George Town

Leadlight Lighthouse, Ken Stepnell

Population 4304

George Town is Australia's third oldest settlement, after Sydney and Hobart, and Tasmania's oldest town. European settlement can be traced back to 1804 when William Paterson camped here after running his ship, HMS Buffalo, aground at York Cove. Ignoring the disaster, he ran up the flag, fired three shots in the air and played the national anthem. A memorial stands at Windmill Point to honour this optimism.

Visitor Information

92–96 Main Rd; (03) 6382 1700

Nearby national parks

  • Mole Creek Karst National Park

    Over 200 caves make up the Mole Creek karst system. The national park comprises a dozen separate blocks, creating a park almost as complex...more

  • Ben Lomond National Park

    Ben Lomond National Park, enclosing the largest alpine plateau in the state, is a mountain environment with extensive and dramatic dolerite...more

  • Walls of Jerusalem National Park

    Walls of Jerusalem, the fourth largest and the most remote national park in Tasmania, is a stunning landscape of huge rock faces, ancient...more

Nearby towns

  • Beauty Point

    Beauty Point is the base for the Australian Maritime College and is also a good spot for fishing and yachting. The town's main...more

  • Beaconsfield

    Now a modest apple-growing centre in Tasmania's north, Beaconsfield was once the wealthiest gold town in Tasmania. Gold was discovered...more

  • Port Sorell

    This holiday town on the Rubicon River enjoys a mild and sunny climate nearly all year-round. It was established in the early 1820s, but...more

In Town

The Grove: this classic Georgian stone house (c. 1838) was the home of Mathew Friend, the port officer and magistrate of the settlement; 25 Cimitiere St.

York Cove: scenic cove where George Town's centre was built, with mooring and pontoon facilities, and restaurants.

Self-guide Discovery Trail: walking route through town; brochure from visitor centre.

George Town Watch House: community history room and female factory display; Macquarie St.


Low Head This popular holiday retreat has safe swimming and surf beaches. The Maritime Museum is housed in Australia's oldest continuously used pilot station and has fascinating displays of memorabilia discovered in nearby shipwrecks. At the Tamar River's entrance stands a 12 m high lighthouse, built in 1888, behind which lies a little penguin colony. Penguin-watching tours start around sunset; bookings on 0418 361 860; 5 km N.

Mt George Lookout: scenic views of George Town, the north coast, and south to the Western Tiers. The lookout has a replica of a Tamar Valley semaphore mast used to relay messages in the 1800s; 1 km E.

Fishing: excellent fishing at Lake Lauriston and Curries River Dam; 13 km E.

Lefroy: old goldmining settlement, now a ghost town, with ruins of old buildings; 16 km E.

Hillwood Strawberry Farm: sales and pick-your-own patch, along with sampling of local fruit wines and cheeses; 24 km SE.

Seal tours: cruises to Tenth Island fur seal colony, a short distance offshore in Bass Strait; bookings on (03) 6382 3452.

Tasmanian Wine Route: many wineries to the east of town with cellar-door sales and tastings; brochure from visitor centre.

Beaches: the area has many beautiful beaches including East Beach (facing Bass Strait and ideal for walking, swimming and surfing) and Lagoon Beach on the Tamar River (for family swimming).

Eco-friendly activities around town

Low Head Penguin Tours 4 km

Every night at dusk this comprehensive but inexpensive tour takes visitors to a little penguin-nesting site near the mouth of the Tamar River, where you can watch the penguins waddle ashore to return to their nests. The... Find out more

Platypus Encounters, Latrobe 37 km

Three brothers almost single-handedly turned an old quarry site into one of the most reliable places in the world to see wild platypus. In fact, the guided tours have never failed to encounter a platypus in Warrawee... Find out more

Tamar Island 45 km

This important wetland habitat just 10 minutes from the heart of Launceston features a great bird-viewing hide, 3.2 kilometres of easy walking tracks and an interpretation centre.... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Cove Restaurant

The spacious dining room in this up-market, modern accommodation complex ticks all the boxes. It’s stylish, contemporary, light-filled and perfectly positioned to enchant diners with its poolside and river outlook.... Find out more

The Pier Hotel Bistro

This old hotel has had a fabulous makeover, and its modern restaurant is furnished in New York minimalist style to create a chic and casual eatery. Take a sofa seat amid modern art and warm, earthy coloured walls or grab... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Boag's (J.Boag & Son) 45 km

With several different owners over the past 100 years, J. Boag and Son typifies the sometimes turbulent history of Australian brewing and the minor miracle of surviving at all into the 21st century. Scotsman James Boag... Find out more

Campsites around town

Horse Yards camping area 19 km

A 26 km horseriding trail leads from this camping area, but you must camp nearby and give the ranger 48 hours notice before you can bring your horse into the park. Narawntapu is 40 km east of Devonport via the B71, or 85... Find out more

Springlawn camping area 19 km

This is the place to head to in the park if you have a large rig and need power. It also has the best facilities and is only 100 m past the ranger station and visitor centre, so it is just a short walk to join one of the... Find out more

Bakers Point camping area 22 km

On the point by Springlawn Beach, this large camping area has 36 sites – 16 suitable for larger rigs – a portable toilet waste collection point and a boat-launching area. There’s excellent fishing in... Find out more

Koybaa camping area 23 km

This camping area at Griffiths Point, 4 km past the ranger station, has 12 small sites surrounded by scrub. They are only suitable for tent-based camping because you have to carry your gear in past a row of... Find out more

Port Sorell Lions Caravan Park 23 km

This large caravan park is close to shops and just a short walk from the foreshore of the Rubicon estuary, with its sheltered beach and lovely views of Narawntapu National Park. The safe swimming beach and kids’... Find out more

Bellingham Coastal Reserve camping area 30 km

Between Pipers River and Bellingham dunes, this undeveloped camping area offers a great surf beach, excellent birdwatching and a sheltered estuary with very good fishing. The campsites are tucked into the coastal scrub... Find out more

Lilydale Falls Reserve camping area 35 km

In the middle of Tasmania’s north-eastern wine region, 2.5 km north of the little township of Lilydale on Golconda Rd (B81), this pleasant campground has shady sites beneath mature trees. The playground, picnic... Find out more

Andy’s Motorhome and Caravan Park 47 km

Behind Westbury’s 24 hr bakery cafe, this motorhome park is a convenient stopover 30 min from Launceston. Its great facilities include a laundry, dump point and wireless hotspot. While you’re here, check out... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Low Head Tourist Park 3 km

This is an attractive park. There are large grassy areas, and most facilities for the discerning traveller are here. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

BIG4 Kelso Sands Holiday Park 4 km

The park is set on a large expanse of grassy, maintained grounds and includes a small golf course. It has good amenities, a wellstocked store and a great outlook over the broad estuary of the River Tamar. Wombats... Find out more

Port Sorell Lions Caravan Park 23 km

This popular beachfront park is owned and operated by the Lions Club. It is close to the centre of town, adjacent to the boat ramp and ideal for family holidays. It is an easy drive to the Devonport ferry terminal from... Find out more

Bay View Holiday Village 38 km

Close to the beach on the east side of Devonport, this park is just a short drive to the Spirit of Tasmania ferry terminal. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Abel Tasman Caravan Park 39 km

Located just a couple of blocks from the Spirit of Tasmania terminal, this park has obvious benefits for those arriving or departing by the boat. The park has sites to cater for all size rigs and is ideal for a longer... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Ben Hyrons Cottage

In 1818 the convict Ben Hyrons arrived in Van Diemen’s Land after being sentenced to transportation for passing counterfeit coins. His fortunes changed with a pardon in 1832 and he moved to George Town, rising to... Find out more

Charles Robbins

These impressive modern apartments have been designed to combine business with pleasure. With a dress circle location on the George Town foreshore, they exude style and offer spacious accommodation and a wealth of... Find out more

Tam O’Shanter Views

With a roofline resembling ocean waves, this elevated glass-fronted beach house half an hour from George Town overlooks Bass Strait’s unhindered ocean horizon and takes in all the drama of this beautiful coastline.... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Parramatta Creek rest area 35 km

26km NW of Deloraine (L) or 17km SE of Latrobe (R)

Among shady trees on the banks of the creek.

What's on around town

Tamar Valley Folk Festival: Jan.

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