The enchanting Southern Trove encompasses the d’Entrecasteaux Channel, Bruny Island, the Huon Valley, and the Far South. Take a memorable day trip or multi-day adventure and discover diverse treasures, including World Heritage Wilderness, world-class produce, amazing scenery, charming seaside towns, unique wildlife, and a rich history.
It’s a lovely drive, from the coast-hugging journey through the Channel, to the tree-lined country roads of the Huon Valley, right down to the meeting place of mountains, forest and ocean at the bottom of the map. Here are eight things to do on your Southern Trove adventure.
1. Taste your way around the Trove
The region is home to some irresistible eats, with fresh seafood, handcrafted chocolates, berries and stone fruit, honey, fudge, artisan cheeses, and more. Take your tastebuds on a lively adventure to the local wineries, boutique distilleries, cider houses, farms, restaurants and cafés. Roadside stalls offer freshly picked apples and other goodies, so stop when you see one! You can even transport yourself to provincial France for high tea at the charming Villa Howden. Factor food coma time into your itinerary.
2. Choose your own adventure on Bruny Island
Tassie’s very own treasure island is beloved for its beautiful scenery, amazing food and drink, and unique wildlife. There’s tonnes to see and do, so jump aboard the ferry at Kettering and choose your own adventure.
Enjoy panoramic views at The Neck. Explore the rugged South Bruny coastline and spot sea and birdlife with Bruny Island Cruises. Wander the wind-swept beaches and peaceful forests of the South Bruny National Park, and discover historic gems like the Cape Bruny Lighthouse (and tour it with Bruny Island Safaris).
Stay a few nights and unwind at one of Bruny Island Coastal Retreats‘ beautiful properties, surrounded by glorious nature.
3. Attend the eclectic local events
There are some fabulous events on in the region, celebrating food, wine, art, music, sailing, and more.
The Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest is on from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 July 2018 at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, with the eclectic festival favourite all about feasting, cider, fire, pagan costumes, music, and folklore. Get your tickets here, see highlights from 2017 for inspiration, and practice your yelling on the trees in your backyard (definitely not on the kids, yeah?).
Another good one is the Cygnet Folk Festival, held on the second weekend in January each year. There are also some delightful local markets to search for treasure – see the events calendar for more info.
4. Immerse yourself in the Tahune Forest
Tahune Adventures Tasmania offer some memorable experiences, connecting you with nature on a grand scale. These trees are big, y’all! If you’ve been waiting for your Merry and Pippin and the Ents moment, sound the alert, because this is it! The views from the Tahune AirWalk are seriously choice.
If you’re up for even more adventure, you can paddle, drift and splash on a raft or kayak through bouncy rapids and quiet stretches of the Picton and Huon rivers. Thrill seekers might also like to soar through the forest on the hang glider. Refuel with some fresh scones with jam and cream in the café afterwards.
5. Delve into the region’s rich history
The Southern Trove region was shaped by the early whaling, timber cutting, boat building, and fruit growing industries. Visit the Channel Museum at Margate to unearth fascinating stories about the region’s significant events and influential residents. There are permanent exhibits, specialty displays, art by local artists, a research room where you can look up family history, as well as a shop and onsite café.
Image: Channel Museum
6. Disappear underground at Hastings Caves
Temporarily, of course. Join a 45 minute guided tour and be amazed at the great dolomite caves hidden below the surface. Although formed millions of years ago, the caves were only discovered in 1917 by timber workers. The cave is spacious and well-lit with no narrow passages, but there are a decent number of stairs (and the odd cave spider). Cave tour tickets include access to the thermal spring pool, leafy walking tracks, and BBQ facilities, so take your bathers and make a day of it.
7. Drive to the very end of the road
If you follow the road south until it ends at Cockle Creek, you’ve driven as far south as possible in Australia. It really does feel like the edge of the world, with unspoilt beauty everywhere you cast your eyes. The beautiful emerald water and white sand at Recherche Bay is paradise (DO NOT tell The Bachelor producers about this).
Walk to the bronze whale sculpture, discover some of the area’s history, and maybe even spot a real whale out in the distance during migration season. This is also the entry point for the wild and rugged Southwest National Park, so take your walking shoes.
8. Explore the National Parks
The Southern Trove has a diverse range of landscapes, and is home to some stunning national parks and reserves. Conquer Hartz Peak and admire the ancient glacial landscape in the Hartz Mountains National Park. Surf at Cloudy Bay, climb Fluted Cape, and maybe meet a white wallaby in the South Bruny National Park. Enter the remote Southwest National Park by plane, boat, or on foot, disconnect from all stress and explore a captivating lost world. Remember to grab a Parks Pass where required!
Image (Hartz Peak): @czechingoutofhere/Instagram
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The Neck, Bruny Island | @_alex_mcandrew/Instagram