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Tasmania, Tassie or the Apple Isle had always been on my bucket list and I was disappointed that we missed it off our itinerary on our around Australia trip in 2014. Although I had travelled here previously when I was young and people had told me how fabulous it was, I was still blown away by its beauty. It was so much more than I anticipated. Our journey started and ended in Hobart, however we saved exploration of this city until the end of the trip. We picked up our campervan and headed only a short distance of 25 kilometres to the historic village of Richmond in the Coal River Valley.
Mr Wikipedia tells me that the name Coal River comes from the abundant natural source of coal in the area. And I thought is was because of the black coal-coloured waters in the river! Apparently the first British settlers used the valley as a mixture of grazing, pastureland and crop growing.
The Coal River region surrounding Richmond as it turns out, is an award winning wine producing area, with a similar latitude to the famous wine regions of France and Germany. So no wonder I had an instant affinity to this place!
Richmond resembles an old English village maybe set in the Cotswolds or somewhere else just as enchanting. I had to keep reminding myself I was in Australia as I wandered around the streets with camera in hand. It boasts more than 50 Georgian buildings, many beautifully restored and now operating as cafes, restaurants, galleries and accommodation.
The gaol, that is beautifully restored and the oldest gaol in Australia, is now a tourist attraction, and is a reminder of the town’s convict past. It was built over a period of 15 years between 1825 and 1840 and was allegedly overcrowded with crude facilities.
Most of the government buildings you see still standing in Richmond were hand built by convict labour. The Richmond Bridge is a very good example of this. It was built out of local stone in 1825 and is the oldest standing bridge in Australia. The arched bridge spans the brackish waters of the Coal River that creates a great mirror effect when photographed.
Here’s a little tour around town showing some of the Georgian buildings that adorn this picture-perfect little village.
St John’s Catholic Church (upper right) is the oldest church still in use in Australia, built in 1837. A stroll around the church’s graveyard reveals the harsh times during the early 1800s in a convict colony, where many adults and infants perished at an early age.
The second church in the photo with the lantern above the gate is St Luke’s Anglican Church. It was built between 1834-35 in the typical Georgian Gothic style of architecture.
The sandstone bricks and the gorgeous wrought iron lacework on the verandah of this old pub adds to its charm. The Richmond Arms Hotel was built c. 1888 and offers great home-style meals in an authentic setting.
My entree to Tasmania was this endearing little village of Richmond. What else was Tassie going to serve up to me? Follow my other posts on my Tassie Trip.
Linking up with Travel Photo Thursday
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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