There are a few things in life that I love dearly. Food, beautiful places and a moment begging to be photographed. I found all of the above on the shores of the Coal River at Richmond Park Boat House.

Richmond Park Boat House - Bridge

Beautiful Richmond Bridge (photo by Anelda Lötter)

Romantic Richmond Park Boat House

by Anelda Lötter

The Richmond Park Boat House is the brainchild of owners Ritchie Paine and Leanne Taylor. These two born and bred Tasmanians visited the lovely town of Richmond regularly and saw a gap in the market to utilise the Coal River in a unique way. After a few years of planning together with the Clarence City Council, they started their business on the river bank.

Historic Town: Richmond, Tasmania

Richmond Park Boat House is located at 56 Bridge Street in the centre of the historic town of Richmond. From the road, visitors will see black flags with an invitation to come and row, have a picnic or visit the teddy bear shop. Once at the boat house you will have a few options. You can row a boat on the river; an experience that can include a picnic. Or you can hire a bicycle and explore the historic sites in a different way. A picnic secured in the basket of a bicycle will offer you a choice of locations.

Picnic lunches, BBQs and even breakfast baskets can be ordered and delivered to your door if you are staying at local accommodation. If you are sightseeing and driving to a far-off location for the day, you can take your picnic basket with you and enjoy lunch at a location of your choice. The owners also operate a small teddy bear shop stocking the famous Charlie Bears.

Richmond Park Boat House - Miller's Cottage

Richmond Park Boat House: Miller’s Cottage (photo by Anelda Lötter)

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

The row boats are a very romantic way to see the beautiful Richmond Bridge. There are two types of Tasmanian-made row boats for hire: the Avon Dreamer (a clinker-built dinghy) and the Huon Pine (a carvel design dinghy), perfect for bridal-party photo shoots. Customers receive a two way radio should they need assistance or more food and drink once on board the boat.

Richmond Park Boat House - Anelda for Think Tasmania

Cheers to Think Tasmania readers! (photo supplied)

It is a great idea to combine your rowing experience with a gourmet picnic. The picnic is stylish and packed in a basket with the necessary cutlery and a blanket, and you can enjoy this while rowing on the river or once back on shore. It is a very romantic setting with the Richmond Bridge as backdrop and a lovely variety of birds and ducks in the water. Rowing the boat (so my husband tells me!) is quite easy. You can watch a safety briefing on the big screen at the Richmond Park Boat House before you depart. Children are also welcome and life jackets are provided should you wish to make use of them.

Richmond Park Boat House Picnic

There are a variety of picnic options to choose from. We enjoyed the wine and cheese tasting gourmet picnic. This contained some fresh grapes, South Cape Fig Paste, Surprise Bay Cheddar, classic crisps and a chocolate treat. We had some Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Moscato Rose to accompany our picnic. The other popular options are a BBQ picnic which is especially great for families. For the sweet tooth, there is also a chocolate lover’s picnic.

Richmond Park Boat House - Picnic

Cheese and wine tasting: Richmond (photo by Anelda Lötter)

Unique Setting for Wedding Photographs

The row boats are a unique and wonderful photography setting for wedding parties. On the day we visited, we had the lovely opportunity to see a couple get married on the lawns of the river bank. Afterwards the wedding couple got into a row boat and rowed off towards the Richmond Bridge. As a photographer myself, I was amazed at the beautiful sight of their reflections in the water and the calmness of the moment. This is such a romantic (but also fun) way to achieve stunning wedding pictures.

The Richmond Park Boat House also offers a “frog man” for hire to wedding parties. The frog man dons a wetsuit and will stabilise the row boat in the water, should the bride be worried at all. Bridal parties have the exclusive use of the row boats and a section of the river for the duration of the wedding photo shoot.

Richmond Park Boat House - Weddings

Bridal party: Richmond (photo by Anelda Lötter)

Bicycle Hire: European Style

Bicycles for hire… a very European thing, and seemingly a lot of fun. You can choose your own route to see the town and historic sites of Richmond. You will be provided with a map and you are welcome to order a picnic basket to enjoy on your ride. A great idea for a group of friends or family wishing to tour in a different way.

Richmond Park Boat House - Bicycle Hire

Bicycle ride in Richmond (photo by Anelda Lötter)

I’m told the business is supported equally well by both locals and tourists. Families giving their kids an experience on the water have offered very positive feedback. For the romantic at heart, this is also a great way to spend an hour in nature with your loved one, while enjoying local produce. And getting exercise for your arm muscles!

This business idea and location is a hit with wedding parties. Hiring a row boat from Richmond Park Boat House has led to some engagements on the river as well.

Richmond Park Boat House - Wedding Photos

Romantic moment: Coal River (photo by Anelda Lötter)

Having fallen in love with Richmond during previous visits, this experience was by far the best, and I will recommend it to everyone. It is romantic; offers great photo opportunities with different angles and is simply beautiful. The very friendly owners (who see to your every need) are an added bonus. While the Tasmanian weather is still kind, head to Richmond and experience romance on the river!

Anelda Lotter and her husband were guests of Richmond Park Boat House on behalf of Think Tasmania. For more information email Leanne at Richmond Park Boat House; to make a booking phone (03) 6260 1099.

Anelda Lötter has her own photography business: Anelda Lötter Photography. She moved from her native South Africa to make her home in Hobart. Once a lawyer, Anelda is passionate about capturing special memories for people and promises good, friendly service. Follow Anelda Lötter Photography on Facebook or phone 0459 192 091 to find out more about her business.

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Map: Richmond Park Boat House, Tasmania…

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