Kentish Municipality has a population of 6,056 persons and growing, which is just over 1% of Tasmania's population.
Since 1996 the population has steadily grown, and indications are that it will continue to rise at the highest rate of all the Councils on the North West Coast of Tasmania. But we have plenty of room for more as we are still have only about 5 persons per square kilometre.
About one third of the population is in the towns of Railton and Sheffield, with the balance being spread across smaller townships and farming areas.
The soils in Kentish are very productive and the rainfall is fairly predictable, consequently the main industry is agriculture; farming of beef, dairy, sheep and cropping. There is also potential to develop further as part of the North-West region as 'Food Bowl' of Australia and tourism opportunities.
The landscape ranges from lush rural farmland to spectacular mountain scenery. One of Tasmania's key visitor attractions, Cradle Mountain, is located in the municipal area, as is the world standard Lake Barrington Rowing Course.
There are a number of small localities throughout the municipality with evocative name like Garden of Eden, Gentle Annie, Paradise, Nook, Nowhere Else, and The Promised Land that are also visitor attractions.
Mount Roland dominates the landscape of the populated areas and watches carefully over the land, and is visible way out to sea many miles away. For those leaving or returning on the ferry, Roland tugs at the heart strings. In Kentish, you are almost never out of sight of Roland and its beautiful rocky outline captures the sunlight and changes throughout the day. A walk to the summit is a wonderful day walk for the fit and well prepared.
To book accommodation check out the Sheffield Visitor Information Centre website.
Sheffield - The Town of Murals
The main town of Sheffield developed as the centre of farming operations in the municipality, and has since grown to be the major shopping area, a thriving tourism area, and is the gateway to Cradle Mountain. Sheffield is known as the Town of Murals, with 55 murals (and growing) depicting the pioneer history and the people of Kentish. With it's beautiful King George V park, safe amenities and friendly people, it is no wonder Sheffield is growing.
Sheffield was named "AUSTRALIA'S TIDIEST TOWN" in 2014.
Railton - The Town of Topiary
Found between Latrobe and Sheffield, this industry-based township has added more than 100 imaginative topiary characters to its main street area in recent years. In 'Cradle Mountain National Paddock' visitors can photograph the only 'living' Tasmanian Tiger. Check out www.townoftopiary.com.au for more information on topiary activities happening in Railton.
Visitor attractions also include the Wild Mersey Mountain Bike Trails, Seven Sheds Brewery and the Fibre Optic Lighting and Gifts Store. The town is also equipped with several eateries, service station, pub and newsagency. The Tasmanian Trail can be accessed at Railton.
Railton (marginally smaller than Sheffield) is the next largest town in the Kentish municipality and began life as a rail head. The town was named after the daughter of a pioneering family, not the railhead as commonly thought. The wide main street in Railton indicates the space needed to turn the bullock teams and drays that were responsible for hauling Kentish produce to the railway station.
Railton is the home of Cement Australia. Cement Australia began operating in the 1920S producing the world renown Goliath Cement. Goliath Cement was used to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge. In fact, the construction industry throughout Australia has used cement from the Railton plant since the plants inception. This is testament to the purity of the limestone lode still being used to produce cement.
A limestone quarry close to town served successive owners of the cement works and the disused quarry can still be seen along the main road to Railton. Early government milled trees within the surrounding area and shipped the timber across Bass Strait to build the city of Melbourne.
Topiary locations throughout Railton can be identified by the Railton Area Tourist Information Brochure.
Wilmot - Valley of Views
Visit Wilmot and take an alternative route along the C132 to or from Cradle Mountain. Known locally as the Valley of Views, the winding roads around Wilmot offer the best panoramic outlooks over Cradle Country. Wilmot lies to the west of Lake Barrington and has traditionally been used for dairying and growing potatoes. Originally, Wilmot supplied all the seed potatoes used in southern Australia. Visitors can enjoy the stunning hinterland scenery and the quirky Novelty Letterbox Trail.
Wilmot Hills Winery has produced award winning wines being renowned as the highest altitude vineyard in Tasmania. The Old Wilmot Bakehouse uses the original wood fired oven, built in the late 1890s, to bake a delicious variety of bread and pastries. Whilst visiting Wilmot, why not step back in time and view the history of Wilmot at the Wilmot Museum.
Wilmot's General Store, the first G.J. Coles General Store was located in Wilmot until it burnt down in early 2014. The destruction of the store was a tragic loss for the community, as it was more than just a general store, but a meeting hub for the community. Currently a temporary store is on site providing fuel and basic supplies for residents.