A perfect day trip from Hobart, the distance is a mere 27 km or 30 minutes drive
Year round who cares what the weather is there is plenty to do indoors, feeling toasty with a roaring fire. Richmond is a microcosm of Hobart and Launceston rolled into one very cute town. Heritage buildings of course in spades, vineyards and places to share with a special someone, Coal River Valley wineries deliver the secluded spaces to share platters and a glass of local wine, or perhaps a vigorous walk is the answer to city blues Richmond’s walking trails are … and joy for cyclists are shared trails for bikes and dogs. Indoor spaces from museums, art galleries dotted among cafes and restaurants means visitors taste buds will thank you.
Where is Richmond (part of Clarence local government region)
Clarence City Council is a local government body in Tasmania, and one of the five municipalities that constitutes the Greater Hobart Area. Wikipedia. Richmond falls under Clarence jurisdiction.
Map of local attractions
A convict built sandstone bridge that is number one attraction as it is a functioning piece of history worth the effort to walk around and under the bridge. The bridge enabled the town to rapidly expand as ferrying the local river had been an obstacle to transportation.
Nearby to the iconic Ricmond bridge is St John’s Church. The oldest Catholic church open today in Australia. The first mass was held here in 1837 and is still used by the locals and primary school students today.
As you follow the self-guided trail full sized replicas of the inmates will speak their voices. Tragedy and humour and pathos as you hear the narratives from convicts. You can freely wander through the rooms as part of your immersive journey. The jail is the oldest surviving intact penitentiary showcasing the reality of convict jails. It is a snapshot of a nineteenth century prison. Some infamous inmates are the bushranger Martin Cash.
The Pooseum is a quirky science museum dedicated to all things poo. Definitely a great winter idea for restless families with fasctinating facts grabbing the attention of everyone. Underlying the museum is a scientific examination of how poo can be utilised as an energy resources, the biogas of poo and as a fertiliser. We promise the pooseum is totally odourless, there is no stink hanging around at all.
A symbol of the growing prosperity of Richmond and were used as local government offices until 1993. While browsing the shops look for the heritage plaques describing the buildings history, former occupants and building materials.
The tea shop’s signature is Devonshire teas as well as cafe staples such as coffee, cakes, bacon and eggs and gourmet lunches using locally sourced produce.
Cool climates encourage a longer growing season with pinot noir being a firm favourite. Check out Puddleduck Vineyard, Frogmore Creek, Pooley Wines or Craigow open cellar doors for a bottle or two to carry home.
Apart from a walk exploring the town, there is the Brinktop Reserve & Richmond Park Track walks include, ‘The track winds through a corridor of trees adjacent to Brinktop Road. The track follows the boundary of Richmond Park, one of the oldest properties in Australia dating from the 1810s. It climbs gently towards Brinktop Hill where it crosses a quiet road and enters Brinktop Bushland Reserve. There is a circuit track in the reserve which gives views across the Coal River Valley and Richmond township. The reserve contains rare and endangered plant species.’ The walk is 3 km on a firm easy walking track. Dogs are allowed on a leash. For more details on the track’s formation check out New bushland reserve and walking track – Eastern Shore Sun.
Saddlers Court Gallery specialises in fine art works and prints, Peppercorn Gallery represents over fifty Tasmanian artists and artisans, featuring visual creative arts from a wide range of mediums. Additionally there are a number of artisan stores representing local crafts and homeware together with a sizable collection of antique shops specialising in Georgian and Victorian artefacts. A slow meander of Bridge Street and adjoining side streets will keep you very busy.
For cycling enthusiasts within the Clarence local government area is the well known The Clarence Foreshore Trail is a multi-user pathway following the shores of the Derwent River. It offers a diverse range of scenery, from picturesque bays filled with moored yachts to she-oak forest and parkland. There are playgrounds, beaches and points of interest along the trail. The quality of the path varies from wide concrete to narrow gravel sections. Richmond would make an ideal hub for any multi-day cycling holidays.
Travel Pack Information
- Sustainable tourism and visitor experiences that manage the fine balance between restoration and commercial exploitation are often debated. Richmond is a cute heritage town within biking distance of Hobart. Today there is a lack of old, weathered historical layers on buildings. Heritage status has created a very popular tourist attraction which has resulted in sandstone houses, commercial warehouses and hotels being converted into the trappings of modern tourism. The debate between restoration and commercial survival as well as the results of being a successful tourist destination are encapsulated in Richmond. There are fervent debates on either side of the equation with the reality of economic reality is often a major deciding factor in towns such as Richmond. For more material on the debate of heritage, sustainability and tourism Heritage Conservation.
- Popular trails in Clarence
- Richmond heritage trail includes the following Richmond is a 19th century Georgian village rich in convict history. The walk passes many of Richmond’s most important historic sites. It can be done in either direction. Finish the walk with a picnic on the riverbank taking in the following sites:
- Richmond Bridge is Australia’s oldest stone bridge built by convicts in1823. Nearby St John’s Church is the oldest Catholic Church in Australia.
- Richmond Court House was built in 1825. It was used as Council Chambers from 1861 until 1993 when Richmond municipality amalgamated with Clarence City Council.
- St Luke’s Church of England, 26 Torrens Street is listed in the National Estate Register which records that ‘This Georgian stone church was designed by Colonial Architect John Lee Archer, and erected in 1834-36.’ The church timber interior was constructed by James Thompson, he was granted his freedom as a reward for his exceptional work.
- St John’s the Evangelist Catholic Church, on the banks of the Coal River, is the oldest Roman Catholic Church still in use in Australia. The church was designed by the ex-convict architect, Frederick Thomas, and the nave was completed in 1836 and opened on 31 December 1837. There have been several additions, the latest in 1972. Irish rebel leader Thomas Francis O’Meagher son is buried in the church grounds. O’Meagher is one of those rebel heroes, transported to Australia, escaped to America where he became the Governor of Montana.
- Town Hall was built in 1908 from re-cycled stone from derelict and demolisihed buildings including the Providence Mill and Police Barracks. The barracks were built in 1833 in an area that is now the car park behind the Town Hall.
- Oak Lodge is now owned by the National Trust, it houses the Coal River Valley Historical Society. Check out weekend in the Tasman Peninsula for further details
- Old School House was built by convicts in 1834, it is the oldest continuously used public education facility in Australia and is now used as the Richmond Primary School library.
- Richmond Gaol was built in 1825. Now a living museum.Admission fees apply.x
- Richmond Arms Hotel, 42 Bridge St (1888) replaced Lennox Hotel (1827). The Victorian cast iron lace works are a contrast to the Georgian austere lines that dominate most buildings in the town. Home – Richmond Arms – Bridge St, Richmond, Tasmania continues to operate as a hotel today.
The journey is worth it.