The popular Richmond Village has a whole lot of charm, with its quaint Georgian streetscape and iconic sandstone bridge. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find all sorts of interesting stories about the goings-on in this early colonial town. Located a scenic 30 minute drive from Hobart (with plenty of mouth-watering food and wine on the way), it’s the perfect day trip!
Get lost in the fascinating colonial history
Richmond was established in the early 1800s as an important military staging post and convict station between Hobart and Port Arthur. You can learn more about the fate of convicts and other local characters at the old gaol. Feel the hairs on your neck stand up as you explore the original gaol buildings, including eerie solitary confinement cells, with special sound effects adding to the atmosphere of isolation and despair. History buffs, check out St John’s Catholic Church (1836), the oldest remaining Catholic church in the country.
Picnic by the iconic Richmond Bridge
After stepping back in time to harsh colonial Richmond, you’ll be relieved to get outside and enjoy the sun on your face. The grassy banks of the Coal River are perfect for a lazy picnic. Feed the ducks (keep an eye out for eels) and enjoy a relaxing stroll along the riverbank. You may as well take a few snaps of the town’s most photographed landmark, historic Richmond Bridge. Although it looks picture-perfect, spare a thought for the poor convicts who constructed it in the 1820s – the poor saps had to haul sandstone quarried from Butchers Hill using hand carts! Rumour has it the bridge might also be haunted. In 1832, one George Grover—an employee of the Richmond Gaol whose duties included flogging the prisoners—fell asleep after a few too many drinks and was pushed off the edge of the bridge to his death! The case remains unsolved to this very day, which seems like the kind of unfinished business that might keep a ghost chained to the very spot of its demise… Just sayin’.
Explore the Georgian town and visit its unique shops
Richmond Village is famous for its elegant Georgian architecture, and boasts more than 50 Georgian buildings, some dating back as early as the 1820s. Many have been beautifully restored and reinvented as restaurants, cafes, tea houses, galleries, craft boutiques, antique shops, and accommodation. Enjoy wandering the charming streets and meandering in and out of the shops. Immerse yourself in the unique aromas of Tasmania’s ancient rainforests at The Sensory Tasmania. Rediscover your childhood favourites (and watch the kids’ eyes pop out of their heads) in the old fashioned lolly shop (at least a giant gobstopper might keep them quiet for a little while?)
Eat and drink your way through the Coal River Valley
There are some beautiful wineries and farms in the area, so stop in and sample the mouthwatering delights of the Coal River Valley! Visit the restaurant at Frogmore Creek (Meadowbank Wines) to enjoy a divine meal inspired by fresh local produce, complemented by their acclaimed cool climate wines. Become happily acquainted with Pooley Wines‘ long-living Rieslings and intensely flavoured Pinot Noirs at their Belmont Vineyard cellar door, a grand two-storey 1830s Georgian house. Pop into Coal River Farm‘s restaurant for breakfast or lunch, taste your way through the handmade cheeses and chocolates, and walk the orchard picking seasonal fruits while taking in incredible views of the Coal River Valley. Complete and utter bliss! This area really is paradise for lovers of fine food and wine – continue the tasting trail at: Barilla Bay Restaurant, Puddleduck Vineyard, Riversdale Estate, Domaine A / Stoney Vineyard, and Wobbly Boot Vineyard.
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