If you are heading to Tasmania be sure to hire a car and get out and explore. After two previous trips to the island where I only ever visited the city of Hobart this trip we decided to get out and explore. As much as I loved Hobart, Tasmania truly has so much more to offer than just a big city.
Just over an hour South of Hobart is a beautiful region called the Huon Valley. Along with mountainous ranges, rivers and pines providing plenty of fresh country air you will also find the area covered in apple orchards with distilleries serving up a variety of craft ciders and gins.
Here are a few ideas to include on your itinerary to the Huon Valley in Southern Tasmania.
As you drive through the region you will notice apple orchards are in abundance. Not surprisingly then that we stumbled across an Apple Museum. Located inside Willie Smith’s, a gold coin donation provides entry into the display at the back of the eatery.
The wall of apples is fascinating - who knew there were so many varieties of apples to be had! And how Australian to have a variety named Barry!
Check out the vintage machinery, the apple sorting machines and the retro packaging from days gone by.
If you are after a hip and cool eatery, you won’t want to miss Willie Smith’s. Enjoy a paddle of ciders in the beer garden, take a picturesque window seat in the main dining room and look out amongst the fields, or get a group together for a lunch in the sunken private dining space.
We visited during lunch time, but the outdoor area looked like a great place to spend an evening with rustic wood pallet furniture in an open shed.
After being devastated by fires in 2019, closing for a year to rebuild and then being shut down again due to COVID 19, the Tahune Airwalk has shown some resilience to once again be open seven days a week for visitors.
Take a walk high up in the tree tops, cross the suspension bridges and get a birds eye view from the eagle flier or take a raft down the river - there is plenty to do at this location.
There is something special about being up in the tree tops, the air is clean, the views intriguing and the nature calming. It will take some time for the vegetation to return to it’s full glory post the fire - however there was still plenty to see.
Port Huon Hospitality at the Kermandie Hotel
For a peaceful night with a picturesque view, consider a night at the recently refurbished Kermandie Hotel. Built in 1932 this hotel has a funky new vibe matched with a very local and casual charm.
Enjoy a meal in the restaurant - inside or out there are calming views over the marina. Join the locals in the front public bar and enjoy a game of pool, a pint and some pub classic fare, or opt to stay the night in the upstairs hotel rooms.
Hotel guests enjoy a private upstairs lounge space with calming views, and a comfy couch in front of the wood fire place to enjoy a bottle of red from the hotel’s bottle shop.
This town is something out of a wild west movie with wood carved statues throughout I could have been mistaken to think I had stumbled across a back road American town.
Being on the edge of the forest, the history comes from the woods and there is plenty of charm in this small town. Stop by the sweet shop and check out the wall of candy, enjoy Devonshire tea at the bakery and check out the local museum.
Drive Australia’s Southern Most Street
If you are going to explore the edge of Australia, you may as well go as far as you possibly can. Take Australia’s Southernmost street all the way to the end to say you have driven to the edge of Australia.
If you are a walker, you can then venture on a 12-14 day trek that really takes you to the edge. We met some walkers that had just completed the journey. They had been hammered by the rain for days but said it was well worth the journey to tick it off the bucket list with breathtaking views and scenery.
For a picturesque stay check out the Driftwood Cottages at Dover. With views overlooking the water this is a peaceful and tranquil part of the world, a perfect place to relax and unwind. A great doorway to the South, Dover is a quiet town with the local RSL the best place to visit to meet the locals and enjoy some regional hospitality.
Southern Tasmania is abundant with rivers and streams - being from Adelaide it is not something we have a lot of so we were keen to check out some of Southern Tasmania’s spots.
The river banks can be difficult to get to as much of the land alongside is privately owned, but if you are persistent there are some sneaky pockets to find to throw a line in. Be sure to purchase a licence before you start though as this is a requirement.
Have you visited the Huon Valley in Southern Tasmania? What was your highlight?
Itchy Feet Family
Penny, an avid Trip Advisor Reviewer, is the author of ITCHY FEET FAMILY. A family living in Adelaide, Australia, and taking every opportunity to travel and explore the world.