Historic Campbell Town is another outstanding example of a Georgian Town in Tasmania - as well as our genuine leather goods store, Lake Leather. Situated on the Midland highway, 67km from Launceston and 133km from Hobart. It features an impressive collection of colonial buildings with numerous convict stories, as well as many antique and speciality shops.
The town is notable for its wide main street, with over one hundred buildings dating from the 19th century and an English-style village green.
Also situated on the tranquil Elizabeth River, it was originally settled as a garrison town and retains many of its convict-built buildings. Campbell Town is a service and supplies centre for travellers between Launceston and Hobart. That's the way it was designed back in the early 1800s and it's still the main place to stop and refuel for travellers today.
Both the town and river were named by Governor Lachlan Macquarie for his wife Elizabeth (nee Campbell) in 1811 (Elizabeth River) and 1821 (Campbell Town). You'll find her name popping up repeatedly across southern and central Tasmania.
The famous Red Bridge is the oldest bridge on the Midland Highway. Convict built between 1836-38, the estimated one and a half million red bricks were made from clay locally dug from the south side of the river.
There are trees featuring stories carved with a chainsaw about the history of Campbell Town by local Eddie Freeman from the original tree stumps. Scenes depict, among other things, the building of the Red Bridge, the first viewing of the Transit Of Venus by Dr William Valentine in the town in 1874, and a celebration of the sheep and wool growing industry of the area.
The town holds an annual village fair, running continually from 1839 – it is the longest running show in the southern hemisphere.
Campbell Town may also have been the site of the first recorded telephone message in the southern hemisphere. Local enthusiast Alfred B Biggs, headmaster of the local school, built two Huon pine hand telephones from Alexander Graham Bell’s plans and transmitted a message from Launceston to Campbell Town railway station in 1877.
The Convict Brick Trail is a community project along High Street, making a brick for each Tasmanian transportee and revealing the individual stories of Tasmania’s convicts. Featuring the name, crime, sentence, year of transportation and the name of the ship that brought them here, the trail really brings to life Tasmania’s convict past.
The Lake Leather building was originally built as the National Bank of Australasia branch (now National Australia Bank) in 1898, to service the pastoral community that had developed in and around Campbell Town. We still use the bank safe as a stockroom and changing room.