New Norfolk was the third planned settlement to be undertaken in Tasmania, after Hobart and Launceston. In 1803-4 when Hobart was first settled on the banks of the Derwent, it was considered important to explore this waterway and find out the potential of the surrounding areas.
River steamers were an essential part of New Norfolk’s development, among them: the SS Marana, which ended its days as a fishing trawler; the SS Maweena which was destroyed by fire in January 1929; the Emu, which sank at its moorings near the New Norfolk bridge in 1897, and; the Monarch which sank at the Lime Kilns.
The New Norfolk Bridge across the Derwent is the fourth structure in the general area where the bridge spans today. The first bridge was built in 1840-41 and opened to vehicular access in January 1842 and was subject to a toll which was payable at the Toll House which still stands in a nearby park as a remnant of bygone days.
Flooding in the lower reaches of the Derwent River had been a periodic event and New Norfolk and the original bridge was destroyed then replaced in May 1880 with much ceremony as the day was declared a public holiday and 1000 people turned out for the official opening. Bridge #3 was completed in 1930 and the current bridge replaced it in 1974 in order to carry modern-day vehicles. The images displayed on this page have been sourced from various online archive sites via Trove.
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