As this area of Tasmania is prone to bushfire, the current Fern Tree Tavern is actually the third incarnation of this local icon. The first Fern Tree Tavern was built in the 1861 by John Hall as the Hobart Town Corporation was building a new water supply for Hobart. People came from Hobart to enjoy the Tavern’s hospitality and wander the mountain trails. They were drawn to the clean cool mountain air.
On 7 February 1967 the bushfires that devestated Southern Tasmania, took much of Fern Tree, including the grand Federation-Style Fern Tree Hotel which had replaced the John Hall’s original Inn. Since then, new waterworks have been established to enhance Fern Tree’s ability to deal with the fires.
The other significant historical building in the village is St Raphaels church. Saint Raphael’s Church is the daughter church in the Parish of All Saints, South Hobart. It is situated on Huon Road, Fern Tree, ten kilometres from the city of Hobart.
The land and a monetary donation towards the building of the Church was given by Henry and Emily Dobson. The remainder of the cost was donated by Fern Tree residents and members of the wider community. It is a significant building for the Fern Tree community, being the only building to have survived two major bush fires in 1898 and 1967 that destroyed the Fern Tree community.
Fern Tree Tavern website: http://www.ferntreetavern.com.au/