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The delightful town of Richmond

In the heart of Coal River Valley

Richmond oozes history and charm

Historic Richmond, just 25 minutes from Hobart is a fascinating town. The most striking feature of Richmond is its imposing bridge. The majestic sandstone arches of the convict-built Richmond Bridge have spanned the Coal River since 1825 making it Australia’s oldest bridge still in use. Most days, the river here is peacefully still and the reflection of the bridge in the water makes for a picture-perfect shot.

Richmond tours take visitors past beautiful, heritage-listed colonial buildings or you can go by foot and pop into the quaint shops housed in these charming buildings. A must-see is Richmond Gaol, the oldest intact gaol in Australia. At The Old Hobart Town Model Village, you can walk through a replica of 1820s Hobart, and for something different, visit Pooseum, a quirky museum dedicated to animal droppings!

Richmond tours are included in some of our Tasmanian holidays

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Physical rating:
3 - Active/Moderate
Tour duration icon
Tour duration:
11
days

Treat yourself this Christmas with the awe-inspiring sights and tastes of Tasmania with 11 days discovering Port Arthur Penal Settlement, Tasman Arch, Derwent Valley, Eaglehawk Neck, Bruny Island and more. We celebrate Christmas in Hobart with a long sumptuous lunch and spend New Years Eve in Launceston. You’ll be tempted by heritage, culture, taste sensations and glorious natural scenery whilst also visiting Cradle Mountain, Strahan and Launceston.

Physical rating icon
Physical rating:
3 - Active/Moderate
Tour duration icon
Tour duration:
11
days

See the icons of the Apple Isle on this in-depth tour of Tasmania. Fly into Hobart for 2-nights and explore the Port Arthur Historic Site. Enjoy an epic Gordon River Cruise travelling to Strahan and Queenstown. Enjoy a train journey on the West Coast Wilderness Railway line before arriving into Tullah. Take in all the sights of Wine Glass Bay with an aerial view whilst exploring the Freycinet Peninsula before heading back to Hobart.

Two must-see sites in Richmond

The most photographed landmark in Richmond is its sandstone bridge, completed by convicts in 1825. At the time, Richmond was the third largest town in Van Diemen's Land. Today it’s a favourite spot to take a photograph, have a picnic lunch on the grassy banks, and meet the friendly ducks and ducklings. 

The Richmond Gaol is the oldest intact gaol in Australia. Built in 1825, it was still in use up until 1928. Richmond tours of the goal give an insight into the harsh daily life of convicts in the 19th century. The gaol housed some notorious inmates including Ikey Solomon. It was said that author Charles Dickens based his character Fagin in Oliver Twist on this convict. 

Another site of note is St John the Evangelist Catholic Church which stands on a hill overlooking the river. It was built in 1836 and is the oldest remaining Catholic church in Australia.

In the heart of Coal River Valley
In the heart of Coal River Valley

Small town with an important history

Richmond played an important role in Tasmanian history. Established in the early 1800s, it was an integral part of Lieutenant Governor Arthur's system of police districts, with a courthouse, gaol, watchhouse, and barracks and providing a link between Hobart to the penal settlement of Port Arthur.

Originally inhabited by the Moomairremener Aboriginal people, land grants were given from 1808 attracting settlers to the area, and Richmond developed into a rich agricultural area producing wheat and farming sheep and cattle. The completion of Richmond Bridge in 1825 enabled travel to the east coast and Richmond flourished.

By 1835, Richmond was the third largest district in Tasmania with inns, general stores, saddlers, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, tanneries, and kilns. At the end of the convict period, Richmond became less valuable but remained a quiet agricultural area. By the 1960s, tourism developed, and Richmond day trips became a popular activity, leading to the restoration of its colonial character.

Frequently asked questions

How far is Richmond from Hobart?

Richmond is a charming historic town nestled in the Coal River Valley, a scenic 25-minute drive northeast of Hobart. 

How did Richmond in Tasmania get its name?

The town was named in 1824 by Lieutenant Governor Sorell after a nearby property, Richmond Park.

What era of architecture are the buildings in Richmond, Tasmania?

Richmond has a rich history dating back to the early 1800s. More than fifty historic buildings from the early 1820s feature impressive Georgian architecture. Most have been meticulously restored and many now operate as restaurants, cafes, shops, art galleries, and accommodation.

What is the population of Richmond, Tasmania?

Richmond is in the Clarence Region of Tasmania and has a population of 1463 people.

See nearby cities, sights, and festivals

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