Head an hour south of Hobart and you’ll wend between pastures, orchards and pristine waterways, plucking crunchy fruit from roadside honesty boxes and finding restaurants where world-class chefs work in pockets of quiet. This is only one slice of the longer Southern Edge road trip but it’s arguably the most delicious drive in all Tasmania. You can do it in four days but you will be tempted to linger longer...
Fly to: Hobart
Best for: Couples
Length of trip: Four days
There are many ways to work up your appetite, starting at the Tahune Airwalk, a jaw-dropping walkway suspended 50 metres above the surging Huon and Picton rivers. The on-site café also elevates things with a menu of super-local produce and wine.
Billing itself as “Australia’s most southerly town”, Geeveston is a half-hour drive away and your hub for the next two nights. Drop your bags at Cambridge House B&B, a historic home surrounded by rose gardens. A forestry town isn’t necessarily where you’d seek out a hole-in-the-wall sushi joint but Japanese sushi chef Masaaki Koyama was convinced to move here by the quality of its seafood. What he does with it at Masaaki’s Sushi (miso soup made with crayfish!) is sublime.
Grab a morning brew and load a backpack with Mt Man washed rind cheese and homemade pickles from gallery-slash-café Harvest and Light. Today, you tackle Hartz Mountains National Park. Now within Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area, its peaks and lakes were carved into the landscape by ice age glaciers. You can go as hardcore as you like or all but stroll the 3.4-kilometre Lake Esperance loop, which is mostly boardwalk.
You could do little but brunch at The Old Bank of Geeveston (open Tuesday-Saturday) and call today a win but charming riverside town Franklin is worth the short drive north. Spend the afternoon cruising the sleepy Huon River aboard the Sail Kerrawyn ketch or, if you reckon a true Tassie cider is overdue, head to Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, Australia’s first certified organic cidery. Lodge at Highland Getaway in Ranelagh tonight.
It’s not over till it’s over. Book in at The Farmhouse Kitchen, a popular cooking school focusing on Puglian cuisine before pulling over at whichever farmgate stalls take your fancy on the way back to Hobart. Unless you’ve snagged a spot at an on-farm feast at the wonderful Fat Pig Farm in Cygnet, where more than you’d imagine possible is conjured from what grows on chef Mathew Evans’ paddocks. Then you might even stay another day...