Sheffield, in the foothills of majestic Mount Roland, is the gateway to Cradle Mountain and a friendly, quirky rural town where history and art merge to create an entire town of murals.
Once a centre for industry, the town has reinvented itself as an arts community. Featuring more than 140 murals, Sheffield is Tasmania's own outdoor art gallery and art abounds all around with several galleries, studios and museums to visit. The murals trace the history of the area and feature Cradle Mountain pioneer Gustav Weindorfer, Tasmanian Tigers, and pictorial representations of characters and stories of the past. Mural Park, in Sheffield, is home to the annual International Mural Fest painting competition, with artists participating in a paint-off over six and a half days.
Nearby in the small hamlet of Promised Land you'll find Roland Manor and Tasmazia and the Village of Lower Crackpot, one of the world's largest maze complexes with eight mazes, a model village, Embassy Gardens, pancake parlour and gift shop.
Sheffield is also home to SteamFest, a three day celebration of all things steam.
Casual drives throughout the area will reward with stunning views of striking Mount Roland and a host of quirky named towns, each with a unique personality and expressed through topiary or unusual letterboxes.
Also nearby is an international rowing course at beautiful Lake Barrington and Devils Gate Dam, a great place for a picnic using the fresh, and deliciously tasty, locally produced food, beer, wines and cider.
Sheffield is a 30-min drive (30 km) from Devonport. LOCAL TIPS Visit the Kentish Museum, featuring displays of the Mersey-Forth hydro-electric scheme and the world's first self-serve petrol pump Don't miss miss the Taste of the North West showcasing regional food, beer, wine and cider at its best For a step back in time there’s the Tasmanian Medieval Festival with its jousting knights and trebuchet.
CRADLE MOUNTAIN–LAKE ST CLAIR NATIONAL PARK
Cradle Mountain–Lake St Clair National Park, with its ancient rainforests and alpine heaths, is home to the world-famous Overland Track and iconic Cradle Mountain. Part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, the park is one of the state's most special places, where ancient pines fringe glacial lakes and icy streams cascade down rugged mountains.
The vegetation is rich and diverse including grassland, rainforest and many ancient plants such as the long-lived and endemic King Billy pine and the unusual native deciduous beech. The park also provides a rich habitat for wildlife, including Tasmanian devils, quolls, platypus, echidna and several bird species.
Dramatic Cradle Mountain is the rugged jewel of the park and can be seen from Dove Lake on a day visit. Take the two-hour walk around the lake or spend the day tackling Cradle Mountain's summit.
There are also a variety of shorter walks that pass through beautiful old-growth rainforest.