A fresh influx of people is aiming to transform this historic town.

Story + Photos Don Fuchs

Ross is a 10am–4pm township. In the early morning, the elm-lined main street is quiet. Come four in the afternoon, it empties again. In between, scores of day visitors swarm Tasmania’s finest heritage village, proclaimed in 1821. They come to stroll along Church Street, shaded by age-old elm trees and lined with cottages, to buy refreshments in one of the two bakeries, to enjoy an authentic village full of old-world charm. They venture across the intersection with Bridge Street, where a pub, the Catholic Church, the war memorial and the town hall form a village centre of sorts. Just a few minutes from here is the famous sandstone bridge, completed in 1836, over the reed and willow-lined Macquarie River. After they’ve savoured this transported-back-in-time experience they vanish again.

“It’s a transit lounge really,” laughs Debra Cadogan-Cowper. She manages the Tasmanian Wool Centre, another of the village’s major attractions. 

“We’ve got a grand plan,” she says. “We’d like to have a stonemasonry college here, because of the bridge, the carvings, the stone quarry. That would make a good attraction for people to come and see people working, and they could offer masterclasses for people who need to know how to do monumental carving.” 

This story excerpt is from Issue #139

Outback Magazine: October/November 2021