Hanging out in the Huon Valley

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An hour or so south of Hobart, the Huon Valley is flanked by ancient forests protected by World Heritage status. If you’re looking to find a little piece of wilderness far from the crowds yet with enough Tassie-style ‘civilisation’ to keep things comfortable, the Huon Valley awaits.


South Cape Bay Track, Cockle Creek, Huon Valley. Credit Rob Blakers & Huon Valley Council

South Cape Bay Track, Cockle Creek, Huon Valley. Credit Rob Blakers & Huon Valley Council

With summer on the horizon and the world adapting to a new normal, Tasmania’s Huon Valley is quietly readjusting too.

Social distancing? With its wild open spaces, clean fresh air and an emphasis on clean living, Tassie’s been doing its own natural version of social distancing long before a pandemic came along,

Here’s our top five picks for hanging out in Tasmania’s Huon Valley.

Wilderness and wildlife

You’ve no doubt seen the photos of this patch of Tasmania, right? This region is naturally epic with the South West Wilderness Heritage Area on your doorstep. You could walk to the summit of Hartz Peak in a day, wander down to South Cape Bay or perch 30-metres above the forest floor at Tahune Airwalk. Explore underground at Hastings Caves and take a dip in the thermal springs. Don’t be surprised if wallaby eyes are watching on, as the Huon Valley teems with wildlife. From migrating whales to wedge-tailed eagles and wandering wombats, there is no shortage of impromptu appearances of the wild variety.


Hartz Mountain. Credit Rob Bakers & Huon Valley Council

Hartz Mountain. Credit Rob Bakers & Huon Valley Council

Water, water everywhere

It’s not difficult to find a dreamy water view, as they are simply everywhere in the Huon Valley. Savour your morning cuppa at leisure as mirror-like reflections of the Huon River stretch out before you. For something a little more active, dip a kayak paddle in lesser-known waterways deep in the Far South or admire the classic boats crafted locally from Huon pine as you glide past down Cygnet or Franklin way. Snap your Insta-worthy sunrises across misty, reflective waters or indulge in a Huon Valley wine at sunset by the Southern Ocean. Water views come standard in these parts, punctuated by the mesmerising hues of seasonal colour changes.


Huon Valley on a misty morning. Credit Fiona Harper

Huon Valley on a misty morning. Credit Fiona Harper

Delicious food and drinks to keep the hunger pangs at bay

Here’s a locals tip for travellers to the Huon Valley – arrive hungry! The region is a veritable food bowl, with ocean to plate, farmer to mouth kind of amazing that other foodie regions can only drool over. Pull on a pair of gumboots and meet rare pig breeds with Gourmet Farmer Matthew Evans or find out why Massaki Koyama’s Geeveston sushi is hailed by some as Australia’s finest. Meet craft cider makers, where apples don’t fall far from the ciderhouse at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, Frank’s Ciderhouse and Cafe or Pagan Cider. Meet the innovative food and drink producers who choose the Huon Valley as home from Hansen Orchards apple growers to Tas Saff, now selling saffron nationwide, to roadside stalls where you can buy direct from the farmer, keeping you dollars local while supporting communities.


Franks Cider House and Cafe

Franks Cider House and Cafe

Creative inspiration in the Valley

The Huon Valley attracts creative types and there’s a bounty of prominent artists and makers in the valley. Some are national treasures who love the anonymity of living in a small regional community. Others are more recent locals, like potter Bronwyn Clarke, who found a natural clay seam running beneath her Deep Bay studio. Wander the artist studios and galleries, bring your sketch pad or sign up for a workshop. There is a lot of opportunity to be immersed in and inspired by creativity, such as acclaimed producer and writer Posie Graham-Evans embarking on a McLeod’s Daughters TV series spin-off. Settle in to this inspiring hub and let the creativity flow. For the ultimate writers retreat,  Posie has accommodation known as the Writer’s House.


Bronwyn Clarke Ceramics, Deep Bay Huon Valley

Bronwyn Clarke Ceramics, Deep Bay Huon Valley

Take the ultimate road trip on Australia’s most southerly road

OK, admittedly the road to Cockle Creek is not the southernmost point of Australia. But it is the end of the road if your mode of transport is a car. Park your car at Australia’s southernmost parking lot (some serious Insta bragging rights right there!) and lace up your hiking boots. Allow around 5 hours for the return walk to South Cape Bay. It’s a cracker of a walk with nothing between you and Antarctica but deep blue ocean.

Take a few moments to close your eyes and breathe deeply, sucking in lungs full of what is surely the purest air on the planet. If you want to reach Australia’s true southern-most point you’ll need a boat and an aversion to seasickness – the Southern Ocean is not for the faint-hearted.


South Cape Bay in Southwest National Park. Credit Rob Bakers

South Cape Bay in Southwest National Park. Credit Rob Bakers

More information: Huon Valley Tasmania

About the author: Fiona Harper is a Queensland-based travel writer – follow Fiona at Travel Boating Lifestyle


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