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Dover, TAS

Southernmost town of importance in Australia.

Dover is recognised as the southernmost town of significance in Australia. There are settlements further south but Dover is the last place where you can buy petrol and supplies. Some of the villages on Bruny Island are further south and, not surprisingly, there is a long standing argument between the hotel at Alonnah on Bruny Island and the Dover Hotel as to which is the most southerly hotel in Australia. Picturesquely situated on Port Esperance, Dover offers excellent views across the water to the islands named Faith, Hope and Charity. It is possible to sail across to Faith Island where there are a number of historic graves from the 1840s when Dover was a convict probation station.

Location

Dover is located on Port Esperance 81 km south-west of Hobart via the Huon Highway. It is recognised as the southernmost town of significance in Australia.

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Origin of Name

It is probable that Dover takes its name from the famous English town of the same name. Wondering why this would be the case, some have suggested that huon pine shipped from Tasmania was used in the construction of Dover Pier and this was a simple way of acknowledging the connection.

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Things to See and Do

Walking on the Kent Beach
There is a park along the shoreline of Kent Beach and the Kent Beach Road offers delightful views of the three islands Faith, Hope and Charity which were reputedly named to inspire the convicts at the local probation station. This is a quiet and peaceful section of the southern coastline which is well protected from the prevailing Roaring Forties.

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Other Attractions in the Area

The Ida Bay Railway
Located at Lune River (23 km south of Dover) the Ida Bay Railway is a delightful two hour trip (7 km each way) through peaceful Tasmanian bushland from 328 Lune River Road, Lune River along the shores of Ida Bay. On the route it passes the old Ida Bay wharf and graveyard, the site of Jagers sawmill and reaches Deep Hole Bay. The tramway was constructed in 1922, is known to be the most southerly railway in Australia, and the carriages (some are built on bogie wagons dating from the 1890s) are driven by two Malcolm Moore diesel locomotives. In the summer months the tramway journey is made at 9.30 am, 11.30 am, 1.30 pm and 3.30 pm seven days a week. This is reduced in the winter months to Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 10.00 am, noon and 2.00 pm. Tel: (03) 6298 3110 or check out http://www.idabayrailway.com.au/. There is a video of the journey at http://www.discovertasmania.com.au/about/regions-of-tasmania/hobart-and-south/dover.

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History

* Prior to European settlement the area around Dover was inhabited by Nuenonne Aboriginal people for at least 30,000 years.

* In 1792 Bruni D'Entrecasteaux explored the area and named the bay Esperance after L'Esperance, one of the vessels in his expedition.

* Dover was originally established as a convict probation station and operated between 1844 and 1848. There is now little evidence of the town's penal past.

* After the convict settlement the small town developed as a port - the main activity was shipping huon pine to the world.

* By 1850 there were a number of sawmills in the area. It is claimed that the link with Dover in England is that huon pine shipped from this area was used in the construction of Dover Pier.

* The Dover Rivulet is shown, and Dover Station mentioned, in Field Notes published in 1850.

* The Port Esperance Post Office was opened in 1856

* Dover was proclaimed a township on 3 July, 1866.

* In 1895 the town's post office was renamed Dover Post Office.

* In recent times the town has become an important fishing port with the local fleet fishing for salmon, abalone and crayfish.

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Visitor Information

There is no Visitor Information Centre at Dover. The closest is the Huon Valley Visitor Centre, 2273 Huon Highway, Huonville, tel: (03) 6264 0326. Check out http://www.huonvalley.tas.gov.au/region/visit-us.

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Useful Websites

The Huon Valley Council website can be accessed at http://www.huonvalley.tas.gov.au/region/visit-us.

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Got something to add?

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6 suggestions
  • At Southport you can still buy supplies and petrol. They also have a pup and caravan park.

    Jim
  • Sadly the Gingerbread Bakery is no longer open but for sale. So if anyone out there would like to buy a great shop in the lovely seaside town then go for it!

    Jane
  • Who owns Hope Island now?
    It originally belonged to my family but there was a requirement that a person in order to inherit it must live on it for 6 months of the year so my grandfather and grandmother had to forfeit it. My mother- 89 years old- used to holiday there as a child. Her maiden name was Sawers.

    julie brumer
  • Dover also has a great restaurant in the old Port Esperance Post Office. Its called Post Office 6985. Roaring fires in winter, a lovely pre dinner drinks area that looks down to Port Esperance and a fantastic menu showcasing our wonderful local produce. Warm and welcoming, it is well worth a visit or two or even a dozen!

    Joanne O'Halloran
    • Thanks for the good info about what looks like a wonderful area to spend maybe 6 months a year there … I’m a single 60 year old Male …would like to do some fishing, painting and whatever else a fit and healthy man does … my son is a boat builder in Queensalnd so I might get him to come down and help me build a boat … or renovate one … I’m great at renovating

      Jack Spencer
  • It is producing beautiful pinot noir!

    Kandelka Koreovit