I'm a redheaded mama with four lovely daughters. We're based in southern Australia and travel in a small, colourful housebus — meeting inspiring people, learning lots and re-thinking everything. I feel passionately about spirituality, good design, alternative education, discussing death and conscious parenting.
Oatlands' landmark is Callington Mill, a restored windmill that uses wind power to grind grains into flour.
On the way to the windmill, we're attracted to this small but strange sort of playground.
An old tree trunk has been carved into something more ... Tolkienesque?
Other carved animals sit on the ground, acting as stepping stones for children who want to move to the more traditional play equipment.
We peer into a shed with all sorts of interesting machinery and try to work out their uses.
I love seeing the timber shingles on old buildings. Tasmania doesn't have termites like Australia's mainland, so timber construction lasts a lot longer here.
A chair and a quarried block sit abandoned under a huge maple tree. With relics like these, we try to imagine what/who brought them to these resting places.
The mill precinct includes restored homes, the granary, the bakery and the stables.
We suit-up appropriately for our mill tour. We all wore snoods and the girls were asked to put on shoes.
Before we go in, Sam the miller pokes his head out to play with the chain and pulley.
We tour the five levels of the windmill but have to leave the camera outside. Flour is explosive, and anything electronic that can cause a spark is forbidden inside.
The mill tour was a fascinating insight into how a windmill works. The Callington Mill is possibly the only working windmill in the Southern Hemisphere, and it’s been a labour of love to restore it to working condition after it spent over a hundred years as a burnt-out shell.
A plexi-glass model provides a clear diagram of the windmill's levels.
After having just watched the wind-powered millstones in action, Aisha grinds her own flour with a bit of muscle.
Flour from Callington Mill is sold in the Visitor's Centre and local shops.
Chisel marks are clearly visible in the sandstone blocks that were quarried from around the lake we've been staying next to.
Adjacent to the modern toilet facility, a drop-hole shows what toilets were like 150 years ago.
The garden next to Callington Mill contains a beautifully laid-out formal herb garden.
Delaney climbs up the dry stone sculpture in the Mill's parterre garden. Thankfully, it was erected by master craftsman Geoff Duggan and can withstand small children.
It’s not just the mill precinct that is restored and immaculately maintained. From a stroll around town, it seems that all the locals take pride in their unique heritage and work hard to maintain the beauty of the sandstone buildings and their gardens.
I catch a glimpse of ceramic jug through the window of a restored house.
Flower gardens bloom on the other side of rock walls.
These dry walls are everywhere in the town, and their preservation adds to the town's heritage atmosphere.
Much of Oatland's construction happened in the 1830s.
B&Bs have opened in the heritage buildings, like this one on High Street.
Shops and banks also occupy sandstone buildings almost 200 years old.
Even the driveway of a private residence matches the town's sandstone scenery!
Relics from previous generations remind us of old technology.
Each of the houses could tell us a story, and the council has produced brochures which detail a lot of this fascinating district's personal history.
I think it’s the combination of heritage sandstone and fresh flowers that has made me fall in love with Oatlands. Thankfully it’s conveniently located on the highway between Launceston and Hobart, so we should stop by this town another time. I’d like to wander more of the streets, photograph some of the out-of-the-way sights and read more of the local history. Somehow I’m feeling like we don’t have enough time in Tasmania to do it justice — it’s all so special!