The rolling hills, sprawling orchards, and creative communities of the Huon Valley are just a half hour drive south from Hobart. Slow the pace, enjoy the scenery, taste the amazing local produce, and discover a joyful way of life.
We’ve put together some tips on top things to do on your Huon adventure. When you’re on the road, pop into the Huon Valley Visitor Centre or the Geeveston Visitor Centre for route suggestions, information, and booking assistance.
1. Tour the cider trail
She ain’t called the Apple Isle for naught, folks! Apples, vines, and stone fruit thrive in this region, which is known for its generational fruit growers and delicious, freshly-picked produce.
Willie Smith’s Apple Shed at Grove is home to a hip ciderhouse, distillery, eatery (try the home-cooked apple pie!) and apple museum. They regularly have live music and host a delightful produce market on Saturday mornings (check their website for details).
Find the cosy Frank’s Cider Museum, Bar & Cafe in the former St John’s Church Hall (c. 1870s), in the historic riverside town of Franklin. Taste their delicious fruit ciders and feast on gourmet local produce.
Pagan Cider’s cellar door is set in a working cherry orchard near Cygnet. Enjoy free tastings of their flagship range of apple, pear and cherry ciders. Pagan also create exquisite limited release seasonal blends, all made with fresh fruit lovingly grown by local farmers.
2. Get out on the water
Explore the quiet bends and peaceful pockets of the Huon River and beyond. If you’re chasing thrills, try white water jet boating (including 360 degree spins) with Huon Jet at Huonville. For something more relaxed, stretch your legs on their pedal boats and aqua bikes.
Join Yukon Tours on one of their regular calm water cruises aboard their traditional sailing ketch (departs from Franklin Marina). Choose to become part of the experience and hoist sail, or simply sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
3. Explore the wilderness
There’s something for everyone in the Hartz Mountains National Park, from short walks to pristine glacial lakes to the longer hike up spectacular Hartz Peak (3-5 hrs return). When exploring the great outdoors, remember to plan ahead, grab a Parks Pass when required, stick to the tracks, respect the wildlife, and leave no trace.
Other walks to add to your list include Billy Brown’s Falls (1.5 hrs return) and Mount Misery (4 hrs return). Tahune Adventures offer an immersive wilderness experience, however they are currently closed for post-bushfire repairs, and are aiming to reopen in late 2019.
4. Browse the local shops, galleries & markets
The Huon Valley is known for its creative and talented people, so pop into the local galleries and shops to peruse their beautiful, handcrafted wares. Meet the makers and growers, and pick up some amazing keepsakes, at the local markets:
- Willie Smith’s Artisan & Produce Market, every Saturday, 10am – 1pm
- Cygnet Market, every first and third Sunday of the month, 10am – 2pm
- Judbury Market, second Sunday of the month, 10am – 2pm
- The Market at Franklin, last Sunday of the month, 10am – 2pm
- The Palais Collective, every Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 3pm
Note: For up-to-date info about specific events, please check the market’s Facebook page.
5. Visit the Wooden Boat Centre at Franklin
The Huon Valley has a rich maritime heritage, which continues to thrive at the Wooden Boat Centre in the historic town of Franklin (opposite Frank’s Cider House & Cafe and near The Yukon). Learn about this proud history, experience the unique atmosphere of a traditional boat building workshop, and watch as wooden boats are carefully handcrafted from rare Tasmanian timbers (the scent of Huon pine is divine). You can even enrol in one of their courses to learn the craft yourself!
6. Eat & Drink
When tasting your way around the Huon Valley, be sure to stop at the charming roadside stalls and pick up seasonal farm-fresh produce. Spend a few easy hours relaxing at the local wineries, including: Home Hill Winery & Restaurant, Two Bud Spur Vineyard, Kate Hill Wines, and Elsewhere Vineyard.
A few of our favourite eateries include: Ranelagh General Store, ds Coffee House Cafe, the Summer Kitchen Bakery, and the Commercial Hotel, Cygnet. Learn to cook Italian at The Farmhouse Kitchen, or treat yourself to a delicious Friday Feast at Fat Pig Farm.
7. Pop into the Geeveston Visitor Centre & Museum
Pop into the Geeveston Visitor Centre & Museum and have a chat with the knowledgeable staff (they can also help with accommodation and attraction bookings). In the museum, browse the impressive collection of machinery and woodworking tools and learn about the local history, including the region’s forestry heritage. The centre also has local arts and crafts for sale, which make a perfect keepsake.
You might recognise the building and the town from the hilarious television series Rosehaven, which stars Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola. Geeveston is one of the key filming locations! When exploring the town, take a stroll along the Geeveston Platypus Walk and try your luck.
8. Attend fun festivities & events
An amazing variety of quirky, beloved events occur in the Huon Valley throughout the year, including the upcoming Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival (mid-July), where you can dress all pagan and yell at apple trees. Other favourites include the Cygnet Folk Festival (early January) and A Taste of the Huon (March long weekend).
Regular events include: FunnieS at Frank’s, live music and special events at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, and classic movie screenings at Franklin’s Palais Theatre. Check our Events Calendar to see what’s coming up.
Choose from a wide range of accommodation options, including fun farmstays, peaceful bush retreats, comfortable hotels, self-contained units, and cosy B&Bs. The Whispering Spirit Holiday Cottages & Miniature Pony Stud and Highland Getaway Luxury Farm Stay are great options for families and animal lovers. Swap the city for nature and wildlife at Huon Bush Retreats, or enjoy a cosy getaway at Port Huon Cottages with lovely water and mountain views.
- Castle Forbes Bay
- Deep Bay
- Eggs and Bacon Bay
- Gardners Bay
- Glaziers Bay
- Port Huon
- and Wattle Grove.
Go all the way and extend your adventure into Tasmania’s beautiful Far South.
8 Things to Do in Far South Tasmania
Dog Friendly Exercise Spots in the Channel
On, In, Under & Above the Waterways of the Southern Trove
Southern Charm: 8 Towns to Visit in the Huon Valley & Far South
Winter Escape: 3 Cosy Getaway Spots in the Huon Valley & Far South
Cockle Creek: Paradise at the End of the Road