Departing from Hobart, this journey is a microcosm of Tassie’s varied scenery, taking in lush forests, picturesque farms, sparkling waterways, quaint towns and fine food and wine outlets.
The Channel Highway soon brings you to Kettering, where a vehicular ferry whisks you over to Bruny Island. This elongated, untouched wilderness holds many surprises. Fairy penguins waddle ashore at dusk at the Neck reserve, eco-cruises provide close encounters with seals, dolphins, whales, mysterious breathing rocks, massive caves and sculptured rocky islands. History comes alive at Captain Cook’s landing place and the Bligh Museum.
Back on the mainland, why not stop for a snack or a live seafood larder meal at Woodbridge’s Peppermint Bay, before continuing on to Huonville. Take time to browse at antique shops in Cygnet on the way.
The Huon region offers a choice of water or wine related activities. First up are action-packed jet boat whitewater thrills on the river, including mandatory 360° spins. Another option is to salubriate in a peaceful vineyard, sampling cool-climate wines and fruit liqueurs. Roadside stalls and factory outlets can keep you amused for hours sampling delicious berries, apples and jams.Turning south on the Huon Highway you soon arrive at Franklin, where there are more antique galleries and an interesting display of traditional wooden boat building, using Huon pine.
Geeveston has something really special – the Forest and Heritage Centre with excellent displays of quality woodcraft. These interpretative exhibits put you in the right frame of mind to explore the riverside rainforest canopy on the Tahune Forest Air Walk further inland. The 40 metre high walkway leads up into the forest canopy to provide a magical wilderness experience. If time permits, do the Huon Pine Walk and follow other walking tracks into the Hertz Mountains.
Continue south to Hastings and consult the Visitor Centre about more opportunities for outdoor adventures. An underground cave tour is available, which can be followed by a swim in a thermal pool and a pleasant walk to hot springs.
Adrenalin junkies are catered for here, with six hour full-on caving adventures in King George V Cave and remote wilderness trekking routes to Hertz Peak and beyond. South East Cape is another overland objective to raise the heart rate, being accessible on a four hour return trek from Cockle Creek. There is a marked contrast between this wild headland lashed by the Southern Ocean and the placid waters enclosed by Bruny Island.