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Townships and Areas

Northern Midlands was created as a municipality following amalgamation of Evandale, Longford, Campbell Town, Ross and part of Fingal municipalities in 1993. It took in the major towns of Longford, Perth and Evandale, together with Western Junction Airport, TRANSlink Precinct and Ben Lomond National Park in the north, and the towns of Campbell Town, Ross and Avoca together with Lake Leake and Tooms Lake in the south, with boundaries extending from the coastal range in the east to the Western Tiers. Amongst the many challenges this posed were the integration of the many small communities into a functioning local government area, creation of a unifying image and identity, and formation of a single efficient administration which is supported by several local district committees to serve the needs of this expanded network of people.


On the banks of the South Esk River at the junction of St Paul's River, Avoca is a small and charming riverside settlement, proclaimed as a township in 1866.

83km southeast of Launceston via the Midland Highway, and west of St Helens, St Marys and Bicheno.

More about Avoca.

Ben Lomond

Ben Lomond National Park is Tasmania's largest single alpine area, making it a spectacular place to walk, watch wildlife and view wild flowers. It is also Tasmania's premier downhill ski field. The Ben Lomond National Park is 60 kms south-east of Launceston and covers and area of 16,527 hectares. It is 1,300 metres above sea level, and is set on a large plateau, from which there are magnificent views of mountains, the Esk River Valley, and Northern Midlands.

Historically, Ben Lomond (Tasmania's second highest peak 1572m) was sighted by Matthew Flinders, and was named by Colonel William Paterson, who, in 1804, founded the first settlement in Northern Tasmania. Among the foothills, close under Ben Lomond, lies Kingston, the Tasmanian home of John Batman, built on land given to him as a reward for the capture of bushranger, Matthew Brady. Nearby is Patterdale, the home of colonial artist John Glover.

For more information please visit the Heritage Highway website.


Bishopsbourne is a picturesque and productive farming area 16kms west of Longford. The village was built on land belonging to Tasmania's first Anglican bishop, Bishop Nixon, who arrived in the colony in 1833. The charming Anglican Church in Bishopsbourne was built in 1844, and was opened for divine service on 25 April 1845 by Bishop Nixon. The Church today still has its first church bell.

Tasmania's original Christ College (also known as Bishopsbourne College) was opened in Bishopsbourne in 1846 with the hope that it would develop along the lines of an Oxbridge-style college, and provide the basis for university education in Tasmania. It was also intended to prepare men for the priesthood. The College's first ten years were at Bishopsbourne, and there is still a sign pointing to "The College". However, it never really developed as its founder's hoped, and a depression in the colony, the remote site, and financial problems led to its closure in 1856. The College re-opened in Hobart in 1879, and officially became part of the University of Tasmania in 1991.

Blackwood Creek

Blackwood Creek is a small settlement in a farming district in the hills which fringe the Great Western Tiers, 20kms west of Cressy. The area is named after the tree used for the production of high quality furniture.

Shepherds used Blackwood Creek as a resting place during their annual summer grazing program on the Central Plateau.


Situated on the Midlands Highway, 13 kms from Launceston, Breadalbane was named by Governor Macquarie after the Earl of Breadalbane, his wife's cousin. Earlier the district was known as 'Cocked Hat', 'The Springs' and 'Brumby's Plain'. The Breadalbane area was notorious in the early 19th century for sheep stealing. In the colonial days there were three inns at Breadalbane, The Albion, The Temperance Hotel, and The Woolpack Inn (today, only the Woolpack Inn still stands). Increased traffic on the roads into Launceston in the 1860's saw the introduction of a toll gate at Breadalbane. Road tolls were unpopular, and were eventually abolished in 1880.

Today, there is an important roundabout at Breadlabane at the entrance to the city of Launceston, and Launceston Airport.

Campbell Town

Campbell Town, population around 900, is 134 kms from Hobart, and 68 kms from Launceston. It has an impressive collection of colonial buildings and is an important wool growing district.

An early coaching stop between Hobart and Launceston, Campbell Town sits on the banks of the Elizabeth River.

More about Campbell Town.


Cleveland is a small community situated on the Midlands Highway, 51 kms from Launceston. It was originally proposed that Cleveland become the main centre for the Midlands, but limited water resources put pay to that idea. Instead, Cleveland became a popular coaching stop, and a depot for ticket-of-leave convicts. In colonial times, Clevelend boasted three coaching inns, namely St Andrews Inn, the Bald Faced Stag, and the Squeaker - the latter no longer standing today.

Some say Cleveland was named after a breed of horses imported and bred in the district. Others sources claim that Governor Macquarie name Cleveland after Wm. Harry Vane, Ist Duke of Cleveland (1766-1842), who was a well known English MP, foxhunter and patron of the turf. Horse races were held at Cleveland on a course behind the Bald Faced Stag, and early motor bike races were also held there.


Conara, situated just off the Midlands Highway, was originally known as The Corners. In Conara was a railway station for passengers changing trains from the Main Line (Hobart -Launceston) to the East Coast, via the Fingal Line. Conara is the aboriginal word for coal, or coal dust.

Whilst driving along the Midlands Highway, The Disappearing House at Conara is one moment in sight, then, the next moment, disappears behind a hill. This historic building was built by James and Catherine Smith in approximately 1839-40 and named "Smithvale". James constructed the Inn to provide overnight hospitality to travellers on the coach routes and a staging stop for the coaches from Launceston to Hobart. There would have once been stables behind the house that housed the change of horses.

The house has seen many name changes over the years, these include "Corners Inn", " Epping Banks Inn", "Cleveland Inn" and "Breffini" .

Conara was by-passed by the Midlands Highway in 1969.


Cressy is a rural township with a population of around 800, 36km from Launceston and 21km off the Midland Highway.

More about Cressy.


Deddington, formerly known as Mills Plains, is a small rural community on the Deddington Road, 18kms south of Evandale, and 37 kms south of Launceston. Well known English-born Tasmanian artist John Glover (1767-1849), named the area after the village where he lived, before moving to Tasmania in 1830. He named his property Patterdale.

The picturesque Chapel at Deddington (1842) was probably designed by Glover, who is is also buried in its grounds. Nearby is Kingston cottage, where John Batman, the founder of Melbourne lived.

Epping Forest

Epping Forest, just north of Campbell Town, was the site of a daring stage coach robbery by the notorious bushranger, Martin Cash. It is said that he robbed all the passengers of their belongings, except for Mrs Cox, the owner of the coach, because she was a widow.

Epping Forest, named by Governor Macquarie in 1811, is situated on the Midlands Highway 45 kms from Launceston. It has magnificent views of Ben Lomond and the Eastern Tiers.


Evandale is an historic Georgian village south of Launceston, and 5km from the Launceston Airport.

More about Evandale.

Longford Village Green and Memorial Hall
Longford Village Green and Memorial Hall

Longford is 20km south of Launceston, and has a fascinating history of convicts and English gentry, as well as recent history such as the Australian Grand Prix.

More about Longford.


Nile, originally named Lymington, is located 15 kms off the Midlands Highway, 11 km south of Evandale on the Nile River, on rich pastoral land below Ben Lomond.

The village was so named after a local property called Nile Farm.

The Nile River was formally known as Cox's Creek after James Cox of Clarendon (1790-1866). Clarendon, is operated by the National Trust, and is considered one of Australia's finest examples of a Georgian manor. The church at Nile has a headstone erected in memory of a veteran of the Battle of Waterloo.

There are a number of buildings of architectural interest including Eskleigh, the Baptist Tabernacle, and St Andrews Church. The original Perth Bridge (1836) was built by convict labour. It was subsequently destroyed by floods in 1880, and again in 1929 and 1971. It has been rebuilt on each occasion. The South Esk River is a popular fishing and recreational spot.

More about Perth.


Poatina, at the fringe of the Great Western Tiers, population around 165, is 20 kms south of Cressy, and 60 kms south west of Launceston.

Poatina was originally built to accommodate workers on the Hydro Electric Scheme in the 1950's. Set on a plateau, Poatina overlooks the Midland plains, and onwards to Ben Lomond and the Eastern Tiers.

Today Poatina is a resort town, and a main gateway to the Central Highlands. It boasts a nine-hole golf course and many other recreational activities. The entire village was bought in the mid-1990's by the Christian group, Fusion Australia, and its residents are dedicated to helping disadvantaged young people.

Poatina is the aboriginal word for 'cavern'.

More about Poatina.


The village of Ross is located 78 km south of Launceston. On the banks of the Macquarie River, Ross was settled in 1821, and named by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, and is recognised as one of Tasmania's finest heritage villages.

More about Ross.

Visit Ross destination website


Situated in the foothills of Ben Lomond, 13 kms north of Avoca, Rossarden was established in 1930 to serve the Aberfoyle Tin Mine, which closed in 1982. It is known today for the wild lupins growing in the area, and a spectacular nine hole golf course overshadowed by the mighty Ben Lomond.

Tour via Rossarden and Mangana

Royal George

Depending on the source, Royal George is named after a tin mine, or a 19th century ship. It is a former mining settlement located 15 kms south east of Avoca, which enjoyed the mining boom of the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Western Junction

Western Junction was originally developed as a railway settlement, 3km north of Evandale. It first operated as a railway station, as Evandale Junction. It is situated where the railway junction for the North West Line branches off the main railway line.

Now it is the site of Launceston Airport, which started development in 1931. The light industrial area which embraces Western Junction is today known as the Launceston Airport Translink Centre. It is surrounded by rich and historic farm land.

Follow this link for more information on the TRANSlink Precinct.