St Marys - East Coast, Tasmania

St Marys is a small township nestled at the junction of the Tasman and Esk Highways on the East Coast of Tasmania just 10 kilometres (six miles) from the coast.

You can reach the town from the coast by crossing the mountains via St Marys Pass or Elephant Pass.

With a population of around 600 people the town offers a range of accommodation, a craft gallery, bakery, shops and supermarkets, and the St Marys Hotel, built in 1916, which dominates the town centre.

Nestled beneath the impressive rocky outcrop, St Patrick’s Head (694 metres/2,277 feet), St Marys is a 240 kilometre/149 mile drive north east of Hobart, via Swansea and Bicheno or 130 kilometres/80 miles east of Launceston.

The first European contact with the district occurred when Captain Tobias Furneaux sighted and named the 694 metre St Patrick's Head in 1773. The early settlement of Van Diemen's Land, which mostly occurred between Hobart and George Town, took little interest in the St Marys area.

It wasn't until the 1840s that a probation station, housing 300 convicts, was built at Grassy Bottom between the town and St Mary's Pass. They were assigned to build the road across the mountains to the east coast. This was done between 1843 and 1846.

The arrival of the railway in 1866 led to the town's increasing importance as a service centre. The Elephant Pass route was completed in 1888 and this resulted in goods moving across the mountains to the east coast settlements of Bicheno and Chain of Lagoons. In turn this resulted in a small increase in population as the town became a service centre for the surrounding dairy farms.

The railway line which was once so vital to the health of the town is now closed although the railway station still stands.

Things to see:

St Marys is close to many local attractions: you can try the challenging climb to the top of St Patrick’s Head, or the more accessible South Sister Peak, for stunning forest and coastal views, there are also spectacular views from Elephant Pass.

The Coalminers’ Heritage Wall and Heritage Walk at the tiny settlement of Cornwall is a monument to the miners who hand-tunnelled a coal mine beneath the Mt. Nicholas Range.

You can also visit nearby waterfalls, go fishing at Lake Leake or bushwalking in Douglas Apsley National Park.

St Patricks Head - Travel east from St Mary's and, as the road starts to rise, take the turn to the right up Irishtown Road. The road quickly becomes dirt. Follow the signs. It is a not an easy walk (there are places where metal cables and ladders are used to help the climber) but the view is spectacular and well worth the effort.

South Sister Peak - Take the German Town Road and turn left at the South Sister signpost. This is an easier lookout as the main vantagepoint is only a 10-15 minute walk from the car park.

Christ Church - A strange little church standing in the middle of field a few kilometres to the west of St Marys. The church was built in 1847 and was connected with the large property, 'Cullenswood', which was established in the late 1820s by Robert Vincent Legge who arrived in Van Diemen's Land in 1827. The main residence, 'Cullenswood', was built in 1845 and is located on Cornwall Road off the Esk Main Road. It is a two storey rubblestone Georgian building with a columned verandah and iron hipped roof. It is not open for inspection.

Things to do:

Gone Rustic Studio & Gallery - Gone Rustic is a lovely gallery with a range of mixed media, textile, crochet and other art works including fabrics, original drawings, photography, art prints and cards.

Telephone: 03 6372 2724 Location: Main Street, St Marys, Tasmania.

Website: www.gonerustic.com

Cranks and Tinkerers - This is a curious museum crammed full of interesting historical items, from cars to enamel ware, from local history to dinky toys, from books to old signs ... there's even an old Golden Fleece petrol pump.

Telephone: 03 6372 2724 Location: Main Street, St Marys, Tasmania.

Horse Riding - Mariton House Accommodation & Horse Riding offer horse riding for all ages and standards. There are a variety of trail rides available through the local bush including a very special ride to a secret cave complete with beautiful man ferns and over hanging sandstone.

Telephone: 03 6372 2059 Location: Irishtown Road, St Marys, Tasmania.

Website: www.maritonhouse.com

Strawberry Jelly - Strawberry Jelly is an interesting shop that stocks a wide range of handmade soaps, incense and hemp clothing.

Telephone: 03 6372 2684 Location: 42 Main Street, St Marys, Tasmania.

The weather on Tasmania’s East Coast is typically settled and warm, with an average maximum temperature of 22.5 degrees Celsius (72.5 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer and 10-15 degrees Celsius (50-75 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter

Help save the South Sister

The South Sister, near St Marys is a local icon, popular tourist destination, and recreation area for the locals BUT it is earmarked for logging. Many residents and past visitors to the area are very concerned that this will have devastating effects on the biodiversity of the area, the water supply of local residents (including St Marys), damage to eco-tourism and the local economy.

Save the South Sister website

Popular Contacts

Purple Possum Wholefoods & Cafe
03 6372 2655
www.purplepossum.com.au

Addlestone House B&B
03 6372 2783
www.addlestonehouse.com.au

Rainbow Retreat
03 6372 2168
www.rainbowretreat.com.au

Sea View Farm
03 6372 2341
www.seaviewfarm.com.au

St Marys Hotel
03 6372 2181
www.stmaryshotel.com.au

Mariton House Accommodation & Horse Riding
03 6372 2059
www.maritonhouse.com

St Marys Super Value Supermarket
03 6372 2240

Commonwealth Bank
03 6372 2268

St Marys Police Station
03 6372 1010

 

Wireless Internet

The Purple Possum Wholefoods & Cafe offers wireless internet access

ClickHotspots - Connect with us!

Caravan & Camping at St Marys

The St Marys Recreation Ground now offers public toilet and shower facilities and a drop point for portable toilets.

Located between Gray and Harefield Roads the Recreation Ground provides ample parking for Caravans and Campervans and also permits camping.

Caravan & Camping