An exciting series of large-scale public artworks—Project X—is launching in the depths of the Huon. The art is a great excuse to explore the wider Huon Valley and Far South. We’ve put together some tips to help you plan your adventure.
About Project X
Project X is a DarkLab initiative bringing a series of major art works from high profile artists to the Huon Valley. Visitors are encouraged to explore the region to help bolster recovery from the early-2019 bushfires. The initial art installations are listed below, but stay tuned for more exciting announcements.
Hrafn: Conversations with Odin
Hrafn: Conversations with Odin by Chris Watson and The Wired Lab launched as part of Dark Mofo. Excitingly, performances have been extended to run between August and October, with potential to extend again until the 2019 Summer Solstice (after ecological assessment). Performances will occur three times a week—from Thursday to Saturday—between sunset and dusk (buy tickets here).
Watson is a composer and wildlife sound recordist who creates spatial sound installations with a strong sense of spirit and place (past projects include David Attenborough’s Life series and BBC’s Frozen Planet). For Hrafn, curious and brave people are invited into the wilds of Tasmania’s Far South. Follow a guide into the trees at the Hastings Caves State Reserve and listen in awe as 2,000 ravens come in to roost.
Aftermath Dislocation Principle
During Dark Mofo, did you take a peek inside the graffiti-covered shipping container outside Hobart’s Town Hall? Jimmy Cauty’s Aftermath Dislocation Principle (ADP) captured the attention and imaginations of young and old alike, with its wild apocalyptic scenes in fascinating miniature.
ADP will tour six townships in the Huon Valley—starting with Geeveston in October—for around two months each. The installation will be freely viewable 24/7, and will be accompanied by a series of public actions and community events. At each location, a local writer will be commissioned to write a RIOT Pamphlet highlighting the history of the region, including any protests, riots, strikes and unusual events.
Explore the Huon Valley & Far South
The Huon Valley is home to rolling hills, sprawling orchards, and charming towns. A leisurely pace is best for discovering the region’s many gems.
Towns to visit
Huonville is the main township, but don’t forget to slow the pace and explore the surrounding smaller towns as well. A 15-minute drive south, on the east side of the river, will take you to the creative hub of Cygnet, home of the beloved Cygnet Folk Festival.
On the west side of the river, drive the short distance south to the historic town of Franklin, soak up the charm, and admire the wooden boats. Further south, you’ll reach Geeveston, a key filming location for quirky ABC comedy Rosehaven and a town with a rich pioneering heritage. Head further south and relax at the pretty fishing village of Dover and the scenic holiday town of Southport.
Where to eat & drink
You are spoilt for choice with food and drink in the Huon, with the local produce an absolute star (don’t just drive past those roadside stalls and honesty boxes).
If you fancy a tipple, touring the cider trail is always a winner (with a designated driver of course). Visit Pagan Cider, Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, and Frank’s Cider House & Cafe. Hours tend to slip away quite pleasantly at the local wineries—add Hartzview Vineyard, Home Hill Winery & Restaurant, Two Bud Spur Vineyard, Kate Hill Wines, St Imre Vineyard, and Elsewhere Vineyard to the list.
Enjoy farm fresh produce at Fat Pig Farm‘s Friday Feast, enrol in cooking school at The Farmhouse Kitchen, visit the farm gate of the saffron hub south of the equator at Tas-Saff, discover all things honey at The Honey Pot, and pick up supplies at the Billy Hill Organic Store.
Treat yourself at: the Cygnet Old Bank Cafe, The Red Velvet Lounge, Petty Sessions Gourmet Cafe and Gallery, the Geeveston Bakery, My Slice of Pie Cafe, DS Coffee House & Internet Lounge, Kermandie Hotel, My Place Cafe, Summer Kitchen, the Ranelagh General Store, Post Office 6985, and Rocket at the End of the Road (Nov–April).
Things to do
Choose from lots of different tours and activities, with outdoor and indoor adventures to be had.
- Go beachcombing at the region’s secluded bays and peaceful beaches.
- Combine thrills and picturesque scenery with Huon River Jet Boats, sail away with Yukon Tours, immerse yourself in the Far South’s wild beauty on an Esperance Adventures kayaking tour, or enjoy a leisurely cruise around Dover’s beautiful bay with Peninsula Cruising.
- Explore the great outdoors with Huon Valley Horse Trekking or the Highland Getaway ATV Farm Tour Safari.
- Play a round of golf at the Huon Valley Golf Club, the Geeveston Golf Club, or the Dover Golf Club Inc.
- Learn all about how cider spirits are made on a Charles Oates Distillery Experience.
- Browse the local shops and galleries, including Geckostrands textile studio, Studio Karma, the Lovett Gallery Cygnet, The Art of Richard Stanley, Studio and Gallery, Makers on Church St, and Lunaris Gemstones.
- Search for treasure at the local markets, see what’s on at the Franklin Palais Theatre, and attend community events.
- Learn about the region’s history at the Geeveston Visitor Centre & Museum.
- Discover the traditional craft of wooden boat building at the Wooden Boat Centre.
- Be awestruck by the grandeur of nature with a walk in the Hartz Mountains National Park or the Southwest National Park (fly in to the Southwest with Par Avion or cruise in via boat charter).
- Look for a platypus on the Geeveston Platypus Walk and spot wildlife at the Mount Misery Walk and Nature Reserve.
- Tour the caves, relax in the pool, and explore the forest walks at Hastings Caves & Thermal Springs.
- Hire a kayak, mountain bike or dinghy from Far South Wilderness Lodge.
- Drive to pristine Cockle Creek—the paradise at the end of the southern-most road in Australia.
A Food, Drink & Art Walk in the Huon
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Our Guide: National Parks of the Southern Trove
She’ll Be Apples: 8 Things to Do in the Huon Valley
Hidden Gems: 7 Stunning Walks in the Channel
8 Things to Do in Far South Tasmania
Rémi Chauvin / Project X / DarkLab