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DISTANCES: Hobart 26Km


Tasmania - rich in history and heritage, retains more of its colonial past than any other Australian state. There are many reminders of that rich heritage throughout the state, nowhere more evident than the charming old-world village of Richmond, near Hobart. Richmond’s treasures include Australia’s oldest bridge.

The Richmond area was explored as long ago as 1803, the very year of European settlement in Tasmania, when coal was found in the area by members of Lt. Bowen’s party. Richmond’s centrepiece is the magnificent bridge built by convict labour in 1823-25. What it lacks in symmetry it more than makes up for in charm, with the vista of St John’s Church through its archway, the picnic grounds on the banks of the Coal River and what must surely be the best fed ducks anywhere.

Richmond Gaol was built in 1825 to house the gangs of convicts engaged in local public works and prisoners in transit (perhaps to the gallows in Hobart), and is probably the oldest surviving convict gaol in Australia. Now restored and a major visitor attraction, the gaol held some colourful prisoners - the bushranger Martin Cash refers to having been held there.

St John’s Church, dating from the mid 1830s, is the oldest Catholic Church in Australia.

Many of the town’s beautiful old Georgian buildings have been restored and serve visitors as shops, art and craft galleries or restaurants.


Richmond is of great historic importance and is one of the most interesting historic villages in Tasmania. It is less than half an hour’s drive from Hobart and many fine examples of early Van Diemen’s Land structures dating from the 1820s may be seen. They include Australia’s oldest freestone road bridge (1823), the gaol - 5 years older than Port Arthur (1825), the court house (1825), Buscombes general store (1829)- now the home of Richmond’s Town & Country, Bridge Inn (1833) - one of the earliest buildings in Richmond - now a series of shops round a courtyard, St Luke’s Church (1836), ‘Prospect House’ (1830s) now a restaurant (also colonial accommodation), a general store (1836), old saddlery (1843) now a gallery and craft shop, ‘Ashmore’ (1850) a general store now a teashop with adjoining antique business, Richmond Arms Hotel, The Maze - entertainment for young and old and Old Hobart Town Model Village. The model village has been largely reconstructed from original plans, depicting Hobart as it was in the 1820s.

For the history and theatre lover; Turn the Key of Time with Grannie Rhodes at Mulberry Cottage B&B, 1830 in tariff. The charming B&B home has been built from a reclaimed wall of Hobart's Old Penitentiary. This 50 minute, award winning performance, is an experience not to be missed.