Residents of Hobart love walking through the tall trees of Knocklofty Reserve, visiting the Frog Ponds, spotting mopokes and wallabies, and admiring the wattle trees in bloom. But there’s a lot more to Knocklofty than its natural beauty.

In the early days of European settlement, its boundaries reached much further, and its history is intertwined with the modern suburbs of Sandy Bay, South Hobart, West Hobart, North Hobart, Mount Stuart and Lenah Valley. Once a refuge for absconded convicts and a venue for fistfights and other dubious pastimes, Knocklofty yielded a bounty of timber, stone and brick that helped to build the Hobart of today.

Suzanne Smythe has drawn on newspapers of the day to compile a lively history filled with famous and infamous people and places. She points out the traces in today’s landscape of buildings
and industries long gone.

 

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