12 things to see and do in Westbury Tasmania Australia
Located in the central north of Tasmania, this town of around 2000 people, is what people often come to Tassie for. Friendly people, nature, and history. Westbury has all this and more.
1. Quamby’s Store
Coming into town, one of the first wonderful historic buildings you see is the old Quamby store. This two storey brick building was originally an unlicensed hotel when built in 1854 by George Clancy and his wife. At various times it has been a tailor shop, a doctors surgery, a store, chocolate shop, bed and breakfast and teahouse. As of 2021 it is a private residence. This beautiful building is situated on a corner and is a lovely example of a Georgian building.
2. Western Tiers distillery
Opening in 2021 this distillery is open for tours and visitors can enjoy a floor to ceiling view of the gorgeous copper pot stills in the distillery. This is a perfect venue for a meal. Everything on the menu is locally sourced. The hardest part is whether to taste their whiskey, gin or vodka. Ah, the smoothness of their triple distilled spirits is hard to describe. Let me just say that my taste buds thanked me. The botanicals are sourced from the state and the liquor is made with clean, pristine and pure Tasmanian waters. As they promote – you are not just tasting a drink here, you are tasting the landscape.
Try a dram or two of their Irish moonshine – poitin. But be careful, at 46% ABV, it is best to have a designated driver, or better yet, stay in town another night.
The venue is hip and modern, and at the same time excudes an old world charm with lots of copper and wood fixtures and fittings.
3. Giant cricket wickets
Australia’s favourite cricketer Donald Bradman once described Tasmanian Cricketer Jack Badcock as “a loveable and completely unspoiled personality”. That sums up most of the Tasmanian people I have met. In 2009 the town of Westbury erected the big wickets in a park as a tribute and memorial to Jack. He was this state’s first test cricketer, playing for Australia between1936 and 1938.
4. The Village Green
The Village Green would have to be my favourite place in this town of many delights. Way back in 1828 this large expanse of grassed land was planned as the centre of a garrison town by Lieutenant Governor, George Arthur. Local residents claim that it is the only traditional English style village green in Australia. Click here to read more
5. The Town Common
This lovely peaceful place is ideal to take a walk and enjoy the serenity of the countryside. A frog pond is now situated where clay was once removed to create bricks for the original town cottages. There are bbqs and seating here if you wish to have a longer break.
Over the years the Town Common has hosted Sunday outings, sports events and has a great walking track.
The wetlands here are home to a range of various flora and fauna, six of which are currently threatened. Keep a look out for animals living her that include the Tawny Frogmouth Owl, the Grey Goosehawk, Platypus and the common Ringtail Possum.
In the past this area hosted a tannery. Before the bridge was built, a ford over the river had a toll gate and charged two pence for cattle, four pence farthing for a score of pigs or sheep and one and a half pence for each wheel of a vehicle.
6. Pearns steam world
Since the 1950s, this collection of vintage tractors has kept growing and now has over 200 large and amazing machines. More than 100 are still in working order. If you like farm machinery, this is the place to come and see how things were done in the past. The tractors are large, I felt dwarfed alongside them. This steam world is named after the Pearn family who operated an agricultural business in Westbury for close to a century.
7. Maze and Tea room
Over one kilometre of pathways make up this intriguing maze. With two metre tall walls, there are over three thousand well trimmed bushes here.
The tearooms are a delightful place to grab a refreshment and light meal. On the day I visited, there was even a guitar soloist entertaining the diners. Both indoor and outdoor dining options are available.
8. Fitzpatricks Inn
Old world charm and lively conversation were in abundance at the inn run by the three Fitzpatrick sisters – Cora, Genevieve and Myra. Renowned for their lavish hospitality and parties, I wish I had been invited! Guests can stay in the garden rooms of the inn, with French doors opening out from the ensuite rooms into the gardens. Alternatively, they can stay in the heritage accommodation where each room is named after a past owner of the inn. There is also a bar, restaurant and lounge on the premises. Built in 1903, this venue has been welcoming guests for over one hundred years.
Check out the sign outside providing more details of the fabulous sisters.
There are several churches to be found on your walk around town.
Westbury Uniting Church - The first church here was built in 1840 but became too small for the congregation. In 1866 a new church opened its doors.
St Andrews Anglican Parish
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
This bluestone Gothic style church took 5 years to build and was consecrated in 1874. The tower was added much later.
10. Interesting historical markers
Scattered around town are these great information signs. Cut into metal is a story and picture of different historical characters.
11. Historic houses
There are so many beautifully preserved houses in Westbury to admire. I walked around the streets of the town admiring the dedicated owners commitment to maintaining these fabulous residences. Visitors can stay in historic accommodation venues as there are many bed and breakfasts in town.
12. Little Marney’s Gift Shop
Down a side road off the main drag (look out for the signs) is a great shop to browse and admire. I loved the unique recycled goods available here. Local artisians sell their wares at this store, so there is a story behind every product.
If they are too big to pack in your travel suitcase, grab some huon pine coasters in the shape of Tasmania. The huon pine is a conifer and endemic to Tasmania. The gorgeous rich golden colours of the wood make it sought after for bespoke furniture pieces. It is illegal to cut living Huon pine trees in Tasmania, so to even own a small piece is a treasure.
For the people who like to caravan, there is up to four days of free camping in Westbury. Plus, they have electric vehicle charging stations. Just two more, of many, reasons to ensure Westbury is on your Tasmanian bucket list!