Oatlands and Ross on the Heritage Highway

Travelling the Heritage Highway we stopped at Oatlands and Ross and had long walks in both.


Nice historic town with lots of sandstone buildings. Also, the home of the real estate office in the TV show ‘Rosehaven’. A bit of Sparrow research revealed that they use buildings in multiple towns to put together the fictitious town Rosehaven. I’m no expert in making movies, but dog logic suggests they could save a lot of time and diesel by using several venues in one town.

According to the Sparrow phone, Oatlands is roughly halfway between Hobart and Launceston and was developed as a military post about 1820, for the management of convict labour. It was also a base for the little talked about ‘war against the Aboriginal people’. There are a lot of sandstone buildings, many of which were built with convict labour. Why doesn’t Wikipedia mention the dogs who lived in the towns?

Walked around town with the folks checking out old buildings. I noted that there were lots of water bowls in the street, always a good sign. Of interest was the Callington Windmill, a flour mill with stables and a very deep well. No mention of their dogs, but I ‘d bet my dinner they had some. Lots of ancient smells around there.

Enzo & the Silverback at Callington Windmill

We stopped for morning tea at The Stables cafe. The Silverback was impressed that they served apple pie. From his conversation with the lady in the shop, this is an ancient cake that is getting harder to find in modern times. Either he really likes it or it’s not good for dogs, I didn’t get any!


Back in the van and up the road to Ross where we pulled into the Ross Caravan Park. Hot day, so we chose an unpowered site along the river, shaded by large trees. Really nice lady in the office, insisted I get out of the van and say hello. She had the usual discussion with the folks about my family history. We were off to a good start.

Set up the van near the historic, Ross Bridge over the Macquarie River. Sparrow phone fact: the local governor was so impressed with the workmanship that he gave the convicts who built it their freedom!

Late lunch at the Ross Hotel. The folks seemed to really enjoy the cold beer. I had the standard lunch for dogs throughout history, a bowl of water and a few table scraps. Ah tradition!

Walked up to the tourist information office where I was startled to see a ram on the verandah. Gave it a solid working dog bark but it didn’t move! Turns out it was stuffed. All I can say is, it wouldn’t have been if the Sparrow had let me off the lead! Once you get all the cotton wool out, stuffed animals are free to lie down, die gracefully and go to animal heaven. That’s why dogs like to de-stuff toys, it’s a spirit freeing ritual. Sadly, the ram remained in spiritual limbo.

Official Enzo family history

Just for the record my birth mum was a red heeler on a dairy farm at Bega, my dad was the Jack Russel who lived next door.  The rest, as they say, is history. Times were tough on the farm and there was only room for one working dog, so me, my brother and sister were put into care. Haven’t seen them since. The Silverback and Sparrow are my adopted parents. Things have turned out OK for me. I feel a bit like the convicts who built the bridge.

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