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Tasmanian Town Alive in Its Past


Richmond Bridge ... Australia's oldest bridge

Richmond Bridge ... Australia's oldest bridge

Photo: Tourism Tasmania and Nick Osborne

VIEW Richmond Photo Gallery.

When you're in Hobart, the most popular and obvious daytrip is to the convict settlement of Port Arthur with its carefully preserved ruins of the penitentiary, church, guardhouses, walls.

But, of course, there are other daytrips to take from Hobart such as southwest to the Huon Valley, south along the Channel Highway and from Kettering, by ferry, to Bruny Island.

Or you could travel roughly east from Hobart on the A3, then north on the B31 to Richmond. It should take you from 20 to 30 minutes.

Cottages and manors

Where you find mostly ruins on Port Arthur, Richmond is a live, vibrant community that in its architecture and structures has remained true to its past.

You'll find Australia's oldest Catholic church and bridge in Richmond, a well-preserved convict jail, colonial cottages and quite stately manors, all reminiscent of a time one mostly reads about in historical archives.

Bridge, church and jail

Richmond Bridge was built by convict labor between 1823 and 1825 and the nearby Catholic church, St John's, was built in 1836. Walk on the bridge and wander in the church's cemetery for glimpses of a past long gone.

Richmond Gaol, built in 1825, was used to house convicts, as well as bushrangers and Aborigines imprisoned there.

For a view of how Hobart used to be, the Old Hobart Town historical model village provides a Gulliver-like experience among the Lilliputian recreation of the old city.

Food, drink and souvernirs

There are a number of Devonshire tea places for when you start feeling peckish as well as eating houses with a variety of lunch and dinner fare. For wine lovers, consider a visit to the Richmond Wine Centre or Meadowbank Estate.

For souvenirs and shopping, there are shops and shopping arcades including Saddlers Court, Peppercorn Gallery and The Woodcraft Shop.

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