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Picturesque New Norfolk

Capital of the Derwent Valley

Built by Norfolk Island settlers

New Norfolk is as pretty a town as they come. The third oldest European settlement in Tasmania, New Norfolk is nestled in the heartland of the Derwent Valley, along the banks of the Derwent River, 30 minutes northwest of Hobart. The town was settled in 1807 when evacuees from Norfolk Island arrived in what was then Elizabeth Town. The town was eventually renamed New Norfolk.

New Norfolk is the major rural regional centre of the Derwent Valley region and sheep and hops are major industries. This quaint little town has many claims to fame. Tasmania’s oldest Anglican Church (St. Matthews Anglican) Tasmania’s first rum distillery, Bush Inn which claims to be the oldest continually licensed hotel in Australia (1825) and New Norfolk is said to be the antique capital of Tasmania.

Take a stroll through New Norfolk on a Tasmanian holiday

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Physical rating:
3 - Active/Moderate
Tour duration icon
Tour duration:
11
days

Treat yourself this Christmas with the awe-inspiring sights and tastes of Tasmania with 11 days discovering Port Arthur Penal Settlement, Tasman Arch, Derwent Valley, Eaglehawk Neck, Bruny Island and more. We celebrate Christmas in Hobart with a long sumptuous lunch and spend New Years Eve in Launceston. You’ll be tempted by heritage, culture, taste sensations and glorious natural scenery whilst also visiting Cradle Mountain, Strahan and Launceston.

Physical rating icon
Physical rating:
3 - Active/Moderate
Tour duration icon
Tour duration:
11
days

See the icons of the Apple Isle on this in-depth tour of Tasmania. Fly into Hobart for 2-nights and explore the Port Arthur Historic Site. Enjoy an epic Gordon River Cruise travelling to Strahan and Queenstown. Enjoy a train journey on the West Coast Wilderness Railway line before arriving into Tullah. Take in all the sights of Wine Glass Bay with an aerial view whilst exploring the Freycinet Peninsula before heading back to Hobart.

A town with a fascinating history

The New Norfolk area was first explored in 1793. In 1807, Denis McCarty, a former convict who became a police officer built the first house. When Norfolk Island closed as a prison in 1808 and relocated its residents to Tasmania 500 landed in New Norfolk to begin a new life.

New Norfolk was known as the first ‘capital’ of Tasmania. Hobart’s port was not suitable so ships would come and drop anchor in the calm, safe waters of the Derwent River. 

From the 1850s, the area became the most successful hop-growing region in the southern hemisphere and hop farms can still be seen across the Derwent Valley along with original oast houses, for drying hops.

During the Second World War, Australian Newsprint Mills ran a large newsprint mill, downstream from New Norfolk. The company built many houses for their workers and some of the community amenities that are still in use today.

Capital of the Derwent Valley
Capital of the Derwent Valley

What to see in New Norfolk

You can easily spend a day in New Norfolk exploring some of the oldest buildings in Australia, looking through antique shops, or admiring the beautiful scenery.

The Anglican Church of St. Matthews has been renovated a little throughout the years but much of the original building remains including the majestic stained-glass windows.

It’s worth a visit to the Bush Inn just to sip a Tassie brew in one of Australia’s oldest pubs. You may even meet the resident ghost! Visit the grave of Betty King née Thackery at the Lawitta Church Cemetery who was the first white woman to set foot in Australia in 1788.

Willow Court was a military hospital for invalid convicts in the 1820s, but the following decade expanded to house the mentally ill and operated as an institution until 2000, making it the oldest mental hospital in Australia. Today it’s home to antique shops, food venues, and a motel.

Frequently asked questions

Where is New Norfolk?

New Norfolk is a town on the Derwent River, 25 kilometres northwest of Hobart in the southeast of Tasmania. The Derwent Valley area is the gateway to some of Tasmania's most spectacular wilderness areas, including Mt Field National Park and the Western Tasmanian World Heritage Area.

What is New Norfolk widely known for?

New Norfolk is widely known as the antique capital of Tasmania. Collectors come to trawl through antique shops near the main street or in the historic Willow Court precinct.

How many people live in New Norfolk?

In 2022 the estimated population of New Norfolk was 6,181.

What can you eat in New Norfolk?

As a productive farming area, there is much fresh local produce to sample in the many restaurants and cafes. There are many wineries in the area and a speciality is the fresh trout - locally grown and produced at the nearby Salmon Ponds.

See nearby cities, sights, and festivals

Get in touch if you have any questions

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