'My soul feels more at rest here than anywhere else'
Singer-songwriter and festival producer Ange Boxall finds her "happy place" in Tasmania after travelling the globe. This is her favourite local spot.
- April 2019
My husband Mike and I have been coming to this area for 20 years, ever since we started dating at art school in Hobart. We lived and worked in London for 12 years (for five of those years, I wrote and recorded music in Nashville, United States) and then in Melbourne for two.
While we were in London, we bought a block of land in Tassie overlooking Freycinet, and every year, we came to camp for the peace and solitude. It has always been a happy place for us – a place to rejuvenate and dream. When the historic Riversdale property (built in 1825) with its house and mill came on the market in 2013, we dropped everything to buy it. We quit our jobs in Melbourne and moved here with our daughter, Hattie, who was then aged two.
The property is like an English oasis in the middle of our beloved East Coast and brought our two worlds together. The mill had always caught our eye and we imagined its potential, but the house hadn’t been properly lived in for a long time. As we renovated, we discovered a world of fun, family-oriented people around us, many working on farms and vineyards.
I always knew I’d end up here. My soul feels more at rest here than anywhere else on the planet. We keep busy, though – Mike with his design and branding business and I still write music, play the occasional gig and run house concerts at Riversdale. We’re co-owners, too, of The Splendid Gin, which uses local spring water from Spring Vale Vineyard.
This year, I’m producing two festivals: a new, boutique event in April called East Coast Harvest Odyssey (ECHO) at Gala Estate and the annual Festival of Voices Coastal in June. Come spring, we will open our newly restored Riversdale Mill for events and weddings.
This area is always a bit warmer and more serene than the rest of Tassie, and I love the beaches where gentle, sloping sand overlooks beautiful mountains. My favourite local spot is Dolphin Sands. It doesn’t matter if the weather is grey or misty, it’s still romantic. I take a walk on the beach and I feel whole again.
While you're in Northern Tassie…
1. Explore the area’s many vineyards, including Freycinet Vineyards, Milton, Devil’s Corner Cellar Door, Craigie Knowe, Gala Estate and Spring Vale.
2. Lunch on local oysters at Dolphin Sands Melshell Oysters or at Freycinet Marine Farm.
3. Visit Bicheno’s beaches. Call into The Lobster Shack while you’re there for a delicious lobster roll.