Day 4 Tuesday 19 September Hobart to Swansea via Richmond

After a lovely 3 days in Hobart and surrounding areas, we left this morning at 9.00am – 10°.
Our first stop was Richmond about half an hour’s drive from Hobart. Richmond tells the story of an early Australian colonial village with about 50 heritage buildings built by convicts in 1823 to 1825 that have been restored and are now operating as cafes, restaurants, galleries and accommodation.
Richmond’s most famous landmark is the Richmond Bridge, which was built by convicts in the 1820s and is the oldest stone span bridge in Australia. We had a wander down under the bridge to the river and Henry enjoyed chasing the ducks. Richmond Bridge was dedicated by the Institution of Engineers Australia in 1991 as a Historic Engineering Marker.
The Richmond Gaol, which was built in 1825, is also the oldest gaol in Australia and is one of the best-preserved convict structures still existing in Tasmania. One of the solitary confinement cells measures just two metres by one metre. One of the gaol’s most infamous inmates was English convict Ikey Solomon, who is said to be the model for Charles Dickens’ character Gain in Oliver Twist.
We had morning tea at The Bakery next to the gaol and had a wander through the town stopping at “Old Hobart Town” a historical model village. The owners built it over a period of three years after obtaining original maps and plans from the Hobart Archives and Lands Department to ensure its historical accuracy. There were over 60 buildings and 400 period figurines – very well done.
We continued on the Tasman Highway and soon came out to the coast, passing Prosser Bay and Spring Bay. We stopped at Orford where the Prosser River meets the coast and had our lunch overlooking the river.
When we were almost at Swansea, we came to Spiky Bridge, which was built by convicts in 1843. The bridge was made from field-stones, which were laid without mortar or cement and the parapet features field stones that were laid vertically giving the bridge a spiky appearance. The spikes were apparently to stop cattle from falling over the side of the bridge. On a hill overlooking the bridge are the remains of the Governor’s Cottage. Opposite the bridge was a beach on Great Oyster Bay, with views to the mountains of Freycinet National Park.
We arrived at the historic seaside town of Swansea (circa 1821) mid afternoon and made our way to Swansea Cottages, which are adjacent to the main beach. Our accommodation is a lovely 3 bedroom 2-storey cottage with 2 Queen Size bedrooms and the third bedroom with 3 single beds. The upstairs bedroom has a Spa and a balcony with views over Great Oyster Bay to Freycinet National Park! Very nice!
Steve took the boys to the park while Katharine, Richard and Sandy picked up a few bits and pieces at IGA and then met them at the park and we all walked out along the jetty. We are very impressed with this beautiful seaside town.
We had dinner at the Bark Mill Tavern, which is 100 metres up the road. All the staff were lovely and even the locals, who were playing pool, all waved to the boys when we walked in. Katharine and Steve decided that the boys needed to have vegetables with their lovely home-made chicken nuggets and Steve was encouraging Henry to eat his vegetables by letting him look at photos on the iPhone and telling him that he would take the phone off him if he didn’t eat his vegetables, so Henry quickly opened his mouth and Steve spooned in more vegetables. After several spoonfuls, Steve tried another one and Henry said “no”, shaking his head and pushed the phone back to Steve – hilarious!
Patrick’s favourite thing today “Getting to our new house.”
Another lovely day in Tassie.


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