I love a good Sunday drive, taking in the beautiful scenery that is Tasmania. From my very first visit to the state, while house-sitting at Geeveston in the Huon Valley, I have loved the expectancy of magnificent views around the next corner and over the next hill. With that knowledge, my family packed a picnic basket and the puppy and ushered me to the car for a drive to Port Huon as a Mother’s Day outing.
Port Huon: A Good Day for a Drive
After a customary sleep-in, we left Hobart and arrived in Franklin in time for lunch. I find small Tasmanian towns so appealing, and Franklin is no exception. There’s a few well-known features that may attract tourists, including the Wooden Boat Centre and Petty Sessions Cafe. Travellers will find a good choice of tearooms, craft galleries, take-away shops and at least one pub should they be looking for things to do or places to eat and drink.
There’s also a terrific park with a playground and a bike track for the juniors. There’s usually campers in the caravan park next to the Huon River; a small fee is collected for the right to camp overnight. Before driving on to Port Huon, we enjoyed our simple lunch of cheese, crackers and assorted antipasto delights (and of course the Mother’s Day chocolates) on the river bank.
We were almost joined by some friendly swans as we enjoyed our picnic, but they thought better of the idea at the last minute. They came ashore, but for some strange reason, they took off again. Can’t imagine why!
Capture the Magic: Huon River
After a kick of the footy and a walk with Coco, we started the best part of the drive. The stretch between Franklin and Port Huon is one of the best you’ll find in Tasmania. If the weather is calm, the reflections in the Huon River are unsurpassed. Real photographers have been known to capture some magnificent images in the region.
Less than 600 residents call Port Huon home, but those that do certainly have a lovely outlook. There’s some pretty nice houses, including several located higher up the hillside with enviable views over the river and surrounding countryside.
Port Huon Sports and Aquatic Centre
When we stayed in Geeveston, we would visit the Port Huon Sports and Aquatic Centre to swim in the heated pool. We were home-schooling the kids then, and needed to provide swimming lessons. We were astounded to find such a fabulous facility in such a small town. I’m not sure what plan B would have been otherwise! Maybe a tad cold for a dip in the river?
We also tried our luck at fishing from the jetty adjacent to the old Port Huon wharf sheds, always without much luck. We willed the salmon to escape from their ponds (there’s a big aquaculture farm across the Huon River) but wishing didn’t do the trick. Thankfully the Kermandie Hotel is front and centre for seafood if you’re useless at fishing like us. Having dined there so long ago, I couldn’t give you a reliable account of the meals, sorry. Mark that down for another research mission.
Kermandie: River, Hotel and Marina
Many places appear to be named Kermandie; maybe it’s a satellite suburb of Port Huon! I do know it’s where the Kermandie River meets the Huon River, and at the junction of the two is the Kermandie Marina. A nice little spot to admire the many boats, if you’re so inclined. I think someone in my family would like a boat of their very own one day. Dream on!
Meandering slowly along back roads gave us the chance to wind down the windows and let our guard dog enjoy the wind in her face. She’s never been so happy! After a few more diversions, it was eventually time to return to reality and drive the 60kms back to Hobart. We collected a bag of fresh apples (and one covered in toffee for a special treat) from one of the many roadside stalls and made our way back to the Southern Outlet via Kingston… leaving plenty more of the Huon Valley to see next time.
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