Going on a Tasmanian trip and want to know all the best things to do in Ross, Tasmania? We have you covered! Below you will find our guide to all the best Ross Tasmania attractions to plan your ultimate trip whether you plan to stay overnight in Ross or are just stopping on your way up or down the Midlands Highway.
About halfway between Hobart and Launceston is Ross – a small, unassuming town just off the Midlands Highway. There are several attractions that draw visitors here, and upon visiting you’ll find this unassuming town offers more than its small size might suggest.
This is a quaint town with a 19th century charm which takes pride in its colonial past. An interesting history combines with pretty streets and a collection of heritage buildings and important museums to make this a place worth visiting.
Ross is my favourite place to stop on the route between Hobart and Launceston. Simply walking the streets is a pleasure – this has to be the cleanest towns in the state (with an abundance of bins!). Elm-lined streets and well cared for buildings result in an attractive and picturesque town, and I always feel refreshed after stopping here.
Below, you will find our full guide to Ross, Tasmania including all the best places to visit in Ross, how to get here, the best Ross Tasmania accommodation options, a map of all the top places and more. Let’s start!
- 1 An Introduction To Ross, Tasmania, Australia
- 2 Top 8 Thing To Do In Ross, Tasmania
- 3 What To Do In Ross Tasmania Map
- 4 Ross Accommodation Tasmania
- 5 How To Get To Ross
- 6 Ross With Kids
- 7 Final Words
An Introduction To Ross, Tasmania, Australia
Ross was originally established in 1812 as an ideal post between the larger settlements of Hobart and Launceston.
The central location of the land, the river and the flat landscape made Ross in Tasmania an attractive settlement prospect, and from its earliest days. the town had a military presence, originally serving the purpose of protecting travellers from bushrangers which operated in the surrounding area.
Ross was soon to become an important town and the centre of Tasmania’s wool industry, valued for its excellent quality. The government established a large farm and the Midlands’ first agricultural show was hosted here.
Today, Ross village Tasmania is valued for many of its colonial attractions including being the site of an important convict Female Factory, having one the oldest bridges in Australia, its history in wool production and for still serving the purpose of being a stop between Hobart and Launceston, as it did so many years ago.
Ross is easy to explore on foot. It’s a small town with attractions located close together. It’s also a great spot to stop for lunch, either at one of the many picnic tables or one of the few local cafes. The town can easily be explored in 1 – 2 hours, but it also makes a nice spot to stay overnight if you want to take your time.
Top 8 Thing To Do In Ross, Tasmania
Here are the best things to do in Ross town Tasmania…
Ross Bridge Tasmania
Ross Tasmania bridge is the spot to start your visit. The third oldest bridge still in use in Australia (all three being located in Tasmania), this bridge is a stunning example of fine stonemasonry and convict labour. It’s an important piece of history.
Prior to the bridge being constructed, the river was crossed by structures of stone, wood and clay which was unsuitable when the river flooded. This attractive sandstone bridge took 5 years to build. Slow to start, work eventually hurried along when two convict stonemasons were contracted to finish the bridge – and earn their freedom by doing so!
A closer look at the bridge reveals some beautifully intricate designs – there are 186 in total comprising of birds, plants, people and Celtic inspired designs resulting in a pretty and important piece of history.
This is also a lovely spot for a picnic with the best picnic tables in town located near the bridge.
Four Corners Of Ross
The Four Corners of Ross is a very pretty spot in town with a purpose – contemplation!
Each corner represents a direction your soul can be lead. Temptation is found at the Ross Hotel, salvation is found at the Catholic Church, re-creation at the Town Hall and damnation at the gaol.
This is more a symbolic attraction than anything but an interesting spot and a pretty one at that 🙂
In the centre of the road is also a war memory in memory of men lost in WWI.
Ross Female Factory
A 5 minute walk from the Four Corners of Ross just outside the town centre is the Ross Female Factory.
While it might seem underwhelming at first, this is actually one of the most intact female convict sites in Australia with extensive ground excavations revealing a significant history.
The site was originally purposed to house convicts working on the Ross Bridge, but came to house female convicts and sometimes their children. During this period, the site was extended to have a chapel, nursey, hospital, solitary confinement cells and more. Women were taught skills like sewing and were eventually relocated to households and other sites.
The area is mostly an open expanse of grass with information boards signifying what purpose each area once served and the buildings that were there. There’s also a small museum in an existing cottage with lots of information.
Free to visit, this is a site worth visiting in remembrance of the tough lives these women endured.
Tasmanian Wool Centre
One of the top attractions in town is the Tasmanian Wool Centre. This is a spot where you can learn about Tasmanian wool, purchase some quality Australian wool in the craft shop, among other things, and learn about Ross’ history.
Open from 10am – 4pm daily, the Tasmanian Wool Centre features both a Wool Exhibition gallery with a re-creation of a shearing shed and an adjoining Heritage Exhibition gallery with information on Ross’ past including the bridge and Female Factory listed above.
The most popular area is the shop, and if you’re looking to purchase wool during your visit, this is where you’ll want to go.
The visitors centre is also located here to get some further information on exploring the town.
St John’s Anglican Church
St John’s Anglican Church is one of three churches in town and the only Anglican church.
It was built in 1868 to replace an old Anglican church which started to break down and much of its sandstone came from the previous church.
It is now a deconsecrated church but you can still take a look around. There are some beautiful stain glass windows and it was also considered one of the best in Tasmania at one point in time.
The Uniting Church
Another church to see in Ross is the Uniting Church. Built in 1885 this church sits on an attractive hilltop position and is another sandstone built church with some stunningly intricate craftmanship inside.
I love seeing a church and appreciating the work and skill that goes into building them. The church is still open for worship and all the better if you can go inside.
Ross Cemetery Tasmania
Across the road from the Female Factory is the main cemetery in Ross.
The area has a collection of different burial sites including the Catholic Cemetery, Anglican Cemetery and the Old Ross Burial Ground with the oldest plot (which is legible) dating from 1834.
It’s worth looking at some of the old headstones here. Some are unreadable due to decay but others are legible. A good spot for contemplation in recognition of the lives of people who have lived in this small village.
Ross Bakery Tasmania
The best Ross Tasmania food is found is found at the Ross Tasmania bakery!
This original old fashioned bakery opened in 1860 and is still baking today in a traditional and original wood fire oven.
They serve pies, pastries, cakes, bread, coffee and more.
I recommend a vanilla slice – one of their top sellers – with a coffee or a scallop pie – a Tasmanian speciality and super delicious!
The Ross village bakery Tasmania is also licensed if you’re after a drink with lunch.
What To Do In Ross Tasmania Map
The following Ross Tasmania map shows the location of all the things to do in Ross as well as the best accommodation Ross Tasmania offers.
Ross Accommodation Tasmania
While many people visit Ross for a few hours on their way between Hobart and Launceston, it is a gorgeous town which is worth a night or two if you can spare it.
There are some good accommodation in Ross Tasmania options which we share below. Note that Ross is a small town and there are no big hotel options.
Located just opposite the Ross Bakery is the Colonial Cottages Of Ross. This is a charming collection of convict built cottages with multiple accommodation options.
You can choose from one, two, three or four bedroom cottages to suit larger groups. Each cottage includes a kitchenette and private laundry, as well as a sitting area with a flat screen TV and DVD player and a cosy fireplace.
Free WiFi is included (with mixed reviews) and a lovely garden. All attractions are within walking distance.
These cottages are decorated to match the charm of yesteryear and make for a very cosy stay.
B & B – Ross Motel Tasmania Review
Ross Motel offers clean, comfortable and contemporary style accommodation in their Georgian style motel.
This bed and breakfast includes a continental breakfast. Each room is equipped with a microwave, tea and coffee facilities, TV, outdoor sitting area and more. Electric blankets also make for a comfortable stay in the cooler months
Family rooms are available for groups of up to 6 as well as twin and double rooms.
Free WiFi is available as well as onsite laundry facilities. There’s also lovely gardens to stroll through with well kept lawns and pretty flower beds.
CARAVAN PARK- Ross Caravan Park Tasmania Review
Ross Tasmania Caravan Park is located just behind the main street with all main attractions within walking distance.
They offer heritage cabins as well as powered and unpowered caravan sites. The heritage cabins have kitchenettes with microwaves, a sitting area and tea and coffee facilities. Some have double beds and foldaway beds, with the largest offering two double beds. Prices vary depending on the number of guests.
Facilities are basic but clean and comfortable. Onsite there’s BBQ facilities and a coin operates laundry as well as showers and toilets.
The setting is the best part being beside the pretty Macquarie River.
How To Get To Ross
Ross is located just off the Midlands Highway which is the main highway that connects Hobart to Launceston and vice versa.
From Launceston, Ross is just under an hour drive heading south. From Hobart, it takes about an hour and 20 minutes to reach Ross heading north.
It’s also possible to get a bus to Ross. Redline operates bus routes with stops between Hobart and Ross and Launceston and Ross. There are a couple of services each day but they aren’t super regular so plan ahead.
Ross With Kids
Being such a small town makes Ross super easy to explore with kids. Having said that, there isn’t a lot for kids to do here but since everything is located close together and the whole town can easily be explored in a couple of hours, there’s enough to keep them occupied.
If you’re looking to have lunch then Ross Tasmania restaurants are limited but in addition to the main bakery, the Ross pub Tasmania has kids options and there is another bakery, café and ice cream shop. However we recommend the bakery or a family picnic by the bridge!
Many people simply pass by Ross when they’re driving to Hobart or Launceston, but I highly recommend stopping and seeing this pretty little town! The historic buildings and quaint streets give offer a unique and almost homely feeling on what can otherwise be a fairly uneventful drive. It’s one of my favourite spots in Tasmania.
A couple of hours is more than enough to explore its attractions but if you have the chance to stay here then I recommend it – there’s few feelings as rejuvenating as waking up in the morning to a calm and welcoming village 🙂
Looking for more things to do in the Midlands area of Tasmania? Read all our favourite stops between Hobart and Launceston here and consider visiting Evandale here or Longford here. You can also find all our guides to this part of Tasmania here.