Bridestowe Lavender Estate

Traversing Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Bridestowe Lavender Estate © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

I have visited Bridestowe Lavender Estate before, in winter. Even then, it was impressive. In summer, the lavender is in bloom, making the farm a must-see. Fields of purple follow the contours of the land, pointing to the distant Mount Arthur. It is a spectacular sight!

Bridestowe Lavender Estate
Bridestowe Lavender Estate © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

You can wander through the fields for as long as you like. Once the hazy smell of the lavender, the beautiful view of Mount Arthur and the thrill of taking the perfect shot have worn off, there’s more to do. Walk down to the dam, picnic under the oak trees or stroll near the pines, admiring the intriguing statues. When you’re finished, head to the buildings.

Ice-cream!
Ice-cream! © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

You now have choices. Ice-cream first? A lavender blend is available from the very cute truck. What about Devonshire tea? Lavender scones and lavender tea with lavender jam on the side await you in the café. Prefer retail therapy? The Bridestowe Lavender Estate gift store is bursting at the seams with lavender produce, including the famous Bobbie the Bear. When you’re done eating and shopping, join a guided tour.

The Distillery
The Distillery © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

As Bridestowe Lavender Estate is a historic property, the lavender distillery is well worth having a look at. The farm was founded in 1921 and relocated to Nabowla in the mid-1940s. The distillery is a quiet testament to times gone by. You’ll find antique bottles, signs, tins and equipment, as well as a brief explanation of the distilling process.

What to Bring

Lavender Fields
Lavender Fields © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

It sounds obvious, given that you are visiting a farm, but do wear sturdy shoes. Even in summer, it will rain at times and the red earth turns to mud quite quickly! Wear weather-appropriate clothing and take your camera with you. Selfie-sticks are very popular (and useful) but I still can’t bring myself to use one!

Getting There

Mount Arthur
Mount Arthur © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Bridestowe Lavender Estate is approximately 45 minutes’ drive from Launceston. It is located in Nabowla, which is north-east of Lilydale. Allow extra time for sight-seeing. We stopped at Lilydale Falls Reserve on the way for a short walk as the falls are very peaceful and picturesque. You could also visit one of the well-known wineries in the area, such as Pipers Brook Vineyard or Jansz Tasmania. There is ample parking at Bridestowe Lavender Estate. Instead of driving, you can take a bus (either as a tour or just as public transport) from Launceston to the estate.

Cost

Gift Shop
Gift Shop © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

You’ll pay $10 per person to visit Bridestowe Lavender Estate when the flowers are in bloom. If you are a local or a Friend of Bridestowe (you can sign up for free on Bridestowe Lavender Estate’s website), you’ll get in for free! You can also visit the estate out of season free of charge. The shop and café both have EFTPOS facilities but I’m not sure about the ice-cream truck so take a little bit of cash with you. The estate is open from 9am to 5pm daily (except Christmas Day). Enjoy walking through the fields of lavender and soaking in a little bit more of Tasmania’s unique history.

Staying a while? Read about my adventures in Tasmania’s north and east coast.

Richmond

Traversing Richmond Bridge
Richmond Bridge
Richmond Bridge © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Richmond is a charming historic village in the south of Tasmania. It is particularly beautiful in autumn, when its many deciduous trees transform into living artworks. The locals love to wander its streets, picnic on the banks of the river and feed the ducks. Except, of course, when the ducks and a giant goose surround you and demand more bread than you want to give them! (Vegetable scraps are better for the ducks than bread if you’re planning to give them a treat).

Coal River
Coal River © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Richmond has a rich history. You can walk across and underneath its 1823 convict-built bridge (do be careful as the bridge is used frequently by traffic). Its gaol, built from 1825 – 1840, is a very interesting place to visit (read about my experience here). I attended a wedding in St Lukes church, many years ago. It is recognisable by its distinct clock face. It seems that every café, gift shop and gallery is in a historic building. It’s a lovely atmosphere.

Richmond Bakery
Richmond Bakery © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

The appeal of Richmond lies in both its history and its food. The historic Richmond Bakery is a popular place to have a hearty breakfast or lunch. The Richmond Lolly Shop has been a local institution for as long as I can remember and is now a larger, modern version of its former self. Newer establishments are making their mark too, such as the scrumptious Czegs Café. When we visited, a special session of the local market was on for Mother’s Day, which was lovely! Usually, the market is open from 9am – 3pm on Saturdays only. There are many wineries to visit in the Coal River valley, in which the village is situated.

Richmond Lolly Shop
Richmond Lolly Shop © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Some people visit Richmond just to shop. You’ll find wooden crafts, art galleries, gift shops and lots and lots of Tasmanian goodies. When you’re tired of shopping, you can visit the model village of Old Hobart Town or just sit on the grassed green or riverbank and soak in your surroundings. If you want to stay overnight in Richmond, you have the choice of several historic cottages.

Getting There

Richmond
Richmond © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

Richmond is approximately 25 minutes’ drive from Hobart CBD. From Hobart, drive towards Cambridge (follow signs for the airport). Once you’re in Cambridge, you’ll follow signs for Richmond. Keep driving for about 10 – 15 minutes and you’ll arrive in the village! If you can’t find parking in/near the village centre, cross the bridge and turn left. You should find a space there. Allow for extra travel time to Richmond as there are many excellent attractions to visit on the way. The village is in full swing seven days a week. The hours of individual businesses vary but major attractions, such as the Richmond Gaol, Bakery and Lolly Shop, are open seven days a week.

Cost

Richmond Bridge
Richmond Bridge © emily@traversingtasmania 2017

You can spend as little or as much as you like on a visit to Richmond. Attractions and purchases obviously attract fees but wandering along the riverbank, taking fabulous photos and using the picnic facilities (including gas barbecues) can all be done for free. There is no charge for parking which is also appealing! As a child, highlights were feeding the ducks, playing with my family by the riverbanks and walking under and over the bridge. As an adult, I enjoyed the scenery and the history (but I still walked under the bridge!). It is a beautiful place to visit!

Read more posts about Richmond here or read more about Tasmania’s south here.