09 December, 2020

Step back in time along Tasmania’s antique trail

Heritage isn’t just for visiting and admiring thanks to these Tasmanian antique stores dedicated to the past.

Whether you have an insatiable desire for antiques and collectibles or are simply looking for a few vintage and retro pieces to perfect your home, Tassie is a great place to shop.

New Norfolk

Tasmania’s unofficial antique epicentre, New Norfolk is a town where lovers of old wares can easily while away an entire day. There are several antique stores, as well as purveyors of vintage (including fashion), upcycled delights and bric-a-brac. The most distinctive antique shop is Drill Hall Emporium, a former army building artfully arranged with decorative and practical items, including copper pots and garden urns. There’s also two offshoots of this mother-and-daughters business two minutes’ walk away: Flywheel is a vintage office, stationery and letterpress studio, where browsing beautiful things inspired by the past, from journals to wax seals, might lead to a custom printing order, and Miss Arthur a home goods store that celebrates craftsmanship, unfussy design, and functionality. Gathering together a collection of handcrafted and traditional products from all around the world that bring quality and satisfaction to everyday rituals. 

Other shops that will make you want to linger in New Norfolk include the big Ring Road Antique Centre and Willow Court Antique Centre.

Flywheel (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne)
Flywheel (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne)


It’s Tasmania's largest city, and one of Australia’s oldest towns, so of course Hobart is also a top spot to stop on an antique-hunting itinerary. If you’re into 20th century style, don’t miss Antiques to Retro’s furniture, homewares, art and fashion. This is where Mad Men-inspired design dreams come true.


Antiques to Retro (Image: Antiques to Retro)
Antiques to Retro (Image: Antiques to Retro)


Australia’s third-oldest city has several antique stores, but for old clocks and watches there’s nowhere better in Tasmania than Clockwise. From grandfather clocks and cuckoo clocks to pocket watches and wrist watches, this shop has a timepiece for every old-fashioned taste and requirement. Proprietor Graham Mulligan also does repairs and restorations, and makes unique custom clocks inspired by times past.


A picture-perfect village blessed with colonial architecture – including that iconic 1820s stone bridge – Richmond also caters to its history-buff visitors seeking retail therapy. Shops with timeless taste include charming homewares and gift store Lafayette on Bridge, and Warwick Oakman Antiques, which specialises in high quality 18th and 19th century treasures from Australia and England. A third-generation antique dealer, Warwick Oakman really knows his stuff, even advising the likes of the National Trust and Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. So be prepared for temptation among his exquisite offerings, which at any given time might include colonial paintings, Wedgwood porcelain and Chippendale armchairs.

The Drill Hall Emporium (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne)
The Drill Hall Emporium (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne)


If there’s still space in your car before heading home, allow an hour or three to explore The Antique Emporium. Just a few minutes’ drive from Spirit of Tasmania’s Devonport home, its four levels and 1,800 square metres host 40 dealers in antiques, vintage, retro and collectables. From tools and kitchen utensils to toys, books, furniture and ephemera, there’s something that every member of your time-travelling team will want as a souvenir.

Willoe Court Antique Centre (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy)
Willoe Court Antique Centre (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy)

Try your luck at a tip shop

There are dozens of antique stores dotted around Tasmania, but if you’re looking for bargains make a beeline for the tip shops. These popular second-hand stores attached to municipal landfill sites started right here in the island state. The Recovery Centre in suburban Hobart, is Australia’s original tip shop, having opened 25 years ago. Among all sorts of items diverted from landfill, including appliances, furniture and building materials, you might find vintage or even antique gems at rock-bottom prices.

The Drill Hall Emporium (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy)
The Drill Hall Emporium (Image: Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy)


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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