celebration of bygone days held in March each year. Visitors can see steam era machinery and working demonstrations, steam train rides, tractor pulling, food and craft stalls and entertainment.
6. Sheffield RSL has the best chicken kiev EVER!
After all that walking and enjoying the sights, it is time to eat. The Sheffield RSL (Returned Serviceman’s League) welcomes with open arms, members and visitors alike. I had the best ever chicken kiev of my life here for dinner one night. Thinking it could be a fluke, I returned several weeks later, ordered the same meal and was just as delighted.
7. No shortage of dining options
Still thinking of food? Sheffield has an abundance of cafes, pubs and restaurants. A few of my favourites are listed here.
Mountain Mumma has amazing coffee and sells delicious pizzas, either dine in or take away.
The Blacksmith Gallery also sells great food in a quirky dine in café. This is a lovely venue, it feels more like visiting a favourite relative than a café.
Further down the street is the Tea Rooms, which boast the best Devonshire teas in Tasmania. This is a big call, as these scone, jam and cream delights are very popular in the island state. If the Blacksmith Gallery was like visiting a favourite relative, the Tea Rooms are like visiting the home of a beloved grandmother.
8. The Don Store
Today it is an IGA grocery store but this grand building started life in 1883 as York, Schmidt and Co. importers and general merchants. The impressive building has retained many of its original features. There are many well preserved buildings in Sheffield.
9. Federation Style Houses
A great many of the homes in Sheffield are built in the federation style and have been maintained or restored to beautiful condition. If you are a lover of old architecture, a walk around town looking at these gorgeous gems will delight.
10. Mosaic Pathway
Created by members of Working Art Space Sheffield (WASS) this pathway crosses through the historic King George V Park and features mosaics of Tasmanian flora and fauna. From 1861 to 1900 this park was a cemetery and contained 330 graves. The headstones have been removed and laid in other cemeteries. The names of 318 of those interred have been featured, engraved in bricks, along the pathway.
Sheffield is a small town that is big on hospitality, country friendliness and things to see and do. Attracting over 200,000 visitors a year it is definitely a place to visit when in Tasmania Australia.
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