Our family has become very dispersed – our youngest and his family having taken up residence in Hobart Tasmania. #HobartTasmania The Covid restrictions have prevented us from travelling particularly to visit our family so with a lessening of restrictions in November and December 2021, we returned to Hobart and Paul’s home.
Living below the summit of Mt Wellington (pictured above) they have a charming semi rural property with fabulous views but close proximity to Hobart and its surrounds. We stayed with them for a few days during which we took in the sites before visiting the north and north east of Tasmania.
One of the places we visited was the historic village of Richmond about 25 km north-east of Hobart, in the Coal River region. Richmond’s most famous landmark is the Richmond Bridge, built in 1823 to 1825, around the time of the town’s first settlement. It is Australia’s oldest bridge still in use. The town was initially part of the route between Hobart and Port Arthur. Present-day Richmond is best known as being preserved as it was at that time. It is a vibrant tourist town, with many of the sandstone structures still standing. But we had come with the intent to see the model village of Hobart Town circa 1820 – OLD HOBART TOWN.
At the end of a driveway off the main street is this model correct in every detail (or so they say) – minuature in scale it is like a picture of the town one hour of one day over 200 years ago. Individually handcrafted with passion by Andrew and John Quick over a three year period, the authentic model village has been reconstructed from original plans and it gives a unique glimpse into the tough life of Australia’s convict past. I was taken back by the detail which included an interpretation of life for the inhabitants the harshness of that life including executions on the gallows and flogging with a cat-of-nine-tails. The Hope and Anchor pub shown in the pictures below still exisits but I am not certain that it is the original building or in the original location.
We then strolled through Richmond seeking the historic bridge and some of the original sandstone buildings.
After returning to the car we travelled further into Coal River Valley and onto our lunch venue Coal River Farm. A family run business owned by Daniel and Melanie Leesong with an urge to celebrate Tasmania’s world class produce they opened the doors at Coal River Farm. They have developed a reputation for cheese and chocolate in the form of a high tea and that is what we were there for.
A modern building greets you set in a picutresque part of the valley and the building makes every attempt to allow you to observe your surrounds. Inside you pass a window onto the chocolate maker pouring his moulds and then are forced to walk past each and every kind of chocolate until you reach the dining room with its cheese fridge and choclate dispalys. The menu includes other fresh produce but we were there for cheese and chocolates. Delicious! Satisfied we went to return to our car and the trip home but our grandaughter Lola became sidetracked by a lonesome goat hungry for the greener grass outside his enclosure. After the goat became distracted by other visitors we escaped to the car and home.
The next few days were spent catching up with our family in Tassie before we headed north.