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The pretty riverside village of Ross was built by convict labour in the early 1800s and has been so well preserved that visitors can still enjoy a genuine piece of history today.

Ross is arguably the finest nineteenth century village in Australia. Cobble-style paths and grand old elm trees line the main street, while the Ross Bridge, Australia's third oldest bridge still standing, is possibly the most beautiful of its kind left in the world.

The detail of its 186 carvings by convict stonemasons was deemed of such high quality that it won the men a free pardon.

The former Ross Female Factory also shares a fascinating chapter in the Ross story, creatively interpreting the experiences of convict women in the early days of Tasmanian settlement. (There's another female factory in Hobart.)

The main crossroads in Ross are amusingly said to represent "Temptation" (Man O'Ross Hotel), "Recreation" (Town Hall), "Salvation" (Catholic Church) and "Damnation" (the former jail, now a private residence).

Enjoy a rest by the river and fall for the charms of this convict-built stone village.

Ross is about a 1-hr drive (78 km) south from Launceston and a 1 hr 30-min drive (121 km) north from Hobart.

Local tips

  • Visit the Ross Bakery, with its original semi-scotch brick wood-fired oven, operating on the site for more than a century, and with the capacity to bake more than 300 loaves of bread
  • Look for bargains in the antique shops