A weekend road trip from Hobart that’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser

14 Mar 2019

Peel back the layers of Tasmania's south to uncover a new hidden treasure.

You've ticked all the obvious things off your list. That's Port Arthur, Cradle Mountain and the Great Eastern Drive. So, what next?

Try south-west. Looking at the map that whole patch of island is abound with national parks and conservation areas that are heavily overlooked by visitors. After somewhere that'll please the carload? The answer is the Huon Valley and Hartz Mountains.

Day 1: Hobart to Geeveston

  • Hobart to Huonville

Start the day off early(ish) with a full tank of petrol and room for the spoils of your pickings as you drive along the A6 south towards Kingston and then off to Huonville.

It won't take you long until the city brushes away and the country roads and farm estates start flooding in. Local produce stations in the form of timber sheds line the way and you'll be a fool to pass up the chance to sink your teeth into the freshest picks of the season. There's the area's famous apples, but also cherries, honey, organic ciders and wines to put your spare change towards.

If you only stop by one, make it Willie Smith's Apple Shed. It's an institution that brews its own cider and is the optimal pitstop with a cafe setting and more than enough seating. What we love about it is that its menu comes with suggestions on which ciders each dish is best paired with. Go with the suggestions and you won't be disappointed.

After you're thoroughly refreshed, continue the ride along the A6 into Huonville. Perched on the edge of the Huon River, it's the largest town in the Huon Valley region and despite its historic buildings and bushwalks its biggest drawcard is the Huon River.

Take your photos and if you're a thrillseeker, take on a jet board ride down the river before continuing on to Franklin.

  • Huonville to Franklin

Renowned for its wooden boat centre which overlooks the Egg Islands, Franklin is an underrated find where you can learn the craft of traditional boat building and glass blowing.

A campground is aptly placed on the foreshore, so you can wake up to views of the Huon River if you're looking to pull up the brakes here, otherwise you can continue onto Geeveston to settle in for the night.

  • Franklin to Geeveston

Geeveston is the gateway to both the Hartz Mountains and the Tahune AirWalk, which is an experience no matter what age you are. It's a fresh new perspective on the mountains that lie ahead allowing you to walk among the treetops.

Unfortunately, it was affected by bushfires in January 2019, but is expected to reopen later in the year.

Day 2: Geeveston to Hartz Mountains to Hobart

  • Geeveston to Hartz Mountains

Wake up bright and early, lace up your boots and zigzag your way to the Hartz Mountains on the Arve Road (C632) and follow the signs. It's a mix of sealed and unsealed roads and in winter may be closed due to snowfall, so heed the weather warning before you head off.

Coined the "window to the south-west wilderness" the Hartz Mountains offers hikes for all capabilities through the Australian forest and comes complete with gushing waterfalls, glacial lakes, native wildlife encounters, Indigenous history and panoramic views that encapsulate the park's majesty, particularly from its peak.

Walk one or walk a few. The shortest takes just five minutes while the longest and most challenging is the peak walk which is a five-hour return hike.

  • Hartz Mountains to Hobart

As the Hartz Mountains are just 80km from Hobart you can easily drive back in the evening, stopping at any of the towns on your way back for dinner, because nobody wants to cook after a long day of hiking.

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Or to read the full article and view maps of the routes – visit here.

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