Colonial charm in historic masterpiece

by Grantlee Kieza 29th of June, 2022

Colonial charm in historic masterpiece
Woodbridge, Tasmania

Tasmania has a rich and fascinating history, and one of the crown jewels in its colonial accommodation realm has come on the market at a bargain price.

“Woodbridge” in the Derwent Valley at New Norfolk, 32 kilometres north-west of Hobart, is widely considered one of Australia's premier heritage properties.

The convict built, lovingly-restored 1825 Georgian riverfront mansion was converted to a fully accredited five-star boutique hotel in 2005 and provides the very finest in luxury accommodation on the island state.

Woodbridge, Tasmania
Woodbridge, Tasmania


The freehold and business is open for offers around $4.2 million.

Located at the stunning gateway to major Derwent Valley tourist attractions, Woodbridge offers nine unique ensuite rooms, The Pavilion dining room, The Salon, Lewis Reading Room, The Ballroom, two commercial kitchens, function facilities and on-site parking.

The property also comes with a manager's apartment and an amenities block with a sauna and hot tub.

The site area is 2706 square metres of lush gardens and lawns plus a Crown Land Licence of 1087 square metres.

Woodbridge, Tasmania
Woodbridge, Tasmania


There is also a pontoon for sea planes and boats.

John Blacklow, from Knight Frank, said Woodbridge comprised more than 1000 square metres of building and was one of the first and best mansions built in Tasmania.

“The owners renovated it entirely after the almost 200-year-old building was left in ruins,” Mr Blacklow said.

“They spent a fortune turning it a top-class, five-star boutique hotel. Nothing has to be done to it. It’s superb.”

Woodbridge, Tasmania
Woodbridge, Tasmania


Mr Blacklow said there was also “a great deal of upside” to the property as room rates were currently $600-$900 per night with a two-night minimum because the owners only wanted a few guests at a time.

“That’s their choice to limit occupancy, but a lower rate would encourage much greater occupancy,” he said.

“All the rooms are different but they are all in heritage style and beautifully appointed.”

Woodbridge, Tasmania
Woodbridge, Tasmania


Woodbridge takes its name from William Sharland’s wooden bridge, the first across the Derwent. The original tollhouse still stands today.

The restoration of the property started in 2003 and won the 2005 Tasmanian Restoration of the Year Award, and the 2006 Australian Restoration of the Year Award. The building is unique in that it was built in the prevailing simple Georgian style, but it has an octagonal three storey central tower, reminiscent of French chateau.

While New Norfolk is a modern Australian regional centre of 6000 people, Woodbridge is surrounded by captivating pioneer heritage, and the area has grown into a centre for quality antiques. New Norfolk is also home to Tasmania's oldest Anglican church, St Matthews, built in 1823, one of Australia's oldest hotels, The Bush Inn, built in 1815, and one of the country’s few traditional village squares.

The town is Tasmania’s third-oldest settlement, founded by evacuees relocated after the temporary closure of the Norfolk Island prison camp, most arriving in 1807-08.

Many of the new settlers were “First Fleeters”, who had been transferred from the first settlement of Sydney Cove in 1788 to Norfolk Island. Ten First Fleeters are buried in the Methodist Chapel at Lawitta, New Norfolk, including Betty King, née Elizabeth Thackery, a First Fleet convict girl who married a marine at New Norfolk on 28 January 1810. The headstone on her well-tended grave reads, "The first white woman to set foot in Australia".

She was also believed to be the last surviving First Fleeter, male or female, when she died at 89 years of age on 7 August 1856.

Find the business listing details HERE

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