The popular holiday town of Bridport lies along the north-east coast of Tasmania on the edge of picturesque Anderson Bay. While it has long served as a getaway for Tasmanians to swim, sail and soak up the sun, it has become an international destination of note for its links golf course, Barnbougle Dunes, ranked as one of the top 50 courses in the world.
There is a cluster of shops, and a supermarket and post office along Bridport’s Main Street which hugs the waterfront, with beaches dotting the coast as it stretches north to the Granite Point Conservation Area. Bridport is home to the Bridport Wildflower Reserve which ignites each spring with a spectacular display of flowers, attracting a myriad of bird life. Swimming and relaxing on the sands are the main activities in Bridport’s calm waters, while there is good fishing on offer in the Trent Water which stretches south-east from the town. As a result, Bridport is renowned for its fresh seafood, including local scallops and lobster which are served up in its alfresco restaurants, as well as rainbow trout which is farmed nearby. The Barnbougle Dunes golf course lies to the east of town along the coast, together with the neighbouring Lost Farm golf course which boasts magnificent views from its elevated position. Bridport is also just a short drive from the world’s largest lavender oil producer at Bridestowe Lavender Estate to the south, which is particularly stunning when the fields are in bloom during December and January.
Despite its small size and only being an hour’s drive from Launceston, Bridport is connected to this northern centre by helicopter, which mainly caters to golfing tourists. A ferry departs from the town to Lady Barron on Flinders Island to the northeast, and a light aircraft service also flies between the two.
Bridport was first settled by Europeans in the 1830s, with pastoralists being granted land to graze their sheep. But it was in the late 1860s when gold was discovered that the town boomed, followed by the development of a tin mining industry in the 1970s which attracted miners from as far away as China.