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Established in 1911, Henley-on-Mersey is the Latrobe Municipality's focus at Bell's Parade, Latrobe for Australia Day on 26 January from 9.00am until 3.30pm.

This event was coordinated by the Henley-on-Mersey Management Committee, a collaboration by the Rotary Club of Latrobe and Lions Club of Latrobe, supported by Latrobe Council through to 2022.  In 2023 a community committee was established to continue the tradition of this festival.

Ferret racing, a highlight at Henley-on-Mersey, creates great excitement and anticipation amongst the audience but is also steeped in tradition when ferrets were used to farm rabbits.

The practice was that a ferret would be placed down a hole and, with due fervor, seek out the rabbits which would try and escape through another outlet only to be caught by a net over that exit. Legend has it that many farming properties in the district were originally purchased thanks to the efforts of ferrets and the resulting rabbit pelt income.

At Henley-on-Mersey, the ferrets are placed in a specially constructed course in which the ferret can see daylight in sections, manoeuvre over different surfaces and even turn around, with the first ferret to fully emerge from the course at the other end being the winner. There are quite some anxious moments when the ferret starts to emerge, the crowd roars with delight and the ferret promptly retreats back into the course.

Lots to do!

  • Archery

    There's a chance to try your hand at archery, something that doesn't look too difficult but those bulls eyes do seem a long way away when having a go.

  • Egg throwing

    Egg throwing can be a little messy and is best undertaken with someone that you trust. The trick with this is to cradle the catch of the egg.

  • Sheaf Tossing

    The sheaf tossing tests your upper body strength as you use a three pronged fork to throw a bag of sheaf over a horizontal pole that is progressively raised. The winner is the sheaf that clears the greatest height.

  • Great Aussie Cherry Spit

    The Great Aussie Cherry Spit returns again this year. Hold onto your false teeth if attempting the Great Aussie Cherry Spit Competition!

  • Wood Chopping

    An extensive wood chopping competition will be held throughout the day on what is touted to be the best wood chopping arena in Tasmania. Who will win the prestigious Henley Foot this year?

  • And so much more!

    These and many more activities await your participation or perhaps you prefer to be a member of an appreciative audience.

Additionally, a number of food and refreshment outlets will cater for your many discerning appetites and through your support assists with the growth and development of Henley-on-Mersey.

So if you are young or old, active or inclined to sit back and be entertained, there is something for you at Henley-on-Mersey this Australia Day (January 26).

*Participation in activities does incur a small charge with the opportunity to win some great prizes.

Event Details

  • When

    26 January from 9.00am until 3.30pm

  • Where

    Bells Parade, Latrobe Tasmania

  • Cost

    $5.00 adult, $1.00 children, Under 5 & ferrets FREE!

  • Enquiries

    Ph: 0419 316 010

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No Dogs Allowed

No dogs allowed EXCEPT hearing assistance dogs and guide dogs.

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