by kind permission of the Dover Mercury, (KMG)
19th July 2006
Back in 1969 my husband, Alan, was on the team representing England in the Sydney - Hobart Yacht Race. While in Hobart, Tasmania, he travelled the 82 km down the Huon Highway to Dover, the southernmost town of some importance in Australia.
Adamsons Peak Tasmania
Originally named Port Esperance after one of the ships under the command of French explorer Admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux, who explored the area in 1792, Dover was originally a British transportation colony for 451 prisoners - the Commandant's Office still exists.
After it ceased to be a convict settlement in 1850, the town developed as an important port shipping huon pine to the world. By 1856 a school had been built for the families associated with the sawmills in the area. By the end of the 19th century the settlement claimed another link with Dover, England, besides being called after us, huon pine was used in the construction of the Prince of Wales Pier!
Back in the 1960s, when the Kent Messenger did a feature on the town, the huon pines, were being turned into wood pulp for the ever-expanding market in cardboard. Dover was also noted for its well-stocked fishing grounds; farms; valuable apple processing industry and for tourism as its "Sandy shores along the blue waters of Esperance Bay attracts hundreds of holiday makers".
Today, due to the reduction in travelling time, the town is taking a long hard look at its future. It still is an important centre for both apple orchards and abalone (a marine snail) and cray fishing industries. While, recently, an Atlantic salmon farm has opened. This is reputedly the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, which is not surprising as salmon is a fish of the Northern Hemisphere!
However, according to their Local Plan, which they kindly sent me, tourism remains the key to the town's future prosperity. This boasts that the town is in a stunning setting on the rim of Port Esperance Bay and below Adamsons Peak. This is confirmed by my husband, but was not reflected in the photographs within the Local Plan.
Besides further encouraging the established aquaculture - sailing, fishing, swimming, scuba diving etc., they are looking to create a specialist resort for walkers. This includes the obvious, such as decent, well signposted, footpaths, but also ensuring that private gardens are kept nice, to enhance the streetscape! Overall, what the town is endeavouring to do is to live up to its slogan: Dover ... Naturally Beautiful.
Michelle Allen, Community Liaison Officer,