South of the Capital

South from Hobart… the Derwent River broadens into the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, once a haven for sealers and whalers, now one of Hobart’s aquatic playgrounds.

Bruny Island, reached by a vehicle carrying ferry that operates throughout the day, seven days a week, is fast becoming a holiday destination in itself. It is endowed with natural beauty, a microcosm of the gently rolling hills, white beaches and clear water of nearby mainland Tasmania. In recent years a selection of fine eating houses and friendly accommodation places has also developed on the island.

From Hobart, scenic flights are available over the wilderness. Packages include scenic flights to the Southwest, single-day wilderness experiences and overnight or longer holidays. Several vessels provide accommodation as well as cruises of Bathurst Harbour.

Port Arthur, on the Tasman Peninsula is isolated by Eaglehawk Neck, a narrow strip of land only 410 metres across and a magnificently rugged coastline. It was home to 12,700 convicts between 1830 and 1877. Escape was rare and many stayed till the end of their life, then were buried in mass graves on the Isle of the Dead. Today, Port Arthur rests in peace amid English oaks and green lawns that roll to the water’s edge. Other places to visit include some of the area’s natural attractions like the Remarkable Cave and the Blow Hole.

The Huon Valley stretches from the foot of Mount Wellington south towards the sea and was once the most prolific apple growing area in Tasmania.

The apple and pear industry is enjoying resurgence in growth and production. See how the industry was in its heyday at the Apple & Heritage Museum at Grove.

Dover is a popular and picturesque holiday area with safe boat anchorages and beaches. It’s also an important base for the aquaculture industry with fish farms producing Atlantic salmon and ocean trout.

The Arve Valley is a rewarding area to spend some time in the great outdoors. Five easy short walks have been developed to provide a variety of forest experiences.

Huonville, at the centre of the valley, is 30 minutes drive from Hobart. It is the seat of local government for the most southern local government municipality in Australia and includes Macquarie Island, located midway between Australia and Antarctica, in its jurisdiction.

The Forest and Heritage Centre, at Geeveston provides information about forest walks in the nearby Tahune Forest Reserve, Hartz Mountains National Park, and Hastings Caves region.

The Thermal Pool at Hastings has been a popular visitor destination for many years, and the Ida Bay Railway at Lune River is another major attraction.

The eastern side of the Huon River features the tiny town of Cygnet - home to several studios of potters and wood turners specialising in Tasmanian timbers as well as antique shops, wineries and a wildlife park with self-catering accommodation nearby.