Ratho Farm is a scenic 1 hour drive north of Hobart, on the edge of Bothwell village in Tasmania’s central highlands.
Settled by a boatload of Scottish pioneers in 1822, Bothwell and the surrounding Clyde River Valley was one of Australia’s earliest inland settlements. It is 20 minutes off the Heritage Highway, 45 minutes from MONA, 90 minutes from Launceston, and 2 hours from Devonport.
Much of Bothwell’s tranquillity stems from the fact it is not on any of the major highways, but the village is very near to the centre of Tasmania, not far from any of the major centres, and as such; all roads lead to Bothwell!
The most spectacular route to Bothwell is from Deloraine, over the Highland Lakes Road alongside the Great Lake. This drive features 20 minutes of intermittent gravel road, and many well interpreted short walks including Liffey Falls (5 minute detour drive, and 25 minute return walk), Little Pine Lake (25minute return walk) and Precipitous Bluff (2hrs return walk).
The most direct route from Hobart takes 1 hour and is via the Heritage Highway, turning left about 40 minutes north of the Hobart CBD (just past Kempton) at Melton Mowbray. From there it is a further 20 minutes.
However the most scenic route is via the Derwent Valley along the Lyell Highway through New Norfolk and turning right to Bothwell at either Gretna (a gravel road) or Hamilton.
The most direct and scenic route to Bothwell from Launceston (95 minutes), is through Longford, past Poatina and up over the Great Western Tiers. This route offers a spectacular outlook back across the northern midlands to Launceston and Ben Lomond, and several views of the Great Lake and Arthur’s Lake. However, even though this entire route is a sealed road, if you can see snow on the mountains when you come out of Launceston, and you are not experienced in wet weather driving, then you are best to travel via the Heritage Highway and turn right at Melton Mowbray.
Travelling through the Heritage Highway takes a little longer (2 hours) and is not as scenic, but there are more villages and attractions to visit on the way. As well as historic Ross, be sure to detour through the sandstone streetscape and cafés of Oatlands.