Huon Valley & D’Entrecasteaux Channel Tasmania
The Huon Trail begins south of Hobart and leads through the Huon Valley, D'Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island. It's an extremely pretty area with pine-fringed rivers, dark forests and sparkling seas. It's an easy and rewarding drive or you can fly from Cambridge Airport to land at Melaleuca in the Southwest wilderness.
Things To Do in Huon Valley
· Take the coast road south to the Huon Valley (40 minutes) through Taroona for spectacular views, apple orchards, pristine waterways and salmon farms. Taroona has the world's oldest round shot tower. There are great views for those willing to climb the 318 steps (whose job is it to count these things?)
· There are many delightful arts, crafts and antique galleries, studios and shops like The Deepings Woodturner at Nicholls Rivulet (Cygnet) and Frogmouth Gallery in Franklin.
· The waterways are accessible with the option of jet boats, rafts, historic yachts, kayaks, runabouts and cruise boats.
· Take an underground cave tour at Hastings Caves and swim in a thermal pool.
· Near Huonville you can discover more about the island's apple-growing heritage at Grove's Apple and Heritage Museum.
A bit of apple tree-via - William Bligh of the Bounty fame pulled in to Adventure Bay on Bruny Island in 1788 and planted Australia's first apple tree. It thrived in the temperate climate and so Tasmania became Australia's orchard. Bligh actually had three mutinies, the Bounty in 1779 when he fell out with Fletcher Christian and his crew, in 1797 when he was ousted from command of another ship during the Nore Mutiny and in 1808 when he was promoted to Governor of New South Wales.
When he arrived in Sydney he discovered rum trafficking which, while illegal, was allowed to thrive. It was used as cash because there was no local currency printed and British money was pretty scarce. Bligh ruled the colony like a battleship and outlawed rum trade, believing it to be both illegal and immoral. No blood was shed in the mutiny and sightseers and children looked on as red-coated military dragged Bligh from where he was hiding under a servant's bed. He spent a year in prison before escaping south to Tasmania and eventually heading back to London where he was exonerated and promoted to the rank of rear admiral.
· Hartz Mountains National Park offers mountain scenery (ice-carved crags, lakes and alpine moorlands) and memorable walks.
· Garden lovers will enjoy the Avi-Fauna and Flora Gardens at Margate, the Magnus Garden at Woodbridge, Morella Gardens on Bruny Island, the Scented Rose Garden at Glazier's Bay and Jackson's daffodil farm at Geeveston.
· Geeveston is also the base for Arve Road Forest Drive and Hartz Mountains and the Forest & Heritage Centre features specialty timbers and woodcraft information.
· You can cruise from Dover and Port Huon to see salmon farms or visit the Snowy Range Trout Fishery to try and hook your own fish.
· There are vineyards en route where you can sample cool-climate wines and fruit liqueurs as well as roadside stalls selling berries and apples in season. Doran's Jam Factory near Huonville will give you a taste of local berries.
· Kettering, on the shores of the Channel south of Kingston, has a delightful sheltered harbour full of fishing vessels and cruising yachts.
· Take the car ferry across to Bruny Island to discover gentle countryside and wild coastlines, farmhouses, lighthouses and a history of sealers, whalers and explorers. There are penguins at The Neck Reserve and you can hop on a camel to explore the beaches from Great Bay. The Alonnah History Room and the Bligh Museum show off the island's rich maritime heritage and a trip into South Bruny National Park is worthwhile, especially for the Cape Bruny Lighthouse.
· Cornwall has Land's End, Tasmania has Cockle Creek, the southernmost part of Australia. It's a tiny settlement from where you can take a walk for a couple of hours and stand at the edge of the world looking out to the blue expanse of the Southern Ocean. There is also a four-hour walk to South Cape Bay overlooking the ocean.