A short day action-wise as we were travelling from Hobart up the middle of the state to Miena – quite close to the geographic centre of the state.
First stop was the historic town of Richmond, about 20 mins North/North-East of Hobart. Richmond was a convict settlement and had important ties to Hobart and Port Arthur. Historically speaking, Richmond is home to the oldest Gaol (Richmond Gaol, built in 1825 with one of its most famous inmates being Ikey Solomon – reportedly the inspiration for for the character of Fagin in Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist.
Next up was the oldest convict-built bridge (Richmond Bridge) still operating today – It’s so well constructed that it should still be standing in another hundred or so years. There’s a path from the Gaol to the bridge which runs along the Coal river, where one can simply sit and watch the scenery or feed the ducks. Over the bridge is the old Mill House, where they once milled wheat to become flour, which is now a B&B.
Up the hill a little is Australia’s oldest Catholic Church – St John’s Church, built in 1837. There’s a cemetery behind the church and its position on a hill means it has great views of the town of Richmond. In the pic you can see the silhouette of my family all posing like statues.
Richmond was established as an important military staging post and convict station linking Hobart with Port Arthur – a small memorial stone next to the church was laid in memory of those who lose their lives at Port Arthur on 28 April 1996. After enjoying a hot chocolate and a lamington at The Bakery, we headed off towards Miena, via a few caches along the way.
On the road to Miena
The drive was fairly uneventful, through small towns such as Bagdad, Kempton and Melton Mowbray(where there was a cache called Cutest Little Chapel), and through Bothwell along the Highland Lakes Road.
We stopped along the road to view the Steppes Sculptures, a series of stone statues with bronze sections depicting Australian flora and fauna. It seems to be an odd place to have these sculptures but it’s part of a larger historic site you can walk to from the statues.
At first look, there’s not much to Miena – on second look, it just confirms…there’s not much to Miena! 🙂
It’s a quiet little fishing town on the edge of The Great Lake, in the middle of the state. There’s a Hotel & Lodge (where we stayed), and not much else apart from a number of fishing shacks and houses. The nearest store is about 10km up the road. We checked in and went out for a wander, having seen signs to a number of lakes and dams.
The Great Lake has seen 3 dams built at Miena over the years (later on we pieced together the rest of the story as to what the 3 dams did for the rest of the river system and hydro-electricity in Tasmania). Miena Dam 1 was completed in 1916, Miena 2 in 1922, and Miena 3 in 1982. In the picture you can see Miena 2 the concrete walls in the lower left of the picture and Miena Dam 3, the large stone wall along the right hand side of the picture.
We ended the day with a couple more caches before heading home to the Central Highlands Lodge for the night.
Tomorrow we’re off to the Waddamana Power Station Museum and a wander amongst the lakes.
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