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Hamilton is a small rural farming town with historic buildings throughout the town and surrounding farmland.

Nestled in a valley on the Clyde River with the peaks of the Great Western Tiers in the distance, Hamilton was once a bustling frontier town and transport hub with several working breweries, a string of hotels and a roaring illegal liquor trade.

These days the town is a little quieter but still has the feel of a village in the 1800s with many of the town's few small shops dating back to convict times.

Of interest is the Old Schoolhouse, a huge two-storey structure built by convict stonemasons in 1858. It was originally constructed so that the Headmaster lived in the room above the central staircase and the children, according to their sex, entered the school from different doors.

And while Hamilton may be a quiet town, it comes alive once a year for the Hamilton Show and always welcomes travellers on their way to and from Tasmania's West Coast.

Hamilton is a 1-hr drive (74 km) north-west of Hobart.

Local tips

  • Visit Prospect Villa and Garden, with its early Georgian sandstone home and a garden consisting of a series of romantic garden 'rooms' abundantly planted and set in a classic design with long vistas through the garden to focal points and panoramic views
  • Look out for St Peter's Church, completed in 1837. The church has only one door to prevent the congregation, which in the early days was about 50 per cent convicts, from attempting to escape.