Queenstown’s gravel ground, Tasmania

Photos and text by Eric Algra

Appearances can be deceptive. This scoreboard is in a lush setting but the ground is made of gravel.

Don’t be deceived. This scoreboard is in a lush setting but…

They must breed ‘em tough down in Tassie.

I’d certainly heard about it and finally, on a recent trip, got to see for myself the infamous Queenstown Oval.

Of course the infamy stems from the ground’s heritage-listed gravel playing surface. Apparently this was chosen over grass, which would only turn to mud due to the high rainfall. One can only imagine the dread players would feel at the prospect of playing here.

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Anyone for gravel rash?


Built over a hundred years ago, the oval is home to the Queenstown Crows, part of the Darwin Football Association and, in the past, hosted grand finals for the previous Western Tasmanian Football Association.

Despite its notoriety, the ground itself is set in an attractive location which, I’m sure, would have seen many a tough encounter.


Postscript: The Queenstown Crows won the 2014 Grand Final against Somerset, dedicating their win to team-mates Craig Gleeson and Alastair Lucas, who were killed in an accident at the town’s copper mine in December 2013.



Visit Eric’s site  for  fine photography, from Melbourne to rural Australia to New York to Cardiff.