Tie your luscious locks back in a vintage headscarf and leap into your convertible – it’s time to hit the open road! There are countless gems to unearth in the Huon Valley, with sparkling discoveries to be made all the way down to Tasmania’s Far South. We’ve picked eight charming towns to visit on your adventure.
The Huon Valley’s flagship town is situated alongside the Huon River, surrounded by orchards (it’s not called the Apple Isle for nothing). Grab your caffeine hit and a bite to eat in one of Huonville’s lovely cafes, such as DS Coffee House Cafe & Internet Lounge. Second-hand enthusiasts, there are some great shops to search for treasure in.
Pop into the Huon Valley Visitor Centre for information, tips, and assistance with bookings. If you’re after a thrill, jump aboard Huon Jet’s exhilarating jet boat ride. If you’d prefer to relax, enjoy a glass of local plonk from Kate Hill Wines’ cellar door, or nip up to Grove and grab a cider tasting paddle at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed. Stay a few days and book yourself into the lovely Walton House B&B.
The artistic hub of Cygnet is about a 15 minute drive from Huonville. For decades, the town has attracted artists, makers, designers, and those seeking a relaxed pace. Visit the galleries, chat with the locals, and have a bite to eat at one of the local cafes. There is an eclectic local market on every first and third Sunday of the month from 10am to 2pm in the town hall.
Stay a few days at Cygnet’s Secret Garden B&B, or experience the elegance of the Cygnet Old Bank B&B, serving delicious breakfast in their very own Conservatory Cafe. Learn to cook beautiful, authentic Italian cuisine at The Farmhouse Kitchen at Wattle Grove. Visit Two Bud Spur Vineyard’s straw bale, eco-friendly winery and cellar door (open each weekend through summer or other times by appointment) at nearby Gardeners Bay.
Ranelagh is a lovely little town adjacent to Huonville. It was once an agricultural area, but is now popular with visitors and locals enjoying a relaxed lifestyle. Fill your belly at the Ranelagh General Store (we recommend the weekly Sunday Roast), treat yourself to something sweet or savoury at the Summer Kitchen Bakery, and enjoy wine with a delicious meal at the Home Hill Vineyard and Winery Restaurant.
Franklin is next level picturesque! Boat lovers will be in their element, as will photographers, with those Huon River mirror reflections on a calm day. Visit The Wooden Boat Centre to learn about the specialist craft of wooden boat building. If you’re keen to get out on the water, Yukon Tours offer a range of sailing experiences. Nip across the road to Frank’s Cider Bar & Cafe for lunch and taste their delicious fruit ciders. The Market at Franklin is held on the last Sunday of the month from 10am to 2pm in the historic Palais Theatre. Stay and unwind farm style at Whispering Spirit Holiday Cottages and Miniature Pony Stud.
5. Port Huon
Port Huon was once a busy trading port and an important destination for the international boats that transported and exported the Huon Valley’s famous apples to the world. The original port remains, but nowadays it’s people, not apples, who depart the port for scenic cruises up the Huon River. It’s a lovely spot to stop and take in the views. Stay a while at Port Huon Cottages or Kermandie Lodge.
The township of Geeveston is rich with pioneer heritage of logging days gone by. Today, it’s a star of the small screen as a key location for the filming of Rosehaven, a comedy starring Tassie local Luke McGregor. The Geeveston Country Market is held on the second Sunday of the month from 9am to 2pm, at the Geeveston Community Hall. Geeveston is also the gateway to the Hartz Mountains National Park and the Tahune Forest Reserve, where amazing walks await. Tahune Adventures offer a range of amazing experiences, including the famous Tahune Forest AirWalk, the hang glider, and kayaking tours (site closed for bush fire repairs—check Tahune Adventures for updates on reopening).
Please note: the Huon Highway is open, but there are some access restrictions in place due to the fires. National parks and reserves and Tahune Adventures are affected. Please check Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service for updates.
Dover is a charming fishing village located on the head of Port Esperance. Think fresh seafood right from the source! The Dover Community Market is held on the third Sunday of the month from 10am to 2pm in the Southgate Shopping Centre. If you’re keen to get out on the water, Esperance Adventures offer tranquil half day and full day kayaking tours of the area.
Essentially Tas offer a range of accommodation options, with beautiful cottages in stunning spots. You can also stay in luxury atop a hill at Quarry Hill Lookout, enjoy boutique accommodation at Ashdowns of Dover B&B, or set up camp amidst the scenery at Dover Beachside Tourist Park.
Southport is the most southern township in Australia, and was once the largest town south of Hobart! Its size dwindled with the decline of the shipping industry, and today it’s perfect for a seaside holiday. Stay at Southport Hotel & Caravan Park and disconnect from the rat race for a few days. Southport is a great base for exploring the attractions of the Far South, such as Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs and the Ida Bay Railway & Cafe. You could even drive south to the very end of the road and discover the paradise of Cockle Creek.
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