Staying at Tynwald is like living reality in a showcase 19th century National Trust mansion. The building and location are superb and full of architectural and historical interest. The rooms are very spacious with period furniture. The beds are very clean and comfortable, and there is a relaxation of the 19th century theme with electric blankets, flat screen TVs and mini-fridges in the rooms (even a wonderful valve wireless radio), Like most places in Tasmania though, the heating struggles on cold days due to the almost universal absence of central heating in houses and hotels in Tasmania, although our heater eventually got there after a couple of hours. The separate bathroom was a short distance away and quite chilly. The hosts, Garry and Pat were very friendly and the breakfast and evening meals were very memorable, though getting charged for bread (which we didn't order) we thought was a bit mean. Garry's sense of humour might not appeal to some and he appeared to be slightly inebriated when we arrived. The dining room and breakfast rooms are classic 19th century and a rare experience these days. Some negatives, the sitting room had a strong cigarette smell (possibly a guest) and the hallway had a musty smell and there's a general tardiness about the place, but hopefully this doesn't detract guests from an otherwise unique experience anywhere in Tasmania, if not Australia.
The house is some distance from the centre of New Norfolk, though some might argue that this isn't such a bad thing. Most of New Norfolk's heritage has been demolished (as opposed to places like Richmond, Pontville, Evandale, Oatlands and Battery Point). Only the church, a couple of pubs and some cottages (many in a derelict state) seem to have survived and there's a very low brow atmosphere in the town. The disused Willow Court asylum is closed off by security fences and the superb 19th century buildings are rapidly falling to bits, which is a great pity. The Oast House museum and restaurant right next door to Tynwald were also closed at the time of the visit.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 1830 Country mansion on the river Derwent. With a stone cottage 1822 Licensed restaurant. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tynwald Willow Bend Estate New Norfolk, Tasmania