Located in the heart of Coal river region or about 30 kilometers to the north-east of Hobart, Richmond is one of the most famous destinations for tourists visiting Hobart. Its main claim to fame is the oldest bridge in Australia, but also its high street dotted by Georgian buildings. This village with less than 800 inhabitants is indeed charming.
We arrived at the hotel in Hobart in the afternoon so we only had less than half a day of sun light left, so we decided to start our visit at a place not too far away from the city. We drove back the same route which we had just taken from the airport heading toward the village Richmond. I had heard about this village for the very first time when making travel plans back in Thailand. Actually we could have driven from the airport directly to Richmond before going to our hotel in Hobart. That would had saved some time, rather than driving back and forth.
After around 30 minutes drives from Hobart we arrived in Richmond. The first thing to notice is the majestic Richmond Bridge which is the main reason why we came here in the first place. If I didn’t tell anything about the history of Richmond this article would be too short, so let me at least give an introduction.
The Richmond Bridge is a fine example of early colonial bridge engineering and was built to provide a reliable all weather crossing over the Coal River. Originally named after the Commissioner John Bigge, it was constructed by convict labor between December 1823 and January 1825 under Bell, Stonemason and William Wilson, using locally quarried freestone. It is the oldest bridge in Australia // Dedicated by the institution of engineers, Australia, 1991 (Credit: The plaque on Richmond Bridge summarizing its history)
Open grassy area next to the river a perfect place for the Tasmanian Native hen to live
The Coal River Valley Region was one of the very first areas of Tasmania to be explored by English settlers. The beautiful sandstone arch bridge was finished in 1829 to facilitate the crossing of the Coal River. This was necessary to transport coal and other natural resources which were abundant in this region. 200 years later the bridge is still standing strong and is used by both cars and pedestrians.
The history of Richmond goes back to the foundation of the first colony in Australia. The village is home to many historic buildings, among them around 50 from the Georgian era, for those who are interested. However, it is a small village, and while it is something special for Tasmania it is not so extraordinary compared to what can be found elsewhere.
As we visited quite late in the day all the shops were already closed so after enjoying the moment around the lovely Richmond bridge it was time to return to Hobart. If anyone travel to Hobart don’t miss this place. It a small but lovely, historical village with a nice ancient bridge worth spending a calm hour and taking a few pictures.