Take a walk back in time amidst the historic buildings, hatchery and fish ponds – all set within the original 19th century English style public open space of superb trees, hedges and lawns.
The Ponds – Feed the Trout and Salmon
The grounds at the Salmon Ponds feature large ponds brimming with different species of fish up to 8 kilograms, including Rainbow, Brown, Brook, Tiger and Albino Trout and Atlantic Salmon.
Feeding the fish is encouraged and will lead to plenty of action, with ‘trophy’ fish competing for the tasty fish food, available for sale from dispensers.
The 19th Century English Garden
The Salmon Ponds is a rare example of a 19th century English style public open space, made possible by the generosity of Robert Cartwright Read of Redlands who was willing to lease a portion of his land.
The gardens and surrounds were established with introduced evergreens and exotic plantings by enlightened men interested in gardening and nature. A significant number of the trees at the Salmon Ponds are 140 years old.
The Salmon Ponds site was also one of the earliest uses of grassed areas in garden design and the original Hawthorn hedge still forms the boundary of the ponds and is the backdrop to the river walk.
The flow of water through the Salmon Ponds is a key feature of this garden. In the 1860’s Redlands installed a gravity fed system taking water from the Plenty River to irrigate their hop fields. This water source was shared by the Salmon Ponds and still supplies the water needed by the hatchery, except when water level falls below a critical level, and a backup pump is needed.
At the Northern end of the river walk, the Hawthorn archway was the original entrance to the Salmon Ponds. Until 1941, visitors embarked from the train or other transport at Plenty township and walked along the river bank, past Redlands Estate to enter.
The Historic Trout Hatchery
The Salmon Ponds, circa 1861, is the oldest trout hatchery in the Southern Hemisphere. It was the birthplace of trout in Australia and the origin of Tasmania’s legendary trout fishery.
Learn about the various stages of the life cycle of trout, the growing period from May to November, and about the challenges overcome in transporting salmon and trout from England to Australia in the mid 1800’s.
The Riverside Walk & ‘The Sanctuary’ Fisherman’s Hut
The Riverside Walk along the Plenty River takes you to the quaint ‘The Sanctuary’ fishing shack, which has recently been restored and fitted out as a fisherman’s hut from the pioneering days of trout fishing in Tasmania.
Museum of Trout Fishing in Tasmania
The Museum of Trout Fishing is situated within the cottage built in 1865 for the first superintendent of the Salmon Ponds. Find out about the changes in trout fishing over the years and discover some of the people, places and events that make up Tasmania’s rich angling history.
Tasmanian Angling Hall of Fame
Close to the Southern entrance to the river walk, Stannards Cottage is home to the Tasmanian Angling Hall of Fame. This is a wonderful tribute to the pioneers of trout fishing in Tasmania, and others who have made a significant contribution to Tasmania’s world renowned trout fishery.
Trout Fishing For People With Disabilities
Special fishing platforms have been installed over the Plenty River, accessible by wheelchair from the riverside walk. The Plenty River is reserved for angling by people with disabilities.
Platypus can sometimes be seen in the Plenty River.