Richmond oozes photogenic history, from its picture-perfect bridge to its convict gaol that invites spooky selfies.
The intact colonial-era town has more than 50 Georgian buildings, many meticulously restored and operating as cafes, restaurants, galleries and accommodation. Standing on a rise above Richmond Bridge, the oldest in Australia, built by convicts in 1825, St John the Evangelist Catholic Church, built in 1837, is the country’s oldest surviving Catholic church.
Richmond was an important police district between Port Arthur and Hobart during the early days of settlement, with often dark history lurking amid the prettiness. Among the many convict tales that swirl around Richmond Gaol, the oldest intact jail in Australia, is that of Isaac “Ikey” Solomon, believed to be the model for Fagin in Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist.
The Coal River flows downstream from Richmond, nourishing a string of fine wineries. Cellar doors near town include Pooley Wines, Puddleduck Vineyard and Every Man and His Dog Vineyard, interspersed with producers such as the Wicked Cheese Company and Littlewood Berry Farm.
Richmond is a 25min drive (27km) north-east of Hobart.