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Southern Trove

From Hobart in Tasmania's south, drive down the Huon Valley past an exceptional variety of landscapes

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Total 273 km

Southern Trove - Itinerary

The Southern Trove is a journey of discovery through a region of waterways and wilderness, art and craft, forests and fishing boats, orchards and vineyards. Rich in pioneer heritage, the region is noted for its exceptional variety of landscapes, from the still waters of the tranquil Huon River to the magnificent  forests of the Hartz Mountains National Park.

Start: Hobart

Duration: 2 - 4 days

Print: Southern Trove [PDF 273KB]

National parks:

Hobart – Geeveston

  • Depart Hobart on the Southern Outlet (A6) towards Kingston and follow the signs to Huonville, a drive of around 30 minutes.
  • On the way, stop at the Huon Valley Apple and Heritage Museum at Grove and discover the traditions behind the once flourishing apple orchards of the region.
  • In Huonville, take a thrilling (and sometime peaceful) jet boat ride on the Huon River – a great way to admire this beautiful river scape, complete with Huon pines. This now rare species is one of the oldest living things on earth, with some more than 2,000 years old.
  • Nearby, enjoy the region's produce at Home Hill Winery Restaurant at Ranelagh, with its stunning architecture and a menu of local Huon Valley seasonal produce – salmon, oysters, beef, trout, lamb, fruits and vegetables, including the famed Huon Valley mushrooms – all served in a picture-postcard    rural setting.
  • Beyond Huonville lies the historic township of Franklin, with its fascinating Wooden Boat Centre and Boat Building School, where shipwrights impart traditional skills to students from around the world.
  • Further on at Geeveston, the Forest and Heritage Centre is a must for anyone interested in the state's forest industries.
  • Drive 30 minutes farther, through a working forest, to Tahune Adventures. Fly like an eagle in a hang glider attached to a 220 metre cable above a 70 metre high forest, the Huon River below, or take an exhilarating walk through the tree canopy on the AirWalk.
  • Overnight in any of the pretty locations between Huonville and Geeveston or return to Hobart

Geeveston – Dover

  • Drive to the Hartz Mountains National Park for a range of walks and superb views. From Hartz Peak (1255 metres) you can see east to the ocean and west into the heart of Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area.
  • Continue farther south past the fishing town of Dover to the Hastings Caves. One of these, Newdegate Cave, is one of the world's great dolomite caves containing vast chambers more than 40 million years old.
  • After touring the caves, take a dip in the nearby outdoor thermal springs – wonderfully warm, clear, naturally occurring pure spring water maintained at 28 degrees year round and surrounded by beautiful forests.
  • Farther on is Cockle Creek, the farthest south that one can drive in Australia, with its beautiful bay of sapphire-blue water fringed with pure white sand.
  • Cockle Creek is also the start - or end - of the challenging multi-day South Coast Track and the Southwest National Park - part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
  • Overnight at Dover or in the Huon region.

Huonville – Bruny Island

  • Enjoy a scenic drive on this alternative route in the Huon Valley from Huonville towards the D'Entrecasteux Channel with panoramic views of a charming patchwork of orchards, small farms and vineyards set against a spectacular waterscape.
  • The Huon Valley is also home to several wineries open to the public for tastings including Panorama Wines and Hartzview Vineyard, specialising in fruit ports and liqueurs.
  • Alternatively, follow the meandering shoreline of the D'Entrecasteux Channel past the picturesque small townships scattered among the hills.
  • Don't miss the hamlet of Woodbridge with its waterside restaurant, Peppermint Bay, featuring local produce served in a beautiful setting.
  • Next door is Grandvewe Cheeses where you can walk up the hill nearby and watch sheep being milked in preparation for the production of their fine organic cheeses, all of which can be sampled in their tasting room.
  • On to Kettering and the car ferry across to Bruny Island.
  • Discover Bruny Island's fabulous produce such as the Bruny Island Cheese Company, oysters at Get Shucked, the Bruny Island Hotel for fine pub meals, Bruny Island Premium Wines, Bruny Island Provodore and Bruny Island Berry Farm.
  • Overnight at Adventure Bay or one of many accommodation options available on the island.

Day 2: Bruny Island – Hobart

  • Spend the day exploring Bruny Island with its fascinating history, prolific wildlife and superb scenery.
  • Take the main road south to the scenic penguin-viewing platform at the isthmus that joins North and South Bruny Island.
  • At Adventure Bay, join a mulit-award winning wildlife cruise to the southern tip of Bruny Island, one of the best wildlife experiences in Tasmania, with regular sightings of sea eagles, dolphins, whales and seals as well as close-up views of spectacular rock formations and sea caves.
  • Drive to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse on a wild, windswept cape looking out across the vast expanse of the Southern Ocean. The lighthouse was first lit in 1834.
  • Return to Kettering by ferry and head back to Hobart (40 minutes) via Kingston. From Kingston, take the scenic route along the old Channel Highway (B68) into Hobart, rather than the Southern Outlet (A6).
  • On the Channel Highway at Taroona, just our of Hobart,  climb to the top of the Shot Tower (1870) for majestic views of the Derwent River estuary and a fascinating insight into the art of making lead gunshot.
  • Return to Hobart.
Leg Time / Distance
Hobart - Geeveston 52 min / 60 km
Geeveston - Dover 20 min / 21 km
Dover - Bruny Island (Adventure Bay) 2 hr 19 min (+ ferry)/ 121 km
Bruny Island - Hobart 1 hr 40 min (+ ferry) / 71 km