A call for safe footpaths between all Tasmanian cities and towns—starting with a path between Hobart and Launceston.

7 March 2015

The Preliminary Great Heritage Highway Walk

Over this Easter some members of Tasmanians for Proper Footpaths will be walking from Launceston to Hobart along the route of The Great Heritage Highway Walk next Easter.  The Great Heritage Highway Walk is intended both to promote Tasmanian tourism (particularly along the Heritage Highway) and to publicise our advocacy of safe footpaths between Hobart and Launceston (and, ultimately, between all Tasmanian cities and towns); it will also, we hope, be an enjoyable expedition.
This year’s Walk will begin on Thursday morning at the Launceston Town Hall, at 08:30, and will end on Tuesday afternoon at the Hobart Town Hall; the itinerary will be (with approximate distances):
Thursday, 2 April, Launceston, viâ Perth*, to Epping Forest (44 km);
Friday, 3 April, Epping Forest to Roſs (34 km);
Saturday, 4 April, Roſs to Oatlands (36 km);
Sunday, 5 April, Oatlands to Kempton (39 km);
Monday, 6 April, Kempton to Brighton (24 km); and
Tuesday, 7 April, Brighton, viâ Granton, to Hobart (30 km).
Some of us will stay overnight at the following placeswhich offer agreeable rooms at very reasonable prices:
Rose Cottage, Epping Forest;
Roſs Hotel, Roſs; &
Kentish Hotel, Oatlands.
(Also, somewhere on the village green in Kempton Town.)
We shall, whenever poſsible, walk along footpaths but, regrettably, along much of the route proper footpaths are too seldom available.  Our walking along the highway, whenever footpaths are non-existent (to demonstrate, inter alia, that walking along the highway when footpaths are non-existent is hazardous) is, according to expert advice from the Tasmanian Department of State Growth’s Transport Infrastructure Services, hazardous; we should, if this preliminary walk were a public event, need to have safety officers and support vehicles and paramedics and suchlike available, but this year’s walk is not a public event.  If our walk were a public event we should require a Place of Aſsembly licence under the Public Health Act 1997 but this preliminary walk is not a public event.  Next year, however, The Great Heritage Highway Walk will be a public event and it will also feature entertainment and peripheral events at various stops as well as many opportunities for participants to win nifty prizes.

Plan ahead for the The Great Heritage Highway Walk over Easter 2016—from 24 March to 29 March, 2016—now!  Book your accommodation early and save!

* travelling by way of Evandale is almost equidistant.
contact details:- 
Rose Cottage,
Barton Road, Epping Forest 7211, (03) 6391 5569,

Roſs Hotel,
35 Church Street, Roſs 7209, (03) 6381 5445,
Kentish Hotel,
60 High St, Oatlands 7120, (03) 6254 1119,
Kempton, since nearby hostelries closed in recent times, no longer has any hireable accommodation for paſsing visitors other than some provision for camper-vans (and, undoubtedly, for those with contacts, a few hospitable, private dwellings).  Thankfully, Kempton still has a tavern so that walkers will at least be able to procure a refreshing beverage or two.

UPDATE I:  we are reminded by a correspondent to mention that there are myriad places between those towns wherein we shall stop overnight which provide morning teas, lunches, afternoon teas, snacks etc.  We shall, for instance, make a point of stopping at The Black Snake Inn, at South Granton, during our walk between Brighton and Hobart.
One of our aims in organising this Walk is to promote the diverse providers of hospitality, fine local products, and various tourism-related busineſses along our route.  We certainly intend to enjoy some fine viands by the way.

UPDATE II:  Fiona Dewar, Tourism Officer of the Northern Midlands Council, kindly sent us some material—including a Quick Guide to the Heritage Highway, which we reproduce here—and, though this year’s Walk bypaſses towns such as Evandale, Longford and Creſsy, asks us to mention those fine places.  She writes:
Evandale has a wonderfully historic streetscape and just south of Evandale at Nile, is the magnificent historic estate of Clarendon House.  Also home to the Australian Fly Fishing Museum and the Norfolk Plains Heritage Centre.
At Longford, we have two World Heritage Listed Convict Sites, Woolmers and Brickendon.
When you get to Oatlands, there is a fabulous historic mill, the Callington Mill, and it is poſsible to book tours of the mill.  They are great tours . . . don a hardhat and go right to the very top inside the mill.  Very fascinating.  […]
At Brighton, there is the amazing Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.  Great opportunity to get up close and personal with Taſsie’s wildlife as they are cared for by wonderful people, either for their lifetime or in preparation for release back to the wild.
UPDATE III:  in an interview with a journalist from The Mercury Informal mentioned how many people have of late described the advantages of cycling through the countryside over driving.  Here is an example (which we endorse) in an editorial, “Following a Natural Cycle”, in The Mercury:
Anyone who has cycled through Tasmania will tell you that pedalling through the landscape provides a very, very different perspective to driving.
Cycling completely immerses tourists in the experience of travelling through our countryside.
Cycling tourists smell the eucalypts and banksias, breathe the incredibly clean, fresh air and feel the undulating hills and dales with their thighs.
They can hear the chirping of birds, the soothing rhythm of waves lapping at the shore and the wind as it blows through the trees.
The much slower pace of pedalling through the scenery enables riders to gain a more thorough appreciation that is vastly more engaging than peering out the window of an air-conditioned sedan.
For ‘cycling’ and ‘cycled’, of course, read ‘walking’ and ‘walked’, for ‘pedalling’ read ‘footing’ or ‘ambling’ or even ‘legging’, and for ‘riders’ read ‘pedestrians’.

UPDATE IV:  Informal is booked to discuſs the Heritage Highway Walk with Ryk Goddard on local radio—936 ABC—on Thurday morning, 26 March, shortly after 07:15.

UPDATE V:  here is the link to Ryk Goddard’s discuſsion with Informal.

UPDATE VI:  here is the link to the subsequent ABC News article, posted by Sam Ikin, “Tasmanian man to walk from Launceston to Hobart to ‘prove’ the need for footpaths on every road”.  Note that the article refers to a letter from the Premier and Minister for Tourism, Hon. Will Hodgman:
Mr. Hodgman went on to point out that a 480 kilometre trail already existed from Devonport to Dover via Sheffield, Miena, Ouse, New Norfolk and Geevston which is acceſsible for bike riding and walking.
As we noted earlier, the Tasmanian Trail is not a path—as is evidenced by its name—and at times it is not even a trail; in many places it is quite unsuitable for walking or cycling and in some places it is barely suitable for even the hardiest equestrian. 

UPDATE VII:  unfortunately, this Easter’s Walk was terminated at Roſs.  Much skin was peeling off the soles of Informal’s bleeding feet so, after only two days and a mere 78km or so, he decided to postpone the prelimary Walk to another time.  More details will be available soon.