In the Coal River Valley, the historic town of Richmond is one of the most popular visits in Tasmania. Known for its 19th-century Georgian buildings and cottages that are today home to galleries and teashops, boutiques and museums, the small town is half an hour from Hobart by bus.
Richmond began life in the 1820s as an important military staging post and convict station that linked Hobart with Port Arthur. Known for its excellent restaurants and for its wines grown in the fertile soils nearby, wine-tasting tours of the surrounding vineyards are a popular daytrip.
The town’s most popular photo stop has to be the picturesque Richmond Bridge. The oldest stone bridge in Australia, it looks straight out of Stratford-upon-Avon, but it was actually built by Tasmania’s convict workers in 1825.
Richmond also has its own detailed model village of how the town may have looked in the early 19th century. Other popular visits include Australia’s oldest gaol, Grannie Rhodes’ Cottage, Richmond’s wildlife park, and the St John the Evangelist church, which, being built in 1837, is the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country. Other gentle activities to do in the town include boating on the lake and discovering the wooden-walled Richmond Maze.
Twenty minutes’ drive from Hobart airport, buses to Richmond run at various times throughout the day. And with many hotels and boutique B&Bs in Richmond, the historic town makes a good base from which to explore southeast Tasmania.