Oast House constructed by E. Shoobridge
at Bushy Park
The hop capital of Tasmania and a fascinating
In the minds of mainlanders, Tasmania is
associated with two fruits - apples and hops.
Bushy Park is the hop capital of Tasmania. This
delightful, rambling little village located 58
km from Hobart on the B62 is like no other town
in Australia. It is a real piece of Europe. A
town of old houses, deciduous trees, moral
fervour, and hopfields which seem to envelop
every building and road.
The image that remains forever in the
visitors mind is that of tall wooden and metal
frames holding up the hop vines and of neat and
unusually shaped oast houses scattered in the
fields away from the road.
House with the hopfields in the
foreground at Bushy Park
The first person to settle in the
dramatically named Styx valley was A.W.H.
Humphrey who arrived in the area as early as
1812. The tiny settlement which grew up at this
time was named Humphreyville but this was later
changed to Bushy Park.
In 1822 William Shoobridge arrived in Van
Diemen's Land with some hops. He is credited
with being the first person to grow hops in
Tasmania although there are other claims. In
1867 William Shoobridge's son, Ebenezer, came to
the Styx valley and began growing and processing
hops. He was, by any definition, a remarkable
man who, with a combination of religious zeal
and hard nosed capitalism, managed to make Bushy
Park the largest producer of hops in both
Australia and, that dubious accolade, the
Things to see:
in the fields around Bushy Park
In the middle of a field of hops (it is a white
building and can be reached down a lane marked
'Farm' which is near the village Post Office -
it is on private property) is the famous 'Text
Kiln' constructed by, as the inscription on the
wall proudly declares, 'E. Shoobridge, J.P'. It
was completed in 1867.
Shoobridge, who was helped by his wife, three
sons and five daughters, was committed to the
motto 'Union is Strength' and believed that the
words of The Bible would inspire his workers.
On the walls of the 'Text Kiln' are
quotations like 'And these words that I command
thee this day shall be in thine heart and thy
shall write them on the posts of thine house and
on thine gate'.
Appropriately in the middle of the building
is the sign 'God is Love' and on the far side is
'God so loved the world that he gave his only
begotten son that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish but have everlasting life'.
Around the corner from the Bushy Park Post
Office is Hawthorn Lodge (1869), the original
home of Robert Shoobridge (son of Ebenezer) and
his family. It has been turned into a guest
house. The pleasant gardens, with a hundred year
old magnolia and a huge cherry tree, makes it a
remarkably attractive dwelling.
The Water Race
Behind the town is a 3 km water race (built by
William Shoobridge - son of Ebenezer) which
takes water from a dam on the Styx River and
runs it to the Oast House. The water was used to
drive a huge waterwheel which generated
electricity to dry the hops. It is claimed that
Bushy Park had electricity before Hobart.