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Rosevears, TAS

Historic town on the Tamar River north of Launceston.

Rosevears is an attractive village on the western shore of the Tamar River. The main appeal is the village's location on the drive from Launceston along the shores of the Tamar. On the way there are wetlands which attract birdlife including black swans and at one point the Matthew Brady Lookout, once a secret location for a local bushranger, offers outstanding views across the Tamar Valley.


Rosevears is located 18 km north of Launceston on the West Tamar Highway. It lies on the western shore of the Tamar River.


Origin of Name

It probably should be called Rosevear's Tavern. The origin of the name is that when the tavern, which was named The Rose Inn, was licensed in 1831 the publican was William Henry Rosevear.


Things to See and Do

Rosevears Waterfront Tavern
The most important building in Rosevears is the historic Rosevears Waterfront Tavern. In 1831, when it was known as The Rose Inn, it was licensed and the publican was William Henry Rosevear. It offers patrons superb views up and down the Tamar Valley and there are still sections of the pub's interior where it is possible to see the original 19th century brickwork.

Brady's Lookout
Matthew Brady (1799-1826) was one of Van Diemen's Land's earliest bushrangers. He was transported to Macquarie Harbour in 1823 but escaped and in 1824, with a small group of fellow convicts, sailed to the Derwent River. For two years he operated as a bushranger and was so successful that by the time he was captured he had 100 guineas on his head. A few kilometres west of Rosevears on the West Tamar Highway is a clearly signposted place named Brady’s Lookout. It is claimed that from this vantagepoint Brady used to spy on potential victims on the road below. It now offers a superb panoramic view over the Tamar Valley.


Other Attractions in the Area

Exeter Methodist Church
Located 9 km north of Rosevears, downstream on the Tamar River, is the small village of Exeter where the only attraction is the Methodist Church, a handsome timber building, which, having been completed in 1861, is the oldest Methodist Church in Tasmania. It is not an impressive building however it is significant to the religious history of Tasmania.



* Prior to the arrival of Europeans the area around Rosevears was inhabited by the Tyerrernotepanner people who were the dominant group in the Tasmanian north midlands.

* By the 1820s there was a small shipbuilding industry operating from near the present-day site of Rosevears. At this time the shipyards were known as Battery Point and Cimitiere's Point.

* One of the shipyards was owned and operated by a sea captain named George Plummer. It was Plummer who built the Rebecca, the boat which carried John Batman across Bass Strait to Port Phillip in 1835 and led to the creation of Melbourne. There is a plaque commemorating the event.

* Today Rosevears is a popular place for people who have either retired or want to live outside of Launceston.


Visitor Information

The closest visitor information is at the Launceston Travel and Information Centre, 12-14 St John Street, Launceston, tel: (03) 6336 3133.


Useful Websites

There is no specific website for Rosevears. There is a small history entry in the George Town & District Historical Society newsletter. Check out http://www.gtdhs.com/NL89May11.pdf

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3 suggestions
  • This site affords great views of the St Matthias Anglican Church, built in 1842 by Dr Matthias Gaunt who settled opposite in 1831 and named his property Windermere after Windermere district in England. He promised his wife Frances that if there was no church in the district he would build one. St. Matthias Church was consecrated in 1843 and became the centre for district worship for residents in the Tamar valley. The church still conducts regular services, making it notably the longest serving Anglican rural church in Tasmania.

  • Dr. Gaunt,s wife was Frances,not Eliza as Iincorrectly wrote this morning.

  • Hi, just to add an historical footnote. I watched a cricket match yesterday in the village of Sutton Veny, Wiltshire, England.
    The local church borders the cricket ground. In the churchyard are 143 Australian graves from World War 1 as the village was then the site of the main Australian Army training area and Australian General Hospital.
    Anyway, one of these graves is of Cecil Rosevear who died in 1918. In the Church itself is an old photo sent by the Rosevear family after the war showing a view of the Tamar river and part of the Rosevear settlement in Tasmania.

    John Butcher