What to See and Do in Richmond
I’ve been fortunate to enjoy growing up in this village and have enjoyed showing friends from interstate and overseas the natural beauty, rich history and variety of amazing food this small town delivers. I thought I would share a bit of my local knowledge with you along with feedback from first-time visitors.
There are many things to do in Richmond Tasmania such as visiting historic sites (including Richmond Bridge and Richmond Gaol), exploring quaint craft shops, visiting fine wineries, and soaking in the friendly village feel. This guide will explore 25 of the most popular attractions.
If these stones could talk! This may be the reason you travelled to Richmond or even Tasmania in the first place. You saw the pictures of the giant sandstone pillars and the luscious green riverbanks and wanted to see it in person.
The Richmond Bridge is the oldest sandstone bridge still in use in Australia. It’s a well-preserved timepiece of Australia’s history, being constructed by convicts who were sent to Australia from England.
Unlike many historic remains, you can actually get close and walk over or underneath it. There’s not even an admission fee!
St John’s Church
While admiring the bridge and riverbank, you’ll notice a stunning tall church sitting up high on a small hill. This is St John’s Church – the oldest catholic church still in existence in Australia.
The first mass was held here in 1837 and is still used by the locals and primary school students today. You’re welcome to attend a local mass or simply admire the architecture.
St Luke’s Church
Another one of Richmond’s grand buildings that visitors must see in Richmond Tasmania is St Luke’s Anglican Church.
One thing that visitors really appreciate about St Luke’s Church is that the building is genuine and has barely changed since it’s construction in 1834. It’s another product of convict construction and features a beautiful timber roof which was built so well that the convict responsible was freed in appreciation of their work. Don’t forget to look up!
Sweets & Treats – The Famous “Lolly Shop”
If you ask anyone from Tasmania about Richmond, they’ll glowingly recommend Sweets and Treats.
When you walk in the door you’re immediately overwhelmed by a wall-to-ceiling display of sweets and chocolates. Some you’ll be familiar with, some will remind you of your youth, while others will be new and mouth wateringly tempting. Sweets or an ice cream? Tough choice, pick both!
Walk the Riverbank, Feed the Ducks, Have a Picnic
While you’re admiring the Richmond Bridge, you may find the green riverbanks to be a great place to have a picnic. This is one of the best things to do in Richmond Tasmania and a great place to enjoy the local foods you wish to try.
Both the northern and southern ends provide ample space to relax on a bench or throw down a rug. The southern end has bbq’s in small huts, a viewing platform which is ideal for photos and a path alongside the river. The ducks are friendly and don’t mind a feed of your sandwich!
Richmond Village Green
Walk up the stairs from the riverbank and you’ll find the Richmond Village Green. This is another great place to have lunch and has a playground for young children.
Richmond Village Farmers and Makers Market
Get a taste of local fresh produce, gourmet foods and handmade crafts and clothing at the local Saturday morning market.
Richmond and the surrounding Coal River Valley grow quality organic vegetables and in the right season you’ll find the freshest strawberries and apricots. A favourite with the locals and Hobart residents, as well as tourists.
Have a Nice Lunch
You’ve got some great choices for lunch here, from quick eats to a hearty sit-down meal.
The cafes and restaurants in Richmond offer something for all occasions. The Richmond Bakery has been popular for decades and is renown for it’s hot pies with generous meaty mouthfuls (try the scallop pies, they’re amazing!). Plenty of indoor seating, outdoor seating in a nice courtyard, or in a short walk you can eat on the village green or by the bridge.
Ashmore House is a beautiful tearoom in a colonial setting. Serving traditional café favourites in a boutique way, such as coffee, cakes, bacon and eggs and gourmet lunches using local, in-season produce.
Some of the vineyards on the edge of Richmond village and in the Coal River Valley offer great lunch options. Pooley Wines and Frogmore Creek are two to look out for!
Enjoy a Drink
Richmond and the Coal River Valley have long been known for producing amazing white wines. In recent years, a number of microbreweries have stolen the limelight, producing limited run batches of craft beers and ciders. Tasmania also produces whisky which is sought after from all over the world.
Travel is a holistic experience, where memories are gained from the sites we see, people we meet and the foods and beverages we sample.
Take a look at the local wineries of the Richmond Tasting House.
Oldest Intact Gaol (Jail) in Australia
Experience a key piece of Australia’s convict history at the Richmond Gaol. It was constructed in 1825 to hold convicts who were shipped out from England for often petty crimes. These convicts were used as slaves to build the Richmond village, including the Richmond Bridge.
You’ll see that for a historic site it’s incredibly well maintained, requiring little imagination to picture the harsh life convicts led. And unlike many historic sites you’re free to roam through most of the rooms.
One of the most popular things to do in Richmond Tasmania, is to be locked in the small windowless cells and briefly experience how the convicts felt in solitary confinement.
Oak Lodge is another well-preserved piece of Richmond history, like a time capsule of architecture, people and stories from the 1800’s. Constructed in 1831 and still contains the original cellar, staircase, cupboards, and stone pathways and stables in the garden.
The previous owner was kind enough to donate the property to the National Trust, requesting the property to be preserved and made accessible for members of the public to enjoy.
Galleries, Antiques and Crafts
Richmond is home to some of Tasmania’s finest art galleries and craft shops. The local artists produce stunning paintings of local landscape, bespoke handmade wooden furniture and crafts with colour-rich, Tasmanian timber.
Saddler’s Court Gallery and Peppercorn Gallery have an amazing collection of landscape paintings as well as ceramic, leather, jewellery and Tasmanian timber pieces.
Old Hobart Town Model Village
While in Richmond we are lucky to have access to some of the oldest and most significant historic sites, sometimes we do still have to use our imaginations to fully picture the life which convicts and early settlers led.
The Old Hobart Town Model Village enables you to visualise this fascinating era. Set outside, you’re able to walk through the village at your own pace and gain further insights with the accompanying visitor materials.
The owners spent three years designing and constructing the village from historical plans, resulting in a depiction of early Hobart days, which is accurate and highly detailed.
Learn Something New at the Pooseum
No, we didn’t misspell museum! It’s a Pooseum; it’s the talk of the town right now and becoming one of the most popular things to do in Richmond Tasmania.
This venue takes a grown-up, scientific look at one of the most under-utilised natural products available. Learn about how scientists are using poo for energy production, biogas and medicine – maybe it’ll save you one day.
There are a number of interesting information and displays which have fortunately been dehydrated or fossilised (no need to hold your nose). Young and old will enjoy this interesting venue, come in with an open mind and surprise yourself!
Are you keen to pat a lion? Hold a meerkat? Or meet the most famous residents of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Devil? Zoodoo is a fun wildlife park that’s ideal for young children, animal lovers and those from overseas who wish to see the unique Australian wildlife for the first time.
Unlike most wildlife parks which focus on Australian animals, or Zoo’s which focus more on overseas species, Zoodoo has it all! This isn’t a zoo where animals are separated by a wire fence – there’s plenty of opportunities for interaction, even with the snakes and lion!
If your children need to burn some energy, there’s a jumping castle and ball pit to keep them amused.
Take a Tour and Try Many of The Top Things to do
So you’ve only got one spare day on your trip around Tasmania and you’re keen to see as much of Richmond as possible?
A tour of Richmond can be a great way to ensure you see all the best sites. Tours include wine tasting and exploring beautiful wineries, gourmet food, scenic flights and there’s even a night time ghost tour. Groups are small and the experiences are genuine and memorable.
Stay in a Cottage
When you travel it’s common to stay at hotels, which may be pleasant, but plain and lack any memorable or redeeming features. Fortunately accommodation in Richmond Tasmania isn’t like this. Many of the finest properties in the village are actually available for accommodation. If the cosiness and warmth of colonial era construction inspires you, why not stay a night or two?
After a long day seeing the sites, sit back on the couch in front of a log fire with a glass of local wine. Bridge Cottage and Laurel Cottage are two to look out for!
Look for a Ghost
A village with this much history is bound to have a few stories. Richmond’s most famous ghost would have to be that of George Grover, at the Richmond Bridge. After being transported to Australia in the early 1800’s as a convict, he was said to have worked his way up the food chain to become a flagellator. He was known as a vile man who was in charge of managing the convict slaves who worked on the bridge. After falling asleep while in a state of intoxication, he was thrown over the bridge. The ghost of George Grover has been known to watch over the Richmond Bridge from the trees on the western side.
There have been numerous other ghost sightings throughout Richmond’s buildings and the historic Gaol. Take a look, if you dare!
Richmond and the Coal River Valley is a popular place to get married, with locals, Hobart couples, and even couples from other Australian states, seeking something romantic and unique.
Spring is popular, when couples take advantage of the sunny weather and green grass and have spectacular wedding shots taken on the riverbank in front of the bridge.
There are beautiful sandstone Catholic and Anglican churches situated in the village. Surrounding the village in the Coal River Valley are beautiful vineyards with beautifully manicured gardens, water views and function centres serving locally sourced dishes and their own wines. Frogmore Creek is one to look out for!
Explore the Coal River Valley
I’d recommend taking your time when driving to or from Richmond. While Richmond is only a 20 minute drive from Hobart and less from the airport, there’s lots to see on the way, so leave yourself a couple of hours to explore the Coal River Valley.
You could easily spend a day exploring this area, partaking in wine and cheese tasting, fruit picking, or simply relaxing over a long lunch.
Coal River Farm is a newcomer to the valley and a favourite of mine for a nice casual lunch with a great view. There’s amazing chocolate and cheese all produced in-house and hearty, modern dishes if you’re peckish. If you want to stretch your legs there’s a big strawberry patch where you’re invited to pick your own to take with you.
If you enjoy wine you must visit the local Richmond and Coal River Valley wineries – world class wine is what the Coal River Valley is fast becoming famous for! The cool climate provides a longer growing season and creates amazing Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Noir. Drop in for a tasting, lunch or take a couple of bottles home with you. Popular destinations include Puddleduck Vineyard, Frogmore Creek, Craigow Vineyard and Pooley Wines.
Enjoy a Cheese Tasting
Cheese lovers (that’s almost everyone right?) must stop off at The Wicked Cheese Co. These boutique cheese makers produce their own range of cheese, which is available for tasting and purchase. You’ll find award-winning Brie’s, a variety of hard cheese and some interesting fusions (such as chilli camembert and whiskey cheddar).
Walk Richmond & Explore the Historic Buildings
Richmond was one of the first areas to be settled in Australia. At one point it was the third largest town, after Hobart and Launceston. What really sets Richmond apart is that many of these old buildings still stand, with little change since their initial construction during 1820- 1850’s. Casually walk the streets and you’ll see these still in use as houses, shops and churches.
Try Some Sweet, Sweet Walnuts
If you’re like me you probably tried walnuts from the supermarket when you were a child and found their bitterness to be rather disgusting! Forget about that, Coaldale Walnuts are fresh, sweet and the real thing. They healthy oils make them a healthy snack and a valuable ingredient in salads and baking.Drop into their farm and try their fresh walnuts, kernals and pickled walnuts.
Go Fruit Picking
Ever since Tasmania was first settled in the earl 1800’s, it’s been a fantastic all-round farming district. The rich, fertile soils and cool climate doesn’t just make Richmond and the Coal River Valley a great place to grow wine grapes, it’s great for a variety of crops.
Fruit picking is a lot of fun, especially if you have young, active children. It’s a great way to teach them where food really comes from. And for most children who grow up in suburban areas, it’s something they’ll rarely have the chance to do.
Drop into Coal River Farm or Littlewood Berry Farm on Richmond Road and pick your own strawberries. Feel satisfied that you know they’re fresh and come from a good place.
Play a Round of Golf
Richmond is fortunate enough to have two great golf clubs. The Coal Valley Golf Links is a 9-hole golf course on the edge of the village that’s open to the public. It’s known for being a friendly venue that welcomes tourists. There is a practice fairway and hire of clubs and buggies is available. The clubhouse is open 7 days, offering pub-style food and alcoholic beverages.
Located at 123 Middle Tea Tree Rd.
The Richmond Golf Club is a private golf course which also welcomes visitors and new members. It’s a 9 hole course but also features a separate 18th hole and has alternate tees on some holes. Competitions are held year-round for members.
Located at 345 Richmond Road.
Enjoy Your Visit
I hope this list has helped you to plan and enjoy your trip to Richmond and the Coal River Valley. While some attractions will always remain, new attractions do appear while others close. We pay close attention to what’s happening in Richmond and update this list regularly. However, if you think we have missed something or you have any other feedback, please contact us.