Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the oldest private conservation areas in Tasmania. Most of the reserve (337 of the present 380 hectares) was gazetted on July 3rd, 1946, as a private wildlife sanctuary under The Animals and Birds Protection Act 1928 following application by the owners, Nan and Anton Chauncy.
Chauncy Vale is located 40km north of Hobart and 4km east of the township of Bagdad. It is the top end of a narrow valley running east-west between the Midland Highway and the Coal River Valley.
[CLICK ON THE MAP FOR GREATER DETAIL]
The sanctuary was bequeathed to the local council (now the Southern Midlands Council) by Anton Chauncy in 1988, with a later gift of the house and home paddocks by his and Nan's daughter, Heather.
A sub-committee of Council manages the sanctuary under a gazetted Management Plan (1994) and a Business Plan endorsed by Council and the support group, Friends of Chauncy Vale Inc. Under these plans there is an entrance fee of $2 per adult, but school groups visit free of charge. A fee of $2 per person is charged for entry to the house. School groups admitted to the house for a $15.00 Group Fee. Friends of Chauncy Vale Inc. organises an annual Open Day on a Sunday in January with exhibitions, stalls, afternoon teas and guided walks.
The Vale is visited by bushwalkers, bird watchers, field naturalist groups, picnicking family groups and school parties. There is a carpark with bus turning circle plus several areas suitable for picnics and gatherings. Rudimentary facilities include pit toilets, barbecues and a day shelter hut with wide verandahs. Some formed tracks lead to points of interest such as Secret Cave, Brown's Caves Creek and Guvy's Lagoon. Near the main carpark is an information shelter from where a path leads up and through the garden to the house where Nan Chauncy's work and items of interest are displayed.
Day Dawn, the house at Chauncy Vale, is of particular interest as the home of distinguished children's author, Nan Chauncy (1900-1970).
This house was built mainly in slipform concrete by Nan's father and her brother, Jan, between 1916 and 1918. It was later extended by Nan and her husband, Anton, in the 1940's and 1950's.
The furniture in the house is that which was used by the Chauncys in the 1960's. There was -and still is- no electricity but the family enjoyed the simple and frugal life there and much of Nan's writing was inspired by the cottage's bush setting.
A large fenced garden in front of the house contains typical hardy introduced shrubs and plants such as iris, lilac, rosemary, broom and large beds of daffodils. A big pine tree at the corner of the verandah was planted by Nan's family to commemorate the end of the First World War in 1918.
It was in their early years of married life at Chauncy Vale that Nan and Anton extended the original property to include the large area of creek, cave and forest habitats which they then acted to protect by means of having it proclaimed a private sanctuary.
The whole sanctuary is a valuable heritage and natural environment study site. It forms part of a complex environment with a rich diversity of ecosystems, varying from dry sclerophyll vegetation on sandstone to wet forest on dolerite clay. It is home to a considerable variety of native fauna and was used by Tasmanian Aboriginal tribes before European settlement and as a refuge by early bushrangers.
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our uniquely Tasmanian biography
NAN CHAUNCY: A WRITER'S LIFE
ISBN 0 646 38937 8
recommended retail price $15.00
wholesale price $9.00 (GST free)
Friends of Chauncy Vale Inc (ABN 458 033 88003)
c/- Berenice Eastman
82 York ST.,
Sandy Bay Tas 7005
phone/fax (03) 62 23 5469
This project was assisted through Arts Tasmania by The Premier and Minister for State Development. The Regional Arts Fund is a Commonwealth Government initiative through The Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Contacts *Owner: Southern Midlands Council
Ph (Kempton office) (03)6259 3011.
*Friends of Chauncy Vale Inc.:
Membership Ph (03)6268 6183.
*School Visits: *House Tours (Group bookings outside advertised times must be booked well in advance, to avoid disappointment):
C.Vincent Ph (03)6268 6365.
NOTE: At present, the house is open on the first Saturday of the month from 2pm to 4pm.
The Sancturary gates are locked at sunset.
Thanks to David Walker who provided the photographs
This page was last updated on 24th June 2006
It is published by Friends of Chauncy Vale Inc.
You are directed to a Disclaimer relating to Chauncy Vale and tassie.org.