Orford Accommodation, Hotels, Tours & Information

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Places nearby Orford


The holiday township of Orford lies at the mouth of the Prosser River at the end of Paradise Gorge on the east coast, just 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Hobart. The town has a population of 500 and is opposite Maria Island, making it a perfect base for exploring the island national park and its surrounding marine reserve. There are number of great swimming beaches close to the town, including Raspins, Shelley and Spring beach. The latter two are linked by an easy two kilometre coastal walk that takes in the 19th-century sandstone quarry that provided the hand-hewn stone used for Melbourne's General Post Office among other buildings. Orford is a popular fishing destination, with Prosser Bay, the Mercury Passage, and the clean ocean waters off Maria Island yielding a bounty of fresh seafood such as flathead, abalone and southern rock lobster (crayfish). In February 2007 an artificial reef and dive site was created from the scuttling of the ship the 590 tonne, 55 metre (181 foot) coastal trader, Troy D, in the Mercury Passage approximately one kilometre off Maria Island, to further bolster the area's reputation as a premier location for scuba diving. The first European in the Orford area was Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, in 1642, but it wasn't until 1825 that the township was permanently settled as a whaling station and local garrison supporting the penal settlement at Darlington on Maria Island. Today you can still see signs of Orford's convict history: as you drive along the banks of the Prosser River look out for the remains of the original convict road built between 1841 and 1855. Just past the bridge over the river a stone entry takes you to a 40-minute walk along the Old Convict Road. Despite its small size Orford is well serviced with two supermarkets, several cafes and eateries, a hotel and accommodation. 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.

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