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. Richmond Bridge (1825) is the oldest bridge in Australia, doubling as a charming spot for a stroll or picnic amongst the charismatic local ducks and ducklings. Standing on a rise above this convict-built bridge is the country’s oldest surviving Catholic church: St John the Evangelist Catholic Church, built in 1837.
Richmond was an important police district between Port Arthur and Hobart during the early days of settlement, with an often dark history lurking amid the prettiness. Among the many convict tales swirling around Richmond Gaol, the oldest intact jail in Australia, is that of Isaac “Ikey” Solomon, believed to be the model for Charles Dickens’ infamous Oliver Twist character, Fagin.
Beyond visiting the Pooseum and mixing it with the local ducklings, Richmond hosts a delightful cluster of family-friendly activities. Take the kids on a puzzling adventure through Amaze: a twisty labyrinth with some fun games and food along the way. Or spoil them with authentic Tasmanian pastries (scallop pie, anyone?) in the spacious courtyard of Richmond Bakery, saving room for some traditional candy at Sweets and Treats – the Richmond Lolly Shop. Plus, it’s only an 8min drive from the village centre to Zoodoo Zoo, an enchanting wildlife haven offering interactive keeper talks and opportunities to hand-feed the residents.
For the not-so-little travellers, the Coal River flowing downstream from Richmond nourishes 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 Coal River Farm.
Richmond is a 25min drive (27km) north-east of Hobart.
- Pair local wine with delectable cocoa treats, or devour a chocolate platter at Federation Artisan Chocolate
- Fancy something more spirited? Tour Sullivans Cove Distillery, which has won a string of international awards including the world’s best single malt whisky. Spend a tipple-fueled afternoon in the garden or take a gin-making class with Killara Distillery, or sip some gin courtesy of Richmond Botanicals Co at Bellevue House.