Bushy Park

Bushy Park
The hop capital of Tasmania and a fascinating historic destination
In the minds of mainlanders, Tasmania is associated with two fruits - apples and hops. Bushy Park is the hop capital of Tasmania. This delightful, rambling little village located 58 km from Hobart on the B62 is like no other town in Australia. It is a real piece of Europe. A town of old houses, deciduous trees, moral fervour, and hopfields which seem to envelop every building and road.

The image that remains forever in the visitors mind is that of tall wooden and metal frames holding up the hop vines and of neat and unusually shaped oast houses scattered in the fields away from the road.

The first person to settle in the dramatically named Styx valley was A.W.H. Humphrey who arrived in the area as early as 1812. The tiny settlement which grew up at this time was named Humphreyville but this was later changed to Bushy Park.

In 1822 William Shoobridge arrived in Van Diemen's Land with some hops. He is credited with being the first person to grow hops in Tasmania although there are other claims. In 1867 William Shoobridge's son, Ebenezer, came to the Styx valley and began growing and processing hops. He was, by any definition, a remarkable man who, with a combination of religious zeal and hard nosed capitalism, managed to make Bushy Park the largest producer of hops in both Australia and, that dubious accolade, the Southern Hemisphere.

Things to see:

Text Kiln
In the middle of a field of hops (it is a white building and can be reached down a lane marked 'Farm' which is near the village Post Office - it is on private property) is the famous 'Text Kiln' constructed by, as the inscription on the wall proudly declares, 'E. Shoobridge, J.P'. It was completed in 1867.

Shoobridge, who was helped by his wife, three sons and five daughters, was committed to the motto 'Union is Strength' and believed that the words of The Bible would inspire his workers.

On the walls of the 'Text Kiln' are quotations like 'And these words that I command thee this day shall be in thine heart and thy shall write them on the posts of thine house and on thine gate'.

Appropriately in the middle of the building is the sign 'God is Love' and on the far side is 'God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life'.

Hawthorn Lodge
Around the corner from the Bushy Park Post Office is Hawthorn Lodge (1869), the original home of Robert Shoobridge (son of Ebenezer) and his family. It has been turned into a guest house. The pleasant gardens, with a hundred year old magnolia and a huge cherry tree, makes it a remarkably attractive dwelling.


The Water Race
Behind the town is a 3 km water race (built by William Shoobridge - son of Ebenezer) which takes water from a dam on the Styx River and runs it to the Oast House. The water was used to drive a huge waterwheel which generated electricity to dry the hops. It is claimed that Bushy Park had electricity before Hobart.

Hawthorn Lodge Bed & Breakfast
Glenora Rd
Bushy Park TAS 7140
Telephone: (03) 6286 1311
Facsimile: (03) 6286 2001
Rating: ****

Bushy Park Roadhouse
Main St
Bushy Park TAS 7140
Telephone: (03) 6286 1254