Richmond and the
Coal River Valley
Highlights | Accommodation | Road Trip Essentials
© Tourism Tasmania & Brian Dullaghan
Just minutes from Hobart Airport – the wineries, convict history and delicious food make Richmond and the Coal River Valley the perfect place to start your Tasmania road trip!
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Less than 30 minutes from Hobart – and even closer to Hobart Airport – is one of Tasmania’s fastest growing and most exciting destinations – Richmond and the Coal River Valley!
In the heart of the valley is Richmond, a picture-perfect village whose streets are lined with beautiful sandstone inns, stables and bakeries. Richmond was a thriving hub in the 1800s and to this day is still a favourite stopover for anyone doing a road trip up the East Coast or north to Launceston.
In an exciting contrast to this heritage history, the fields and hills surrounding Richmond are overflowing with modern wineries, cutting edge restaurants and artisanal fine foods. You could spend days exploring this lush food bowl and still not see everything it has to offer.
Keep reading to learn more about Richmond and the Coal River Valley, and plan your Tasmanian road trip itinerary!
Richmond is home to one of the world’s strangest museums – Pooseum – “Where talking about poo is not taboo”!
Richmond was settled way back in 1824 and it fast became a thriving regional centre. Convict labour played a big part in its swift growth and you can see evidence of this in Richmond’s old gaol, the Richmond Bridge and St John church.
The best way to explore Richmond is by foot. We recommend starting at St John’s church, then strolling by the willow trees on the banks of the Coal River before doing a lap of Richmond’s main street. Plenty of shops and cafes have sprung up in the old lovingly restored Georgian buildings and you’re sure to find a fantastic souvenir of your Lap of Tasmania road trip.
The Coal River Valley is tailor-made for a food and wine road trip. More than a dozen small wineries dot the touring route between Cambridge in the south and Colebrook in the north. The Wine Wall in Richmond lists more than 20 local wineries and is the perfect place to start.
Feeling peckish? At every bend in the road you’ll find friendly local producers offering fresh cheeses, chocolates, oysters and cool climate fruits (see our recommendations below). The only trouble will be nominating the designated driver for the day!
There are plenty of activities for the kids in the Coal River Valley. Zoodoo Zoo gives your family the unique opportunity to get up close to some of Tasmania’s unique wildlife, such as Tasmanian devils, wombats, and even black cockatoos! If that wasn’t enough, say g’day and feed the zebras, camels and ostriches on one of their awesome safari tours.
A what?! That’s right, in a celebration of all things scatalogical a visit to Richmond’s Pooseum is not only guaranteed to make you laugh but you’ll all learn plenty along the way.
Do you know which member of the animal kingdom can shoot its poop more than 1.5m? Or why an English museum has a table made of poo? Let the kids make a splash at Pooseum! 😀
With more than 60 little buildings and 500 tiny figurines in period clothing, Old Hobart Town Model Village puts you in the middle of Hobart as it used to look back in the 1820s. Using your own hand-drawn map, walk the tiny streets of Hobart and imagine what it must have been like to brush shoulders with convicts, militia and everyday shopkeepers – there’s even a miniaturised pub brawl!
Built in 1825 by convicts, Richmond Bridge – originally named Bigge’s Bridge – is the oldest bridge in Australia that is still in use today.
Don’t forget to slow down!
The Coal River Valley is a foodies dream. From top to bottom there are so many options for all tastes.
Cambridge is close to Hobart and where most road trips up the valley start. Here you’ll find Wursthaus, a Tassie favourite for smallgoods and the perfect place to stock your picnic hamper, while Last Rites Brewery have been making waves on the beer scene since their arrival in 2015. Oh, and don’t forget to take a tour and have a bite at Barilla Bay Oysters!
Frogmore Creek Cellar Door and Restaurant is a must for both their food and wines. It is the birth place of Tasmania’s recent gastronomic revolution and they continue to set the bar for lazy weekend lunches.
Only a couple of minutes up the road is Coal River Farm. Don’t stop here thinking you’ll be in and out in a matter of minutes…you could easily spend an afternoon picking fruit, pig wrangling (no joke!), tasting their award-winning cheeses and gorging on chocolate truffles from the comfort of your beanbag.
If you’re looking to settle in then Puddleduck Vineyard is a fantastic alternative to Coal River Farm. Their unique ‘Reverse-BYO’ is perfect for those wanting to match a bottle of their delicious bubbles with your own picnic by the lake.
Other great options in the lower valley include Wicked Cheese, Pooley Wines and Coal Valley Vineyard and Restaurant.
Richmond village has a range of excellent dining options, but if there’s one thing you can’t miss it’s an iconic Tasmanian scallop pie from Richmond Bakery followed by a velvety smooth ice cream from Coal Valley Creamery.
Ashmore on Bridge Street have the best coffees in town, and if you’re short on time stop by Richmond Tasting House – your one-stop-shop for all things gourmet Tasmania.
As you continue your road trip to the upper reaches of the Coal River Valley make sure you put aside time to visit the original winery in the region – Domaine A. Their Pinots and Cabernets are a masterclass in how to make the most of the Tasmanian climate and terroir.
And to finish, say hello to Paul and the family at Wobbly Boot Vineyard. Not only are their small-batch wines delicious but they are one of Tasmania’s most dog-friendly wineries and regularly hold special events on the grounds of their lovely winery in Campania.
Coal was discovered near Richmond and Jerusalem in the 1800s The quality and quantity was found to be so low that little coal mining ever occurred – but the name stuck!
Combining bubbles and beats with the lush terroir of the Coal River Valley, Effervescence Festival is a celebration of the essence of Tasmania. Whether it’s wine tastings, grand degustations courtesy of Michelin-starred chefs, or simply chilling out in a beanbag with a cheese platter and a glass of bubbles, Effervescence Tasmania says goodbye spring and hello summer!
When Tasmania’s southern vines start turning orange, red and bronze you know it’s time to celebrate the harvest. Every March, for one weekend only you have the rare opportunity to step inside cellar doors and vineyards that would never normally open to the public. From the tiniest family-run vineyards to the largest corporations, all throw their doors open and welcome you to have taste of Tassie’s finest.
Every year as summer comes to a close the residents of Richmond Village wind the clock back and put on their much-loved Richmond Colonial Fair. Showcasing the finest produce of the Coal River Valley, the Colonial Fair is a fun day out for the whole family where you can dress up in period clothing, watch the kids faces light up at the petting zoo, and then soak up the folk music with a cool drink or plate of food.
When was the last time you looked up at night and saw the Milky Way in all its glory?
Cool, crisp evenings are a delight in the Coal River Valley and there are plenty of accommodation options where you’ll get a wonderful night’s rest.
In the village of Richmond there are many beautifully renovated heritage properties where you can relax, and the finest of these is Prospect House Private Hotel.
Their understated, yet luxuriously appointed courtyard rooms are the ideal retreat, and at the end of a day’s exploration you’ll appreciate their personalised service and genuine hospitality. And don’t forget to ask about their luxe picnic option!
Another excellent accommodation option in Richmond is The Mill House Cottage, with its tranquil lawns and rose gardens gracing the eastern bank of the Coal River.
Or perhaps you’d prefer to stay at one of the very first cottages built in Richmond? You’ll fall in love with The Original Bridge Cottages, convict-built in 1823.
For laid back country-style accommodation where you’re surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and all manner of farm animals, why not spend a night or two at Taras Richmond Farmstay?
Or for comfort among the vines, consider Charles Reuben Estate – a working winery – where you can enjoy valley views and soak your stress away in the enormous mezzanine-level spa bath. The kitchen is also fully-equipped, making self-catering an excellent option.
There are three excellent options for those with campervans or caravans.
Big 4 Hobart Airport Tourist Park has everything you could possibly need, and they are next door to Hobart Airport making it an excellent base for your first night in Tasmania.
In Richmond is the Richmond Caravan and Cabin Park, while Barilla Holiday Park is a great option on the outskirts of Hobart – have a round of mini-golf while you’re there!
Wondering what to pack for Tasmania’s cool climate?
To help you out we’ve created a handy Tasmanian road trip packing list.
It lists all the most important things you need to take on your road trip, making your road trip planning a breeze.
Hobart ⇌ Richmond: 25km / 30mins (40mins for campervans)
Richmond ⇌ Port Arthur: 80km / 1hr 15min (1hr 45mins for campervans)
Richmond ⇌ Triabunna: 65km / 50mins (1hr 15min for campervans)
Richmond ⇌ Coles Bay: 170km / 2hr 15mins (2hr 45min for campervans)
Richmond, Cambridge, Sorell, Midway Point, Hobart Airport
EV Battery Charging Stations:
A list of Tasmania’s national parks can be found here: Parks and Wildlife
A valid permit is needed before you can drive into these parks. For more information on the which pass you should buy, click here.
Permits can be purchased online here, from National Park Visitor Centres, Accredited Tasmanian Travel Information Centres, the Spirit of Tasmania, Service Tasmania shops, or by mail/email following these instructions.
Discounts are available for Seniors.
For Tasmania Police emergency road closure alerts click here.
Cambridge Road and the Arthur Highway are popular with nocturnal wildlife. Keep your eyes open at all times – especially dusk and dawn – for wallabies, possums and Tasmanian devils on the roads.
Cambridge Road is a popular link for locals between Richmond and Hobart, but is only single-lane with few overtaking opportunities. It’s only short, so don’t feel pressured to speed up or to overtake unsafely.
If you’re travelling clockwise, your next destination is Hobart – heart of Tasmania and one of the world’s best small-cities.
Travelling anti-clockwise, your next destination is the history and bitter-sweet beauty of Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula.
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