27 August, 2020

Sheffield Tassie’s Top Tourism Town 2020 – Bronze winner

Sheffield took out the Bronze in Tassie's Top Tourism Towns for 2020 – Tassie towns that offer an amazing visitor experience.

Tassie’s Top Tourism Towns for 2020 revealed:

Gold – St Helens
Silver & Mercury Reader's Choice – Stanley
Bronze – Sheffield

Eleven finalists were shortlisted, you can find the full list here.

Find out why Sheffield is far from ordinary below.

"Beauty comes naturally for Sheffield. The streetscape is old-school quaint. Striking Mount Roland is the town’s wall hanging. Country roads lead in past curious letterboxes. Neighbours are the likes of Promised Land, Cradle Mountain and Paradise. Is there substance beneath the handsome good looks? For those who give this region time, the finds are far from ordinary.

Her fingers dance across the footpath piano keys. The un-tuned notes rise into Sheffield’s mountain air in a lively cacophony. Her crowd is no more than two locals. Her smile, however, radiates as if she’s performing for a sold-out stadium. Next, she’s upstaged by a fella striding onto the main street wearing a wartime parachute. I haven’t entered some live Tasmanian performance – this apparently is just an ordinary day. Having grown up just 30 minutes from this rural outpost, in a swift moment I fall madly for the town."

Main street at sunset (Image: Kelly Slater)
Main street at sunset (Image: Kelly Slater)

"As a local travel writer, I’ve spent years writing about Sheffield. I’ve noted the usuals time and again. It’s the town of murals. It’s the gateway to Cradle Mountain. Yet it wasn’t until I stopped still, listening to a visiting UK native’s wayward notes, that I realised this endearing town has it all. Charm. Community. Eccentricity. Ethereal nearby wilds. Even an oddball donning a parachute.

What is this humble town’s attraction? It’s that it doesn’t yell ‘tourist attraction.’ Yes, there are spectacular murals, giving rise to visitors descending for over 100 large-scale outdoor artworks. But this is countered by an authentic country town not re-designed for a passing buck. It has heart. Stores like Slater’s still wrap with nostalgic brown paper. Kids play in wide open spaces like it’s the olden days. Volunteers emerge as the proud heart of annual events like Steam Fest, Mural Fest, Medieval Fest and all manner of other fests."

Family at Dove Lake Cradle Mountain (Image: Tourism Tasmania)
Family at Dove Lake Cradle Mountain (Image: Tourism Tasmania)

"Visiting during Mural Fest, community spirit danced before me. A mother and daughter swept brush strokes across an increasingly vibrant canvas and another artist agreed to paint a family dog’s tail blue. Colour and creativity were rife. Murals came alive like that of a Sheffield boy who invented the world’s first coin-operated petrol pump, testament to Sheffield’s title of ‘Tasmania’s Outdoor Art Gallery.’

In these parts, a quick peek through a main street door can roll into hours. Like, who knew there existed a Contraptuary where for a few dollars you can enter a world of mechanical toys and oddities? A few steps further and there’s The Emporium with its rare vinyl records, old titles and surprisingly, a wartime parachute."

Wild Mersey Mountain Bike Trails Badgers Ranges overlooking Mount Roland and Sheffield (Image: Evolution RPA)
Wild Mersey Mountain Bike Trails Badgers Ranges overlooking Mount Roland and Sheffield (Image: Evolution RPA)

"That’s what happens scratching the surface of Sheffield – one unearths working artisans, artful tailors, homemade fudge, craft beer, fresh produce from nearby fields and upcycled furniture.

This is a place to be explored slowly. Kids with eyes only for iPads are diverted by quirky Wilmot letterboxes, and signposts for Paradise, No Where Else and Promised Land spell joyous diversion.

It’s where a platypus breaks the surface for that patient family who trade swift-pace for stillness atop Forth Falls. It’s where riders are delivered ‘flow’ on the Wild Mersey mountain bike trails. It’s where clouds lift 1234m above sea level over Mount Roland.

For travellers seeking the unordinary, this patch is Something Else."

Copy by Alice Hansen

Video supplied by TICT

St Helens Tassie’s Top Tourism Town 2020 – Gold winner

Find out why St Helens is the jewel in Tassie's north-east crown!
Find out more

Stanley Tassie’s Top Tourism Town 2020 – Silver winner

Discover more about Stanley’s wild spirit.
Find out more

Tassie's Top Tourism Town 2020 finalists

Find out who the other finalists were.
Find out more


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