10 things to see and do in Richmond Tasmania Australia
Updated: Nov 22, 2022
The difficulty with making a '10 things to see and do' list in a town is narrowing a favourite place down to just ten. Richmond in Tasmania has many attractions to delight people of all ages, including their famous convict-built bridge. As this bridge appears in almost every article about Richmond, I am going to share some of the lesser known but no less wonderful sights.
1. Repurposed buildings
Many of the old buildings in Richmond have been converted into bed and breakfasts. Built in 1873 is The Church in Richmond, which in 2022 is a luxury accommodation venue set in fabulous gardens right in the heart of town. Keeping the facade as close to original as possible, inside the owners have installed underfloor heating and used recycled timbers from the floors and old church pews in the building.
2. Old churches and graveyards
St John's Roman Catholic Church was built in 1837 and is still in use today. Strangely, there is just one grave just outside the front door of the church. It belongs to Henry, the son of Irish nationalist rebel Thomas Meagher. Young Henry passed away in 1852, aged just 4 months old. This tiny grave reminded me that in the 1800s the mortality rate of infant children was often as high as 50% passing away before their second birthday.
Headstones date from 1832 in each of the Richmond cemeteries, but many of the graves are unmarked convict graves. At the congregational burial ground, the headstones all face south, and not east, as is the usual practice.
St Lukes Church is recognised by its dominating clock tower. Consecrated in 1838, the clock was finally installed in 1922. The church still operated for services. Georgian style buildings can be seen all over town.
3. Handmade Jewellery and Crafts
Dr Spork (also known as Gerard) recycles old antique, unwanted cutlery into stunning pieces of wearable and decorative art. I now sport a gorgeous bracelet that is comfortable on my wrist and gives me pleasure knowing old unwanted spoons are now repurposed into loved and admired jewellery.
There are several artists in town making handicrafts at ART - Artists of Richmond. It is fun exploring their offerings. Peppercorn Gallery on the main street also have a selection of different crafts by local artists.
4. Tasmanian Lavender Company
With Lavender grown at nearby Port Arthur and Pawleena, visitors know they are buying a local Tasmanian product. All things lavender can be bought here, and if you love the scent of this delicate flower, here is a shop that you definitely want to spend some time looking through. I liked to see that they use the lavender stalks to hand make paper. Waste not.
5. Christmas Shop
Lafayette on Bridge is a home decorators dream store, full of tempting items for the home. Upstairs there are three floors of the most magical Christmas decor. Full of perfectly decorated trees that inspire, I was intrigued by the upside-down tree hanging from the rafters. What a brilliant way to display treasured trinkets. In addition to the more traditional trees, there are themed ones, such as the bird tree. For bird lovers, this would be their Christmas dream.
6. The Puzzle People
As the name says, there are a lot of puzzles available here, including a large range of specialised monopoly games. Jigsaws reign in the store, the largest one is on display and is made up of 40,320 pieces. It measures 6.83m x 1.93m and is based on Disney's Mickey Mouse over 90 years. This Ravensburger puzzles was constructed by volunteers from far and wide.
7. The Woodcraft Shop
The masterpieces here are individually carved by master craftsmen and use the unique and beautiful Tasmanian timbers. Taking home something from this store is taking a practical and decorative piece of Tasmania that will stay with you for years. The staff told me that even King Charles took home a set of the salt and pepper grinders when he visited here once.
This one-of-a-kind, quirky museum is all about poo! Scat, kaka, s*&t. It does not smell, instead it educates and entertains all ages. I mean, who knew that paper can be made from grazing animals' poo! in fact lots of zoos are doing this right now, especially using elephant dung. What a great idea, currently it takes a lot of trees and water to produce paper. What a resourceful way to recycle.
You can either love this next one or leave it, but I discovered at the pooseum that some alcohols are made out of poo! I have to confess here that I have sampled Lewak coffee, where the coffee beans have passed through a Lewak and then washed and then roasted and ground to a decent coffee. I am not sure if I would sample the alcoholic version though.
Karen the creator and owner of the museum is a font of knowledge. She is passionate about the science and education. It is so wonderful to see her dream of opening this museum come to reality, and for the thousands of people who have visited to enjoy it. As mentioned, there is lots of quirky here, including wierd and funny lamps, where the on/off switch is.....
I would definitely recommend spending an hour, at least, visiting pooseum.
9. Historical houses
As mentioned in Number 1 above, many old historical buildings in town have been carefully preserved and are now either private residences or air bnbs. Some have been hotels, schools, shops, rectories, dispensaries, morgues, hospitals etc. A walk around Richmond brochure listing 66 buildings is available from almost every store and accommodation venue in Richmond. I do love old houses, and the care people take with them, it is always a labour of love to restore these houses. Get hold of a brochure, put on comfy shoes and wander around enjoying this town at a leisurely pace.
10. Antique and bric-a-brac stores
One thing Richmond does not lack is a good antique store. Either browsing or buying, there is something here to admire for most shoppers. Oh, there are indeed so many wonderful treasures available in these shops.
As a bonus, I will include a picture of the famous Richmond Bridge. It is the oldest existing stone arch bridge in Australia, being built by convicts in 1823. This is pretty old by Australian standards. Taking two years to build, convicts used sandstone from nearby Butchers Hill. It is brilliantly designed. Originally meant to convey people, horses and carts, today the bridge carries cars and buses with ease. I don't think those convict builders could even have conceived of modern transportation when they were building the bridge. It makes me wonder what we will be using to get around 200 years from now?
There is a 30km speed limit and a 25 tonne load limit currently, to help preserve it for future generations. The bridge is an iconic symbol of Richmond township.
I have visited Tasmania regularly over the past forty years, and I always include a visit to Richmond on my journeys. It often feels like coming back home to a country town yet is only a 15-minute drive from the Hobart airport.
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