Just a 20-minute drive from Hobart and you arrive in the picturesque Coal River Valley, nestled between the historic towns of Richmond and Cambridge. The region is predominantly known for its award-winning wines and its rich colonial past.
Richmond’s early colonial history history lives on through its most famous attractions – Australia’s oldest gaol, the oldest remaining Catholic church, and the oldest bridge in Australia (built by the gaol’s residents, the local convicts in the1820s). The gaol is a stark reminder of the difficult times through which those early prisoners lived – many of whom were convicted of nothing more than stealing a loaf of bread. The church and the nearby cemetery also have some interesting historical stories to offer.
Old and young alike will love exploring the lives of the early settlers at the amazing Old Hobart Town Historical Model Village. Many hours can be spent strolling along Richmond’s main street and admiring the more than 50 early Georgian style buildings. The village is popular with day-trippers as well as regional travellers, due to the numerous cafés, bakeries, galleries, craft, confectionery and gourmet food stores. When you’ve sampled all the village has to offer, take a rest on the banks of the Coal River and enjoy the view of the Richmond Bridge, one of Tasmania’s most photographed landmarks.
The Coal River Valley offers scenic driving and great cellar door touring for the wine enthusiast. Numerous privately owned vineyards can be found here and the internationally acclaimed wines from this region are more European in style, compared to others produced across the island.
Cambridge is a more modern town, servicing the Hobart Airport and offering excellent shopping and facilities for the visitor. It’s also home to some great food and wine experiences including Barilla Bay Oysters on the Tasman Highway and Coal Valley Vineyard cellar door on Richmond Road.