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Lilydale, TAS

Small town with gardens and bushwalks.

Lilydale, which nestles under the slopes of Mount Arthur, is an attractive town which in recent times has attracted craftspeople and artists. The result is a quiet town with an artistic ambience. In recent times many of the local artists have painted the local telegraph poles with murals and, consequently, the town has become known as the "Home of the Painted Poles".


Lilydale is located 27 km north-east of Launceston on the north-western slopes of Mount Arthur (1187 m). It is 225 km north of Hobart.


Origin of Name

For some years it was accepted as a fact that anti-German sentiments during World War I saw the town, which was originally known as Germantown, change to Lilydale. In fact the change occurred in 1887 when the name was changed from Upper Piper. There was a debate between Tankerville and Lilydale with the latter winning. The explanation for the name was that Christmas lilies were part of the town's impressive, European-style garden culture.


Things to See and Do

Lilydale Mural Painted Poles
The painted poles, now an integral part of the town's attractions, were painted by over 30 local volunteers assisting local artists Leanne Hodgetts, Jenny Scott, Teresa Whyman and Maggie Warren-Roberts. They were formally opened on 16 March, 2013 although the first poles were painted as long ago as 1998. There is a description and a series of photographs of each pole at http://lilydalearts.yolasite.com/poles.php.

Hollybank Forest Reserve
The Hollybank Forest Reserve is a 140 ha forest reserve which was first occupied  by timber cutters and mill workers in 1854. Although they cut out much of the valuable timber the reserve is now an arboretum with walking tracks. There are a number of tracks which range from short 15 minute strolls to more vigourous 40 minute walk through forests which represent some of Tasmania's production timbers. The ash trees in the arboretum which were originally planted to supply wood for tennis racquets and cricket bats is particularly beautiful in autumn.  There are barbecue and picnic facilities (even a bush cricket pitch) and an Information Panel which is located inside the reserve entrance. It is reached from a turnoff on Lilydale Road 7 km south of the town.

Hollybank Treetop Adventure
Hollybank Treetop Adventure is an opportunity for thrill seekers to swing through the canopy or race through the forest on two-wheeled Segways. There is a 3 1/2 minute video at http://www.treetopsadventure.com.au/canopy-tour/about-canopy-tours/ which shows the fun of flying through the forest reserve on abseiling-like flying foxes from one elevated platform to another. Another video http://www.treetopsadventure.com.au/segway-tour/segway-tour/ shows the experience of roaring through the forest on a Segway. Boath are unique ways to experience this interesting section of Tasmania's eucalypt forest.

Mount Arthur Track
There is a 10 km (3 hour, medium difficulty) walk to the summit of Mount Arthur. The walk through myrtle forest to a high alpine plateau offers energetic bushwalkers far-reaching, panoramic and dramatic views of both the coast and the hinterland. For comprehensive details, and descriptions of both the three hour walk and a five hour walk, check out http://bushwalk.com/wiki/index.php/Arthur,_Mount_Track

Lilydale Falls Reserve
Lilydale Falls  is located 3 km out of Lilydale on the Scottsdale Road. The reserve provides an opportunity to explore the region's temperate rainforest, have a picnic, go bushwalking, inspect the falls which give the area its name, and admire the two oak trees which were planted on 12 May 1937 from acorns collected near Windsor Castle on England to commemorate the coronation of King George IV. The two small falls (the larger is no more than 10 m high), one above the other, are a 20-30 minute return walk from the car park through a glen with ferns and a eucalypt forest.

Lilydale Mural Painted Poles
The painted poles, now an integral part of the town's attractions, were painted by over 30 local volunteers assisting local artists Leanne Hodgetts, Jenny Scott, Teresa Whyman and Maggie Warren-Roberts. They were formally opened on 16 March, 2013 although the first poles were painted as long ago as 1998. There is a description and a series of photographs of each pole at http://lilydalearts.yolasite.com/poles.php



* Prior to the arrival of Europeans in the 1850s the area around Lilydale had been settled for thousands of years by the Tyerrernotepanner Aborigines.

* Timber cutters started clearing the Lilydale district in the late 1850s and by the 1860s a small number of settlers were living in the area.

* In the late 1870s a track was cut through the bush to the short-lived goldfields on the slopes of Mount Arthur.

* The local post office was opened in 1873 and renamed Lilydale in 1887.

* A railway line, a branch line from Launceston, was opened in 1889.

* Through the twentieth century the town grew slowly to meet the service needs of the surrounding orchards and farms. Today it is a small, quiet town


Visitor Information

There is no Visitor Information Centre in Lilydale. The nearest is the Launceston Travel and Information Centre, 68-72 Cameron Street, Launceston, tel: (03) 6336 3133.


Useful Websites

There is a useful local website - http://www.lilydaletas.net/

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9 suggestions
  • Lilydale Village Market
    Lilydale Village Market is a Monthly Market held on the 2nd Sunday of each month from 10am to 2pm. Come to Lilydale for lunch. We have a variety of great food stalls including a traditional Lions BBQ. While visiting us take a stroll and have a look at our indoor and outdoor stalls. We have wonderful original jewellery; pre-loved and new fashion; craft; plants; and more. Art Exhibitions and Live Music and Entertainment thrown in… Community Market managed by the Lilydale District Progress Association. Enquiries call Natalie 0418 688 250 or Peter 04145 350 942. Stall Holders please contact us to book your space. Call Natalie on 0418 688 250.

    Judanne Simpson
  • From Lilydale Market Facebook page: “Why bother coming to Lilydale? Is there anything out there? YOU BET THERE IS! Besides having a fabulous time at Lilydale Village Market tomorrow, here are some other ideas to complete your day out;
    – Admire Ally Jensen’s paintings at the Lilydale Arts exhibition at the courthouse
    – Have a lovely stroll around town to admire the heritage buildings and painted poles
    – Enjoy Lilydale Falls reserve with an easy walk to two waterfalls
    – Walk through Hollybank Forest Reserve, home of the Treetops zip line and Segway adventures
    – Take a hike up Mount Arthur on tracks recently upgraded by Lilydale Lions club
    – Have fabulous fish and chips, light meals and great coffee at Lilydale Takeaway
    – Indulge in whiskey and wine tasting at Lilydale Larder
    – Visit the W.A.G Walker Rhododendron Gardens at Lalla
    – Visit the Appleshed gallery at Lalla where Shelley displays incredible paintings and amazing doll houses
    – Visit one of the many churches in the area
    – Visit the cellar door of various local vineyards
    There is so much to see and do! Why not come and see for yourself?”

    Judanne Simpson
  • Is there a library and hospital and somewhere to swim? How many live there? What age group?

    sally hopkinson
  • Hi, We enjoyed our short visit & stay in your lovely town early Feb. 2018 & were interested in the name origins since my brother lives near Lilydale, Victoria.
    You’ve correctly listed the Germantown c/o Name detail as 1887 in ‘Origin of name’, BUT also listed the Incorrect Version (anti-german sentiment from 1st W/War) in ‘History’ which ought to be corrected in your otherwise good article!
    BTW – in previous years I lived in Bayswater, Victoria which was also originally called Germantown, but was in fact changed in WW1 due to anti-german sentiment!
    Located east of Melbourne at the base of the Dandenong Ranges, Bayswater/Germantown was originally largely settled by German Immigrants who establed many Market Gardens & Fruit Orchards due to good soil in the area.
    Bayswater is now an eastern suburb of Melbourne.

    Volker Pleuger (0422 414711)
  • Where is the nearest large supermarket/ also local hospital please? As well, are there any small social groups for oldies?

    Marj Drewitt
  • I enjoyed a holiday in Lilydale in the late 1940s or early 1950s. I made friends with the Brooks family who ran a dairy farm and wonder if they are still living in Lilydale.

    Barbara Antoci