Baked, straw-coloured plains, hawthorn hedgerows, rows of poplars, roadside mansions… Tasmania’s Midlands have a distinct English-countryside feel. This is old-school Tasmania, tracing the route between Hobart and Launceston hammered out by convict gangs in the early 1800s. As the road rolled itself out, sandstone garrison towns and pastoral properties appeared: the Midlands soon became the food factory of Van Diemen's Land.
The current course of the Midland Hwy has strayed from its original path – a few meandering detours are required to explore the old towns here, with their Georgian main streets, antique shops and country pubs.
Not far to the west, the undertouristed Central Highlands feature subalpine moorlands and trout-filled lakes. Bounded to the south by the Derwent Valley with its sleepy farming towns, this landscape is quintessentially Tasmanian: wild, underpopulated and hauntingly Gothic.