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Orford, Tasmania

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The holiday township of Orford has a mild climate, great fishing and interesting bushwalks and makes a good base from which to explore Maria Island National Park. Popular with locals and tourists, the town's population of around 500 increases to over 3,000 in the summer months. The township is at the mouth of the Prosser River, opposite beautiful Maria Island, making it a perfect base for exploring the island national park and its surrounding marine reserve. There are good swimming beaches close to the town, including Raspins, Shelley and Spring beach, and a popular camp site at Raspins Beach. Take an easy 2-km cliff top walk from East Shelly to Spring Beach for superb sea and ocean views. The walk passes a 19th-century sandstone quarry that provided the hand-hewn stone used for Melbourne's Law Courts. Orford's convict history is still evident along the banks of the Prosser River where you'll find the remains of the original convict road built between 1841 and 1855. The road is just past the northern side of the bridge across the Prosser River. A stone entry leads to a pleasant 40-min walk along the bank of the river. Orford is also a popular fishing destination with excellent fishing in Prosser Bay, the Mercury Passage and the clean ocean waters off Maria Island. Despite its small size, Orford has a supermarkets, cafes and eateries, a hotel and lots of accommodation. Orford is a 1-hr drive (80 km) north of Hobart.

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