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About an hour’s drive from Hobart, Richmond was once a stopover on the way to the penal settlement of Port Arthur. Now you can zip over the causeways through Midway Point, but you can adopt a slower pace in Tasmania and Richmond is certainly worth the detour.
A lot of Richmond was built in the 1820’s, including the old bridge (Australia’s oldest still in use), and you can see Australia’s oldest remaining Catholic church (1836) through the arches of the bridge.
Also built in 1836 was the Anglican church St Lukes. There may be older churches in Tasmania but St Lukes has not changed since the day the first rector cleaned his boots on the marvelous boot scraper at the front door.
The clock in the tower of St Luke’s is a gift from St David’s church in Hobart. There’s a lovely stained-glass window above the alter and the timber roof is convict built. The two storey church rectory is just nearby – it’s now a private residence.
All around the town you’ll find lovely sandstone buildings, some now art galleries or cafes. You can visit Australia’s oldest goal that is still intact, grab a meal at the pituresque old hotel (maybe taste a local wine), or feed the ducks on the Coal River.
The Old Hobart Town Model Village will give you a picture of how Hobart was in the 1820’s.
And if the kids are bored by this time, pay a visit to Zoodoo, a hands-on safari and native animal park about 6kms away – but watch out for the emus!
Email from Ben: “I plan to climb Cradle Mountain when we visit the area in a few weeks – better start training”. So I reduced my alcohol consumption to one glass of wine a night (well, most nights) and did a bit of walking (on the flat) at weekends, so when we started our trek on a fine February day I was completely unprepared for what lay ahead.