Longford was another obscure unknown Tasmanian town that I ended up in somehow. I have heard of a football team in the Republic of Ireland called Longford Town. I hadn’t heard of Longford in Tasmania.
That was until the end of March 2010 when my manager at work, Rebecca Gaby told me that there was around 6 weeks of guaranteed work on processed broccoli picking down near Longford. I didn’t have a car at the time and was staying in a working hostel in Devonport (Tasman Backpackers), but I didn’t want to lose my opportunity on a plate to confirm my 88 days (and easily 3 months) of farming work, towards my second year/extended Australian Working Holiday Visa.
I called into the tourist office to check on accomodation in and around Longford, and there was some, notably living above a pub called The Blenheim Inn, but then when I spoke to Diane at work, it was revealed that Longford was the nearest big town to where the broccoli work would be, but not an ideal base.
It was then that I got the phone number for a hostel and campsite in Poatina, a tranquil unknown mountain village.
So without further ado, I bought an Australian mobile phone, an Australian utility car and I was off to live somewhere near Longford…
Although I never actually stayed in Longford, I made many visits to the town, notably for petrol refilling, post office, bank, use of the free internet at Longford library, taxing, registering and insuring of my car and shopping. My local shop was the Marcus IGA (shown left)
It became my nearest big town (though I will mention Cressy in a future blog post – it was my nearest town, though didn’t have quite the same amenities as Longford).
In terms of sightseeing, there is Longford Park with a memorial hall, and a proud Australian flag flying high.
And separately a war memorial.
There is a nice church there in a massive garden.
This is opposite the library.
The local pubs there are The Blenheim Inn and The Queen’s Head.
The main streets through Longford contain everything you need – post office, bank, shops, Service Tasmania (government offices), library, pub and bottle-o.
A tourist brochure describes Longford as “heritage and gardens entwined” certainly there are a lot of pretty gardens, farms and housing in and around the area.
There is an abundance of fishing in and around the rivers and lakes outside the town centre. It’s mainly trout fishing.
I actually did stay one night only in Longford, in a shed owned by Joe Cook Ag, the company I was working for. This was an excellent wee night experiencing some real rural Tasmanian conditions.
Although I must be honest and say that it was more of a fully fitted out barn or shed!
It had electricity, showers, a kitchen, a heater, nice beds and I had my laptop for wireless internet.
I didn’t dwell or spend too long in Longford, as the work nearby had finished after 5 or 6 weeks, however I’ll always remember it. And especially the library there and the online access centre – that was where I booked my trip to Antarctica on the internet and also made the phone call to the travel company confirming my trip.
And I cant forget the sheep poo photo. These Tasmanian farmers really can make a living from selling shit.
It was goodbye to Longford, but I’ll remember my time there when I sail across the Drake Passage to the continent and land mass known as Antarctica…
What Is It – Longford, a town near Launceston in central Tasmania
Population – 4,226 (though you wouldn’t think it)
Where I Stayed – Slept in a barn owned by the Farmer
Sightseeing – Church, Gardens, Traditional Housing, Motor Racing (once a year), Fishing
Local Shop – Marcus IGA
Local Pub – The Blenheim Inn
MARLBOROUGH STREET – THE MAIN STREET IN LONGFORD:
WAR MEMORIAL LONGFORD:
SLEEPING IN A BARN/SHED ON OUTSKIRTS OF LONGFORD:
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