St Marys

St Marys
Small township nestled under the impressive St Patricks Head.
Located at the junction of the Tasman and Esk Highways, St Marys is located either 223 km or 216 km north-east from Hobart according to which route is chosen. It is a tiny town nestled under the impressive St Patrick's Head, the most prominent rocky outcrop in the district.

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 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.

It is a sad comment on the changing nature of rural industry that, at its peak, St Marys was surrounded 50 dairy farms and there were two cheese factories in the town. Today the area has been totally given over to wool and meat and there are no remaining dairy farms. The town has few attractions and its centre point is very clearly the large and gracious St Marys Hotel which stands at the crossroads. It was built in 1916.

Things to see:

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 Germantown 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 fields 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.

Coach House Restaurant
34 Main St
St Marys TAS 7215
Telephone: (03) 6372 2529

St Marys Hotel
Main St
St Marys TAS 7215
Telephone: (03) 6372 2181

Addlestone House B&B
19 Gray Rd
St Marys TAS 7215
Telephone: (03) 6372 2783
Facsimile: (03) 6372 2889
Email: addlestone@bigpond.com
Rating: ****1/2

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Seaview Farm Hostel
Germantown Rd
St Marys TAS 7215
Telephone: (03) 6372 2341

Mt Elephant Pancake Barn
Elephant Pass Rd
St Marys TAS 7215
Telephone: (03) 6372 2263

St Marys Coachouse Restaurant
34 Main St
St Marys TAS 7215
Telephone: (03) 6372 2529

St Marys Hotel
Main St
St Marys TAS 7215
Telephone: (03) 6372 2181

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