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Playing the game


Thursday, July 1, 2004
A road-trip through Tasmania will never be the same after you’ve played Skulduggery … where drama, intrigue and mystery awaits you at every turn.

Skulduggery: dishonourable proceedings; mean dishonesty or trickery.

If the notion of skulduggery appeals to your sense of adventure and humour, head to Tasmania to be entertained by a wonderful game invented by Dr Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, a history lecturer at the University of Tasmania.

There are three Skulduggery games, inviting people to join the enigmatic (though fictitious) Constable John James on the trail of colonial villains, solving three true-life crimes which were committed in the 1830s. The game gives visitors and local communities the chance to interact while searching for clues in the heritage towns of Oatlands, Ross and Longford.

First, purchase the game and read the story of Constable James' attempts to solve the mysteries. Then travel along the Heritage Highway between Hobart and Launceston and find clues in participating businesses in each of the towns.

Clues take the form of newspaper entries, scraps of code, wanted posters and other cunning devices which will be left behind the counters of the businesses.

Each kit is in the form of a field notebook. The information has been painstakingly researched to ensure authenticity.

When you have solved the crime, you enter the draw to win a terrific range of prizes.

Oatlands 1836: Uncover the nefarious dealings of publican, gaoler, trickster and blackguard, George Dudfield. See the convict-built gaoler's residence and the imposing gaol walls behind which he was incarcerated.

Oatlands has a wonderful collection of Georgian sandstone buildings; 87 in the main street retain the character of a 19th-century village. Callington Mill is one of only four in Australia to survive a bygone industrial era.

Ross 1835: Discover why the famous bridge at Ross took so long to build, grapple with the mysteries of Dr Zweigle's code breaker and discover the sinister truth behind the fight which broke out in Mr Saddler's tap room.

Today, the tiny village is beautifully preserved and a favourite with tourists. Governor Macquarie named the river after himself in 1811. It was first crossed by a ford, then a low bridge of logs on stone buttresses and in 1836 the splendid stone bridge was built by convicts. It is a fine, historic monument.

The town centre's four corners are named Temptation, Salvation, Recreation and Damnation.

Longford 1832: Search the colonial properties of Brickendon and Woolmers Estates for the shadowy forces which laid waste to Joseph Archer's wheat stacks in the summer in 1832.

See beautiful old churches, grand country homes, charming cottages, antique shops and inns in this wonderful historic village. Its roadsides are hedged with hawthorn, particularly attractive in springtime.


Tasmania's Heritage Highway


Skulduggery costs $19.95 and can be purchased at major Tasmanian Travel and Information Centres.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.

More information

Heritage Highway Visitors Centre
85 High Street, Oatlands 7120
Ph: (03) 6254 1212, Fax: (03) 6254 1467

Qantas: 13 13 13

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