Are you craving adventure? Or maybe you’re in need of a relaxing retreat? You can have both in Tasmania’s beautiful Far South (only one hour from Hobart)! To help you plan the perfect getaway, we’ve put together some tips on fun things to do, places to eat, and where to stay in Far South Tasmania.
Before you go, download the Huon Valley app to help plan your journey. On the way, stop at the Geeveston Visitor Centre for insider tips from the locals (and to see the elusive platypus via their awesome Augmented Reality experience).
Things to Do
The many attractions of Tasmania’s Far South are wild and varied.
Did you know that Dover was once a convict probation station? View the Far South through heritage and art at the Dover Museum & Gallery (some pieces by talented local artists and potters are for sale). The museum is open Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10am to 4.30pm (Sunday only through winter).
Project X in the Huon Valley is bringing a series of large-scale art to the Huon and Far South during 2019–20 to lure visitors into the region. The first installation, Hrafn: Conversations with Odin, is on at dusk every Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 22 December 2019. Follow your guide into the forest at the Hastings Cave State Reserve and listen as 2,000 ravens come in to roost. Visitors who stay a night in the Southern Trove on performance nights will even score two free tickets (T&Cs apply).
Jimmy Cauty’s The Aftermath Dislocation Principle is also part of Project X, and is currently on a 12 month tour of the Huon and Far South (find it in Geeveston until November). Peek through the many peepholes dotting the large shipping container and discover a dystopian creation in miniature—the chaotic aftermath of a riot.
Visit Hastings Caves & Thermal Springs to tour the giant cave, relax in the naturally heated forest pool, explore the walking tracks and look for wildlife. The nearby short walk to Duckhole Lake—a picturesque flooded sinkhole in the forest—makes a great addition to a day at Hastings. Also nearby is the walk to Adamsons Falls (6 km / 2 hrs return), on the edge of the Southwest National Park.
Cockle Creek is the gateway to the Southwest National Park, found at the end of Australia’s southern-most road. The huge park forms part of Tasmania’s World Heritage Wilderness Area and is home to a myriad of plant and animal species. Walkers can tackle the South Cape Bay Track (15 km / 4 hrs return) or the challenging multi-day South Coast Track (very experienced, well-prepared hikers only). Other access options include flying in with Par Avion Wilderness Tours or chartering a boat. At Cockle Creek visitors can camp for free, enjoy the beach, find the big bronze whale sculpture, and walk to the Fishers Point Navigation Light and Pilot Station Ruins.
Relax on the quiet beaches around Dover, Southport, and Recherche Bay. Cast a fishing line out off one of the Far South’s many beaches or jetties and try your luck. Find your own oysters along the foreshore in Dover, Southport and Hastings Bay. Surfers, the Far South can get really big breaks (the very dedicated carry their boards along the track to South Cape Bay). For waves without the hike, try Big Roaring Beach at Dover. Divers, explore the giant kelp forests of the Southern Ocean, search for handfish and the weedy sea-dragon.
Esperance Adventures offer a range of kayaking tours exploring the Far South’s scenic waterways, including Lune River, Port Esperance Bay, Recherche Bay, and the Huon River. Peninsula Cruising offers informative small group tours and private charters, including a leisurely cruise around Dover’s stunning bay. Adventurous souls, join Tasmanian Boat Charters aboard the Odalisque for the trip of a lifetime to Port Davey, in the remote Southwest National Park. SailTas also offer chartered sails into the Southwest Wilderness.
Search for treasure and claim it as your own! Lunaris Gemstones specialise in Tasmanian gemstones, fossils, crystals and minerals. They sell natural specimens, unique jewellery pieces, and ornamental and decorative items. The showroom features Tasmanian Crocoite (Mineral Emblem), unusual Tasmanian Stichtite jewellery and rare Jurassic fossil fern from the Lune River. Browse the range, see what you are drawn to, and pick up a special gift for yourself or a loved one.
Where to Eat & Drink
Taste the local delicacies (and good old fashioned pub grub).
Far South Feasts
For something special this spring, Far South Tasmania is hosting three feasts to showcase the local food, art, music, and environment. Far South Feasts Long Table Dinners will be held on 14 September at the Port Esperance Sailing Club (sold out), 19 October at the Southport Community Centre (selling fast), and 23 November back in Dover.
Eat-in at the local haunts or pick up a smorgasbord of goodies for a picnic (such as Huon Salmon, available from the Geeveston Visitors Centre). Gas/electric BBQs are available at Surveyors Bay, Esperance River Picnic Area, the Dover Foreshore, and Hastings Caves & Thermal Springs (opening hours only). If foraging and feasting from the comfort of your accommodation is more your style, pick up local faire from a range of producers on your way down south.
At Dover you’ll find boutique winery St Imre Vineyard as well as the Bakehouse Distillery, home of the world’s first sassafras spirit, Evoke. For your pizza and seafood fix, head to Post Office 6985. The Dover RSL & Ex-Servicemen’s Club welcomes locals and visitors alike to their bar and restaurant, while the 19th Bar & Bistro at the Dover Golf Club also offers a great feed. For excellent coffee, meals and treats, visit The Coffee Tree in Southgate Shopping Centre.
Enjoy a cold drink and hearty pub grub at the Southport Hotel—Australia’s southern-most pub. Between November and April, launch yourself at The Rocket at the End of the Road. The delightfully quirky rocket-themed cafe offers hot drinks, ice cream, home-baked treats, and tourist info.
Where to Stay
Brooks Bay/Glendevie/Surveyors Bay
- Esperance Landing is a three-bedroom waterfront house at Brooks Bay, perfect for a romantic getaway or group retreat.
- Fair Winds Tasmania offers luxurious three-bedroom accommodation on the banks of the Huon River and is great for a couple escape or group retreat.
- Enjoy a romantic retreat at Shanleys Huon Valley, featuring a sunken spa with panoramic views of the valley.
- Sea Eagle Sands is a modern two-bedroom home by Roaring Beach, great for families or couples.
- Book a room at Ashdowns of Dover Bed and Breakfast and be warmly hosted in a beautiful country house. The house is wheelchair friendly and has been modernised in consideration of travellers who have limited mobility.
- The two-bedroom Castaway Cottage offers a relaxed beachside haven, great for a group or family holiday or a romantic retreat.
- Driftwood Cottages offers deluxe self-contained accommodation, with waterfront studios, a range of cottages, and the Driftwood Cottages Beach House.
- Smugglers Rest self-contained units are great for couples or families. Choose from two-bedroom beach view or garden view studio apartments.
- The Peninsula Experience is an exclusive hideaway set on a private gated peninsula with 200 acres of wilderness, wildlife, and water to explore. The Cape House is perfect for groups and the Boat House is designed for couples.
- Self-contained cottage Tides Reach is ideal for a romantic getaway or a two-couple trip, steps away from the white sands of Pottery Beach.
- The Dover Beachside Tourist Park offers a great range of budget-friendly cabins, powered and unpowered camping sites.
Southport & beyond
- Rock Lobster is a beautiful three or four bedroom holiday home, perfect for adult group getaways to the seaside.
- Couples, families or friends will love peaceful Southern Forest Accommodation (keep an eye out for wildlife).
- The Jetty House is a charming historic home. You can book a ‘bed and breakfast’ room or the whole house as self-contained accommodation for up to 12 guests.
- The Shackeau is a self-contained two-bedroom cottage featuring a divine outdoor tub looking over the water—perfect for a romantic getaway or weekend with friends!
- The Southport Hotel & Caravan Park is budget-friendly, offering self-contained units, cabins, and powered and unpowered camping sites. It’s also pet-friendly!
- At nearby Ida Bay, enjoy an exclusive eco-experience at Buttongrass Retreat, a modern two-bedroom cabin set amongst a 20-hectare private reserve. Take some time to reconnect with nature—the cabin is free from modern distractions.
Spring Events to Plan Your Holiday & Far South Visit Around
Explore Large-Scale Art Installations in the Huon
6 Best Places to Watch the Sunrise or Sunset
50 Things to Do with Kids
Our Guide: National Parks of the Southern Trove
8 Things to Do in Far South Tasmania
Alastair Bett | Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service