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Tasmania’s Huon Valley has a fabulous food scene and more craft cider makers, breweries, and wineries than you can raise a glass to. Here is all you need to know about what to do in the Huon Valley, where the Huon River shimmers in the sunshine, there are orchards dotted with bright red apples, and sheep and cows raise their heads to watch you drive past.

Getting around the Huon Valley

The Huon Valley is a collection of small towns scattered across the countryside less than an hour’s drive from Hobart. Huonville is the ‘big smoke’ and the best spot to stock up on essentials. Cuter small towns include Cygnet, Franklin, and Geeveston where ‘Rosehaven’, the series starring comedian Luke McGregor, is filmed. With most villages located a 10 minute drive from each other, you can cram plenty into a long weekend. Add a few extra days if you want to head further south to go hiking in Hartz Mountains National Park.

Where to stay in the Huon Valley

Villa Talia is a charming two-bedroom cottage that looks like it has come straight from the pages of a designer homes magazine. Decked out with French and Italian furnishings, multiple fireplaces, a large telescope for stargazing, designer toiletries, and soft-as-a-cloud beds, it offers the ultimate long weekend getaway. The fridge is filled with breakfast goodies from local providores, there is a bottle of Tassie bubbly and a cheese platter waiting on the kitchen bench, and steak and salad greens in the fridge. And then there is the spectacular outdoor bathtub positioned on a raised wooden platform to make the most of the view.

Where to eat in the Huon Valley

Weekends bring a rolling feast of local produce markets to explore which makes it tempting to self-cater but it’s worth checking out the following dining spots.

Willie Smith’s Apple Shed

Willie Smith’s Apple Shed has a small museum showcasing the region’s apple growing history together with a cider house, restaurant and distillery housed in an old apple packing shed. It’s a great stop for a cider tasting and a bite to eat on your way to or from the Huon Valley.

Willie Smith’s Apple Shed
Willie Smith’s Apple Shed

Home Hill Winery Restaurant

Down the road in the tiny town of Ranelagh, award winning Home Hill Winery Restaurant dishes up the best of the region overlooking a vineyard and paddocks filled with cows and alpacas. Cellar door tastings in the Huon Valley are friendly rather than fusty. We arrived early and swirled, sniffed, and tasted some of Tasmania’s famous pinot noir before lunch.

View from Home Hill Winery

Cinnamon and Cherry

Cinnamon and Cherry is a cute café serving Turkish cuisine with a contemporary twist where the colourful pilav bowl topped with shredded paprika lamb, pimento and cinnamon pilav, and colourful flowers and micro herbs tastes as good as it looks. Pick up some takeaway Turkish dips and freshly baked breads for a delicious casual dinner in front of the fire.

Cinnamon and Cherry food at Huon Valley
Dining at Cinnamon and Cherry

Things to do in the Huon Valley

Taste local cider at Frank’s Cider

Drop into the tiny wooden church which houses Frank’s Cider. Named after a third generation orchardist and run by the same family since the early 1800s, you’re unlikely to walk out of this cute cider house empty handed. Don’t miss the sparkling bright red raspberry pear cider which goes down easy but packs a punch.

Tour the Wooden Boat Centre

Across the road at the Wooden Boat Centre Tasmania, the smell of freshly cut Huon Pine fills the small museum and workshop where people of all ages learn how to make wooden kayaks, dinghies, and boats using traditional methods. Tours on a traditional wooden sailing ketch depart Friday to Sunday from the jetty outside. Book early or, like us, you could miss out. 

Tour the Wooden Boat Centre
Tour the Wooden Boat Centre

Go for a spin in the Huon Jet

For something more exciting, jump in the Huon Jet in Huonville and go for a spin on the Huon River. It’s worth doing this trip for the beautiful scenery alone.

Stroll along the Tahune AirWalk

If you drive an hour or so south, you’ll find the Tahune AirWalk where you can stroll high above the forest canopy and out over the sparkling Huon River.

Disclosure: The writer travelled with assistance from Tourism Tasmania.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.