A small bayside town, Margate is a frequent 'pit-stop' for those travelling south towards Snug, Kettering or Bruny Island. Vineyards, grazing fields and stands of trees surround the town and its approaches.
Where is it?: 20 km south west of Hobart, 7 km south of Kingston, 6 km north of Snug, on the Channel Highway between North-West Bay and the Snug Tiers.
The original Margate township was along Beach Road because coal burning steamers would bring all the supplies by sea. From 1906-1922, the Sandfly Colliery Tramway ran from Margate Wharf to the coal mine at Kaoota. The jetty was about 80 metres long, and could service ships drawing 7 metres.
Margate Train: The Margate Train, formerly the Tasman Limited, is Tasmania s last passenger train. The restored railway carriages of the train, open daily, now house a range of businesses including arts and crafts, bric-a-brac, a specialist book exchange, a pancake restaurant, and the original buffet car is now a cafe. There is also a huge antiques warehouse and second hand shop here, located in an old IXL apple packing shed. The Tasman Limited was built in England in 1950 and served as a passenger service between Hobart and Launceston until 1978. Each week at the Margate Train Sunday Market you can browse stalls of antiques and collectables, crafts, second hand clothing, plants, and fresh produce.
Brookfield Margate: The historic Brookfield Shed was built in the early 1940s for a German Man called Eugene Klinger. Its purpose was to collect flower and vegetable seeds for Yates Seeds. The slatted drying floor is still in place. Other uses have been Chandlers Seeds, Hops and a Co-Op Apple shed for Henry Jones and Co. Today the complex is a vineyard, function centre and restaurant/cafe and well worth a visit. The mezzanine floor houses the Tudor Court Model Village and German Model Train World.
The cafe/restaurant s healthy diverse menu is suitable for both el fresco and indoor dining. The bright canary room offers you a contrast to the mellow theatre that is often filled with the hum of live music. The program of entertainment with both local and international artists is always available on their website.
Channel Heritage Museum: The Museum features permanent exhibits which explore early exploration, Aborigines, timber, boat building, fruit growing, fishing, sport, churches, transport, the 1967 bushfires, and militaria. The Museum's depiction of a school room, a shop and colonial-style rooms (kitchen, bedroom, laundry, and workroom) display aspects of everyday life in the past. The Electrona Carbide Works was unique in Australia and has its own display. A collection of vintage farming machinery, housed in a separate exhibition space, is an ongoing project. Ph (03) 6267 2333
Location: 1755 Channel Highway (entry off Parish Lane), Margate, Tasmania.
Dru Point Track: A pleasant 30 minute / 1.8km return stroll along the picturesque banks of the North West Bay River, with amazing views over the estuary to the summit of kunanyi / Mt Wellington. Bird lovers, a great variety of waterbirds feed at the estuary - if you're lucky, you might even spot a swift parrot feeding on the nectar from the blossoms of black gums. Out of respect for the Aboriginal people who once camped on the banks of the estuary, an Aboriginal Garden with culturally significant plants has been established near the beginning of the walk.
Inverware Native Gardens: Inverawe Native Gardens is a Tasmanian garden landscaped along traditional landscaping lines. In 2001 this was 22 acres of weeds. Work commeced on the central section and that is the most developed part of the garden. Work continues on more far flung areas.
The gardens were created primarily as a showcase for the natural flora of Tasmania. Plants have been placed in a semi formal landscaped design and walking paths give access to the vast array of plants in its two distinct areas a natural woodlands remnant and a former tidal swamp that has yielded to rich, grassy flats. Rabbit Hill, at the northern end of the grasslands, affords views across the gardens down North West Bay to Bruny Island. Being a fringe habitat, where forest and pasture meet the shoreline, the wetlands and the tidal flats is an ideal place for bird watching. Entry fees apply. Contact: (03) 6267 2020.
Location: 1565 Channel Highway, Margate.
Snug is a small coastal town located on the Channel Highway. A carbide factory operated at Snug from 1917. The carbide was used in the manufacture of acetylene gas. The factory was converted to a silicon smelter in 1979, but was closed in 1991. During the 1967 Tasmanian bushfires the town of Snug was devastated, two-thirds of the town s houses were destroyed, along with two churches and half the school.
Snug Market is a good old traditional local market, running for 9 years, and a firm community favourite. Local crafters, artists, collectors, cooks and more all in one place, by the beach and park, in a cosy local hall, with beautiful sea views. Great coffee and food, specialising in vegan cuisine. It a perfect day out. You could even bring a picnic and eat by the sea after exploring the market. Location: Snug Community Hall, 62 Beach Rd, Snug.
Snug Tiers is a Nature Recreational Area 8.7 km west of Margate. Walking tracks lead to a number of waterfalls, including the popular Snug Falls.
Coningham Beach on the southern shore of Snug Bay is one of Tasmania s most sheltered, offering year-round swimming. The highway eventually leads to Kettering where you can join the vehicular ferry for Bruny Island.
Travellers wanting a short cut across to the Huon Valley can take picturesque Nicholls Rivulet Road to Cygnet between Snug and Kettering. It passes through the Woodbridge Hill area, a 400 ha park characterised by rainforest vegetation and the presence of the rare Bell Everlasting. Woodbridge Hill, which rises 580 m above sea level, is part of the mountain range which runs between the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and the Huon River. Note: this short cut bypasses the southern section of the peninsula.