Explore the Huon Valley

Just outside Tasmania's capital city, Hobart, you'll find the Huon Valley, an area home to gourmet food production and beautiful natural landscape. If picking up a rental car in Hobart, head south across the foothills of Mount Wellington. Once you’ve crossed the hills, the valley opens up wide and green before your eyes. Welcome to the Huon.

As you continue south you’ll encounter fine food, wine and cider production among forests, peaks and pristine coastline. Plan to stay for a few days.

The first Europeans to arrive in the Huon did so in 1792 when Frenchman Admiral Bruni D’Entrecasteaux explored the area and named it after his second in command, Huon de Kermadec. Settlers then arrived later in 1840 and began the apple growing industry that was to dominate the area and earn Tasmania its name, the Apple Isle.

Tahune Airwalk

Having been damaged by the awful bushfires of summer 2019, Tahune Airwalk is currently closed for repairs – but is thankfully due to reopen in late 2019. The walk takes visitors high above the forest canopy, looking down to where the wild waters of the Huon and Picton Rivers mingle. The 600-metre walkway ends at a spectacular cantilevered platform 50 metres above the riverbank, with views extending to the mountains of the World Heritage Area. If you’re in the area later in 2019, be sure to pay a visit and lend your support when it reopens.

Hastings Caves State Reserve

The Hastings Caves State Reserve offers visitors the chance to relax in the thermal spring pools, walk in the rich forests of the reserve, and enjoy the unique experience of exploring Newdegate Cave. Both the thermal pool and the trail through the surrounding forests are accessible to wheelchair users.

Grandvewe Cheeses & Hartshorn Distillery

When in the Huon Valley, make sure to visit Grandvewe Cheeses and Hartshorn Distillery. This interesting venture is one of Australia’s only sheep dairies producing handcrafted cheeses, gelato and yogurt, all from sheep’s milk. What’s more interesting still is the distillery run by the same family, Hartshorn Distillery. The distillery uses the leftover lactose from the whey, allowing the natural sugars to ferment, before distilling it and infusing it with native Australian botanicals. The result is Sheep Whey Gin that is clean, with a truly surprising and tasty finish. Pay a visit and taste it yourself.

Fat Pig Farm

In the depths of the picturesque Huon Valley you’ll find celebrity chef Matthew Evans and his fantastic venture, Fat Pig Farm. The farm is an essential stop on any Huon Valley road trip, with great cooking classes on offer, with a focus on sustainable food and education. If you’re lucky enough to be around on a Friday, the farm hosts Friday Feasts, which uses ingredients from the farm’s garden and turns them into long, lazy meals shared around the farmhouse table in a purpose built dining room. This is an absolute highlight.

Willie Smiths

Situated on 115 acres, just 35 minutes south of Hobart, Willie Smiths produces exquisite cider using world-famous Tasmanian apples. Located in a large rustic barn and surrounded by green pastures and old wooden outbuildings, Willie Smith’s is the perfect place to learn about the history of the Huon Valley and its apple industry. Visitors can also enjoy food made on-site from local, seasonal and sustainable produce – all year round.