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Richmond, Tasmania: Why It Should Be Next on Your Travel Calendar

Image Credit: Brian Dullaghan

Blessed with gourmet food markets, charming-meets-luxurious stays, historic Georgian architecture and tantalising wineries, nowhere is quite like Richmond, Tasmania.

Now more than ever, people are flocking to this perfectly preserved slice of history to discover its natural beauty, cellar doors and colonial heritage. Here’s why Richmond is the next ‘it’ place to put on your travel calendar.

It’s… steeped in history

If you’re a history buff, you’ll fall in love with Richmond’s colonial feel and 19th-century Georgian architecture. A stroll through the town’s main drag will take you past the original courthouse, quaint sandstone cottages and the oldest intact gaol in Australia, built-in 1825.

Step inside one of the best-preserved convict structures still existing in Tasmania and be transported to the 1800s – over 100 convicts were confined here, in a space meant for 60. Stand in a confinement cell measuring just one by two metres and see the chain-gang sleeping rooms, flogging yard and historical relics.

The jewel in Richmond’s crown? The giant sandstone pillars that hold up Australia’s oldest bridge still in use, Richmond Bridge. A well-preserved timepiece of Australia’s history, this iconic bridge is colonial spirit set in stone, constructed by the convicts sent here from England.

Just a five-minute walk away, the spires of Australia’s oldest Catholic church, St. John’s, proudly dominate the Richmond skyline and overlook the Coal River.

Image credit: Natalie Mendham

It’s… surrounded by tantalising vineyards

The vineyards of the Coal River Valley are home to some of Tasmania’s most prestigious cool-climate wineries. Discover the multi-award-winning Pooley Wines, Tasmania’s first and only third-generation wine business, the perfect place to nurse a glass of Reisling, Chardonnay or Pinot Noir and explore the coach house and stables-cum-cellar door.

If cool-climate Merlot is more your thing, pop into Nocton Vineyard cellar door for a complimentary tipple, marvel at the rolling hills and lush vineyard of Frogmore Creek with a glass of Shiraz, or enjoy views over Coal Valley River with a furry friend in tow at the vegan, dog-friendly Wobbly Boot Vineyard.

Can’t choose? Soak up the brisk countryside and local wines that the Coal River Valley is famous for with an Ageing Barrel Wine Tour, leaving you with memories that will age as well as the region’s award-winning wines.

Image credit: Natalie Mendham

It’s… perfect for a market crawl

Only 30 minutes outside of Hobart, Richmond is the ideal place for a weekend escape. The thriving Coal River Valley Farmers Market offers local fresh produce, gourmet food and artisanal crafts every second Sunday of the month, and Richmond Village Market delivers fresh organic vegetables every Saturday between 9am and 2pm – both not to be missed for a bite to eat and a bit of historic splendour on Richmond’s main street.

Image credit: Natalie Mendham

It’s… a farm gate haven

Billed as the ‘providore island’, Tasmania’s Coal River Valley region is your gateway to juicy cool-climate fruits: think apricots, cherries and crisp apples. Keep your eyes peeled for road signs between Cambridge and Richmond declaring cherries are in season, venture to Lowdina Orchard for plump apricots and their renowned apricot ice cream, and pick your very own fresh strawberries at Littlewood Berry Farm.

More of a cheese fiend? Feast on Coal River Valley’s exquisite cheeses like triple cream brie, award-winning cheddar and others at the sublime Wicked Cheese. Or, you could savour Coal River Farm’s handcrafted selection of chocolates and cheese – blue, washed rind and vine ash wrapped – drizzle with some local leatherwood honey from Coolgardie Cottage for a decadent afternoon treat.

A standout in Tasmania’s booming foodie scene is the seafood. Between the airport and the Coal River Valley, an oyster farm and abalone processing plant share a coastal site. A land-based tour will take you to see how oysters are farmed at Barilla Bay Oyster Farm – you can take some home with you in an insulated pack – and show you how some of the world’s most expensive and sought-after wild abalone is hand-harvested and processed at Candy Abalone Tasmania.

Image credit: Natalie Mendham

It’s… just a hop, skip and jump away

A short drive outside of Hobart, less than a 90-minute flight from Melbourne and with so much to see and do, Richmond Tasmania is one Luxury Escape you should definitely put on your travel calendar.

It’s… your next Luxury Escape?

Prospect House is the ideal location to immerse yourself in old-world Georgian luxury and contemporary comforts, with over 190 years of colonial history to its name. Sitting proudly on eight hectares of perfectly manicured grounds on the outskirts of Richmond, you’ll be perfectly placed to explore the iconic vineyards, greater Hobart and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Convict Site. Book it now on Luxury Escapes.

Image credit: Joe Chelko

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