J Willis, 'Avoca', 1883 (Tasmaniana Library, SLT)

Avoca, a small town lying at the junction of the St Pauls and South Esk Rivers, is the most westerly settlement of the Fingal Valley, named after Thomas Moore's poem, 'Sweet Vale of Avoca'. Other names associated with Avoca were St Paul's Plains and Camp Hill. European settlement commenced in the late 1820s when the area was established as a farming community. A convict station was built in the 1830s but it was not until 1866 that Avoca was proclaimed as a township. In 1886 the rail line from Conara Junction to St Marys was officially opened and for almost one hundred years it provided employment, and passenger and freight services to the region. In the 1960s Avoca received national attention through the Avoca Football Club's annual wallaby shoot, but by 1975 the Club no longer conducted this event.

Further reading: D Masters, St. Pauls Plains, Avoca, 18341984, Avoca, 1984.

Margaret Harman