Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tassie in 3 days - Part 3

On our first day in Tasmania, we spent most of the time in Port Arthur and reached the hotel only at 10:00pm. While the drive to and fro was longer than expected, we managed to visit Tessellated Pavement at Eagleneck Historic Site, embarked on a 3 hour eco-cruise and explored Port Arthur Convict SettlementSince we were heading to Launceston on our third day in Tasmania, we decided to abort our plan to drive to Freycinet (another long drive) and visit sites closer to Hobart instead.

p.s. If we could have done it differently, we would have spent the night at Port Arthur instead of heading back to Hobart on the same day.

That morning, we made our way to Hobart Travel Centre. You can get a lot of information from there - guide books, brochures, free consultation from helpful staff and also purchase tour tickets. After considering all options, we purchased tickets for Richmond Historic Village.

Pick up point was outside Hobart Travel Centre. There were 12 of us in total. Majority of us had signed up to visit Richmond Historic Village only. There were some who also coupled their tour with a visit to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. It took us 40 minutes to Richmond with a quick stop at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary along the way.

Clockwise: Richmond Bridge, Old Hobart Model
dinner with Sanjay at Salamanca
Mt Wellington.
This tour was a free and easy tour. Richmond is not that big and you can get from one point to the other on foot. Our bus driver gave us suggestions on places to visit - Old Hobart Model Town, Richmond Gaol, Richmond Bridge, St John's Catholic Church and Richmond Maze & Tea Rooms. He then left us to fend for ourselves while he made his way to pick up the others who were at the wildlife sanctuary. He would be back for us within 2 hours or so (seems like he was driving back and forth between these two locations).

We decided not to do the maze. First, it would take at least an hour to complete. Second, it is best to do it at the beginning of your tour. This way if you took longer than usual, you will not be late for departure. After going reading reviews of this place from, we decided to give it a miss.

From the parking lot near Richmond Gaol, we walked to Richmond Bridge - oldest working bridge in Australia.

A short walk down hill from the parking lot will lead you to the bridge.
A nice quiet spot to relax or reflect. The yellow building on the right was on sale at the point of our visit.
Close of up view bridge. Originally named Bigge's Bridge.
A historic marker set into bridge.
St John's Catholic Church
From Richmond Bridge, we made our way to St John's Catholic Church. It was a nice 10-15 minute walk. 

St John's church is Australia's oldest Catholic church. Located on top of a small hill, it was empty when we arrived. Visitors were allowed to walk in and out as they pleased. The only rule was to make sure the door is closed shut to prevent birds from flying in. Merchandise were also available for sale at the front of the church. No one mans the counter and visitors just need to place their money inside a tin can provided. 
Looks like an abandoned church from this angle. Would not want to walk here alone at night. Imagination would run wild.
Not scary at all from the front.
I just love stain glass windows.

Old Hobart Town Model Village
From St John's church, we walked back to the parking lot at Richmond Gaol. Not sure what to do next, we walked around the village until we saw a sign Old Hobart Town Model Village (I do not know why we did not visit the gaol). Due to good reviews online, we decided to enter since it was another 70 minutes before our bus driver came for us.

This model village depicts life as it was in Hobart in the 1820s. To keep us engaged during our time there, we were given a task to spot 4 figurines hidden in various parts of the model. It was all in the name of fun as there are no prizes if you had successfully spotted them all.

Wandering through this village allows you to see for yourself what life could have been back then. As we entered, we were given a map that clearly illustrates the buildings that still remain today and those that are no longer standing. If you are into history, you would enjoy this place.

Our starting point.
See how small (or is it big) the model village is?
There are approximately 500 figurines used in the story telling of this place.I enjoyed looking out for jokes and funny stories told using figurines. Here you can see a couple in an amorous embrace.
It did not take us long to complete our tour of this model village. In fact in 40 minutes, we went round twice to make it our money's worth (costs us $15 each). They do have children's prices and also family packages, so it might be worth while to check out.

After the model village, we walked about the shops for a bit before making our way back to the bus.

While we enjoyed our day in Richmond, I felt it the tour was not value for money. We initially thought it would be a guided tour. Instead we were left to our own devices other than the recommendation from our bus driver. In fact, the only reason why I would only recommend anyone to sign up for this tour is because you do not have your own set of wheels. Otherwise, save some money and drive yourself there (or perhaps look out for guided tours).

Our second day in Tassie did not end here. Stay tuned for the next installment of Tassie in 3 days.

To be continued.. 

Click on the quick links to read about the other places we covered on our 3 day Tassie adventure: Day 1 - Part 1 & part 2Day 2 - Part 3 & part 4Day 3 - Part 5 & final

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