After spending the early afternoon in Tamar Valley wine country, we headed further west towards the accommodations for the night on this second day of our Tasmania road trip. We briefly stopped at Sheffield, a small town on route to our next stop at Cradle Mountain.
Sheffield is a typical countryside town, pretty but somewhat unremarkable were it not for the large number of colourful murals adorning its streets. The town has transformed itself into a tourist attraction with some 60 wall paintings depicting the history and scenery of the area.
Known as the Town of Murals, the hosting of Sheffield’s annual Mural Fest is a major draw for local and overseas visitors. First held in 2003, this art competition and festival is held at Mural Park where, starting Easter Sunday, nine participating artists have one week to complete a mural based on a common theme and inspiration (a selected poem). A winner is judged by a panel as well as public voting, and the nine murals remain on display in the park throughout the year, until the next competition is held.
By the time we reached the outskirts of the town it was almost 6pm. We made it just in time to pick up some dinner groceries before exploring the surrounding buildings and murals. We had all of Sheffield to ourselves – seems everyone had turned in for the evening.
Of particular interest to my travel companions from Hong Kong was a specific painting by Canto-pop singer Eason Chan (陳奕迅), which we found at Mural Park. You can probably tell which one it is – let’s just say that it pales in comparison to the other artwork on display. Don’t quit your day job, Eason. But hey, it helps bring in the Asian tourists!