Day fifteen and Derwent Cliffs State Reserve VKFF-1794

We were now over the half way mark of our holiday and it was day fifteen (Thursday 10th November 2022). Today we wee travelling from Hobart to Lake St Clair. We had spent six very enjoyable nights in Hobart.

Above:- Map showing our route from Hobart to Lake St Clair. Map c/o Google maps.

We headed north west out of Hobart on the Lyell Highway which takes its name from Mount Lyell where copper was found during the late 1800s. Mount Lyell was named by Tasmania’s first Geological Surveyor Charles Gould in 1863 in honour of geologist Charles Lyell.

Above:- Charles Lyell. Image c/o Wikipedia.

It wasn’t long before we reached the little town of New Norfolk, about 32 km north west of Hobart. When the Norfolk Island settlement was closed, 554 folk resettled in other parts of the colony of Australia. A total of 163 of those were settled around the current town of New Norfolk between November 1807 and October 1808. In 1825 the original name of the town, Elizabeth Town, was changed to New Norfolk to honour their former home of Norfolk Island.

Our first stop was Willow Court, Tasmania’s oldest continually run asylum on the same site. Willow Court opened in 1827 and closed in 2001. It was named ‘Willow Court’ due to Lady Franklin planting a willow in the courtyard. It was originally established as a despot for sick and inform convicts.

We then visited the Peter Hudson memorial in Arthur Square, New Norfolk. Peter John Hudson was born in 1946 in New Norfolk. He is a former Australian Rules footballer who played for the Hawthorn Football Club, the New Norfolk Football Club, and Glenorchy Football Club. He is a legend in the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

We then visited Tasmania’s oldest church, the Anglican Church of St Matthew in Bathurst Street opposite Arthur Square. The church was built in 1823 and was consecrated in 1828 by Archdeacon Scott from Sydney. The church has been significantly modified over the years. All that remains of the original church are the walls and flagged floor of the nave and part of the western transept.

Our next stop was the Bush Inn, one of the oldest hotels in Australia, and believed to be the oldest continuously operating hotels in Australia. It was built in 1825.

In April 1825 the Hobart Town Gazette and Van Dieman’s Land Advertiser reported that”‘a widow lady named Bridger has just now completed a very commodious two-storey house of public entertainment, which is deservedly well frequented”

In October 1825 Ann Bridger received a licence to sell spirits, wine and beer at the Bush Inn, New Norfolk.

Above:- Extract from an article in the Hobart Town Gazette and Van Dieman’s Land Advertiser, Fri 22 Apr 1825. Image c/o Trove.

Unfortunately the pub was closed otherwise we would have ventured inside for a drink.

Above:- The Bush Inn, 1834. Image c/o Trove

We then drove out to the old Methodist church on Lawitta Road, Magra, not far from New Norfolk. We wanted to visit the grave of reputedly the first white woman to set foot on Australia.

Elizabeth Thackery (b.1765. d. 1856) was a native of Manchester, Lancashire in English. At age 20, she was tried and convicted in May 1786 for the theft of five handkerchiefs valued at one shilling. She was sentenced to seven years transportation to the colony of Australia. Thackery is the last-known female survivor of the First Fleet, and she is also is reputed to have been the first ashore at Botany Bay upon her arrival aboard the Friendship on the 26th day of January 1788.

Prior to leaving for Australia Thackery spent a year as a prisoner aboard the prison hulk Dunkirk. She was then transported to Australia board the Friendship where it was reported that she was placed in irons on numerous occasions during the voyage.

She received 25 lashes in July 1791 following her arrival in Australia for “coming in from her settlement without permission”.

Thackery subsequently ventured to Van Dieman’s Land where she married and settled in the Dwerwent Valley. She died on August 1856 at the rope old age of 93 and was buried at the Methodist church cemetery at Magra.

We then drove up to the Pulpit Rock lookout. Initially as we parked the car we did not think there was going to be much of a view. But after a short walk we were rewarded with some brilliant views of New Norfolk, the Derwent River, and the surrounding countryside.

We then decided to do a park activation and headed to the Derwent Cliffs State Reserve VKFF-1794, which is located at New Norfolk.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Derwent Cliffs State Reserve. Map c/o Google maps.

The Derwent Cliffs State Reserve is 3.72 hectares in size and is located on the southern side of the Derwent River. You can get some very good views of the park from the Pulpit Rock lookout.

There was quite a bit of birdlife in the park during our visit, including both native species and introduced species such as Blackbirds.

There was no where to drive into this park. We parked at Tynwald Oval and walked along the walkway adjacent to the Derwent River until we entered the park.

Above:- An aerial view of the park showing our operating spot. Image c/o Google Earth.

We found band conditions to be extremely challenging during this activation and we sturggled ober the line to get 10 contacts to qualify the park for the VKFF program.

Marija made the following QSOs on 40m SSB before the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK2HQ/p (Brundee Swamp Nature Reserve VKFF-2547)
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK3ZSC
  5. VK3UAO

Marija made the following QSOs on 40m SSB after the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK3UAO
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK3BEL
  4. VK2MET
  5. VK1AO

I made the following QSOs on 40m SSB before the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK2HQ/p (Brundee Swamp Nature Reserve VKFF-2547)
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK3SQ
  4. VK3ZSC
  5. VK5BJE
  6. VK3UAO

I made the following QSOS on 40m SSB after the UTC rollover:-

  1. VK3UAO
  2. VK3PF
  3. VK3BEL
  4. VK3NCR
  5. VK2MET
  6. VK1AO


  1. New Norfolk, 2023, <>, viewed 2nd December 2023.
  2. Wikipedia, 2023, <>, viewed 2nd Janury 2023.
  3. Wikipedia, 2023, <>, viewed 2nd January 2023.
  4. Wikipedia, 2023, <>, viewed 2nd January 2023.
  5. Wikipedia, 2023, <>, viewed 2nd January 2023.
  6. Wikipedia, 2023, <,_Tasmania>, viewed 2nd January 2023.
  7. Willow Court History Group, 2023, <>, viewed 2nd January 2023.

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