The Huon Valley is one of those places that can show you everything that Tasmania is really about.
People travel south to this state to be engrossed in the natural scenery, to eat the local produce, to get up close to the wildlife, and to smell the remarkably fresh air. If you’re hoping to do all of that in a day trip from Hobart, this Huon Valley itinerary is a winner.
When travelling to this area, you’ll pass through some charming small towns and see the apple orchards that Tasmania is so well known for. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to spot native animals, and your ultimate reward will be a serene forest that can be admired from the canopy level as you wander through the treetops. Sounds pretty awesome, right?
I recently revisited this area after more than a decade and was super impressed by how much it has to offer travellers from interstate or abroad. If you’ll be visiting Hobart and are looking for an outing that will let you experience some of the best parts of Tassie in a day, here’s my recommended itinerary for a Huon Valley day trip!
When to go to the Huon Valley:
Any time of year is suitable for this Huon Valley day trip, though the majority of tourists choose to visit during the summer months.
We visited the Huon Valley in mid June, which is well and truly into the Tasmanian winter. The temperature can be chilly and the days are shorter around the solstice, but it’s absolutely possible to do all the activities at this time of year if you dress appropriately. Travelling in winter can actually be a bonus because there are fewer people to compete with at all the photo spots!
Rain showers can happen during any season in Tasmania, so be prepared for changeable weather conditions. It had been wet all week before our recent trip, but luckily the clouds cleared up enough for us to explore the area without it being too much of a problem.
How to get to the Huon Valley:
If you’ll be renting a car in Tasmania, then driving to the Huon Valley is the best option. It’ll take about 3 hours round trip (1.5 hours each way) to get from Hobart to Tahune. This itinerary can easily be done in a day, but make sure you leave early enough to arrive at Tahune before the last tickets are sold at 3PM.
If you’d prefer to have your transport organised, you can hop on a guided tour to the Huon Valley via minibus. This tour will take you to the Tahune Airwalk, Hastings Caves, and optionally to Willie Smith’s Apple Shed and Mount Wellington.
What to bring:
- Comfortable, water-resistant shoes are a must. Some of the car parks and walking paths can get muddy after rain, and there are some gravel and dirt paths involved. It would be very wise to choose comfort over fashion for these activities.
- A rain jacket (or alternatively an umbrella) is also a smart idea. Tassie’s weather can change at any moment so don’t expect that the skies will stay clear.
- Sunscreen and a hat if you’re travelling in summer. You’ll be spending a fair bit of time outdoors on this itinerary.
- A water bottle is also necessary, especially if you plan to do some of the walks. We kept a reusable insulated drink bottle in the car to sip on between locations.
Huon Valley itinerary:
Willie Smith’s Apple Shed
Forego breakfast today, as the first stop on this Huon Valley itinerary is one food experience you won’t want to miss. On the approach to Huonville you’ll be entering Tasmania’s biggest apple growing region, and situated on roadside is the popular Willie Smith’s Apple Shed–an apple orchard and eatery where some of Tasmania’s best cider is brewed.
Hop inside to check out their gift shop, bar, and kitchen. They sell large slices their famous apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream (or other brunch foods if that’s not your thing) as well as a selection of ciders on tap. Our last visit was in winter so we chose a mug of mulled cider to have with our pie, which we ate outside in the barn next to the firepit.
Platypus walk in Geeveston
A little further down the road is Geeveston, where you have the chance to see a unique animal that is hard to spot elsewhere in Australia. Rob and I were very sceptical about whether we would see a platypus in Geeveston or not–we had been tantalised with the prospect of seeing one at Mount Field National Park last summer only to leave disappointed when the shy animals eluded us.
The platypus walk starts from the roadside and follows a path beside the Kermandie River, which is home to a smallplatypus population. Our walk revealed nothing until the very end when we were just about to give up entirely. Finally, a platypus appeared underneath the bridge where the Huon Highway crosses the river. It swam along the surface for a few seconds before diving down to the riverbed and repeating the process as it foraged for food.I was stoked–it was amazing to watch!
After the platypus walk, have a wander around the Geeveston town centre. There’s a cute lolly shop that sells a large range of sweets, locally made jams, and Tasmanian Valhalla ice cream, as well as the very popular Masaaki’s Sushi takeaway if you’re hungry for something savoury or want to grab some food for later.
The last stop of the day is Tahune Airwalk, part of Tahune Adventures, which is an attraction that has been around since I was a kid but has been updated since I last visited many years ago. The structure was unfortunately damaged in the black summer bushfires of 2019/20 and had to be repaired afterwards, but the new structure is just as incredible as the old one.
The elevated walkway takes visitors up to 50 metres above the forest floor and river where you are surrounded by towering trees. Tahune also has short hikes through the forest which are included with the $29 AUD admission price. The whole thing takes about 1.5-2 hours to complete, though if you’re short on time you could just do the airwalk in about half an hour.
Rob and I turned up here quite late to purchase our tickets at 3PM, which is the last sales of the day. By doing this, we basically had the entire park to ourselves! Only a handful of other people were still hanging around which made it super easy to get our photos in all the good spots. The visitor centre closes at 4PM but guests are able to continue exploring after hours and leave whenever they’re done. We ended up leaving just before 5PM as it was getting dark and then drove straight back to Hobart.