local government area in Tasmania, Australia
Oceania > Australia > Tasmania > Southern Tasmania > Huon and Far South

The Huon and Far South (Huon Valley) is Australia's southernmost inhabited area in southern Tasmania with a population of 17,219 (2018). Known for its orchards and production of fruits primarily grown in cold temperate climates, the Huon and Far South alone account for about 10 per cent of Australia's apple production.

Most settlements in this region are found along the Huon Highway corridor, the main highway linking Kingston with much of the region, including Australia's southernmost town, Southport. Many towns tend to be riverside or bayside: either along the wide Huon River or in various bays.


Map of Huon and Far South

  • 1 Huonville – the regional centre, and the region's only true settlement of over 1000
  • 2 Cygnet – an artsy town with a rich arts and folk community
  • 3 Dover   – a sleepy coastal town
  • 4 Franklin – known for its local hand-crafted wooden boats on the banks of the Huon River
  • 5 Geeveston – the centre of the region's fruit-growing industry
  • 6 Southport – Australia's most southerly permanent settlement

Other destinations

  • 1 Hartz Mountains National Park – true alpine wilderness, also home to Arve Falls
  • 2 Hastings Caves State Reserve   – contains Newdegate Cave, the Australia's largest known dolomite cave and a thermal spring (that's always warm, despite the unforgiving cold)
  • 3 Southwest National Park (includes Melaleuca) – much of Tasmania's largest park's true beauty lies in the Huon and Far South, though much of it is road-inaccessible.

For practical purposes, Subantarctic islands (Macquarie Island and surrounding islets) that are administered as part of the Huon Valley Council are not covered here. This is because visiting Macquarie Island requires extensive permits; it is not visitable on an ordinary trip to the Huon and Far South.


Newdegate Cave in Hastings Caves State Reserve

With most of the region situated south of the 43°S line, the Huon and Far South is closer to continental Antarctica than it is to Perth, Western Australia or Cairns, Queensland, and with no major landmass to block the cool Antarctic breeze, the Huon cops much of it, making it a prime location to grow fruits traditionally grown in colder climates such as apples, pears or cherries, which today is the Huon's largest industry.

The Huon and Far South can be divided into two geographically distinct regions: the west, which is almost entirely protected under Southwest National Park or Hartz Mountains National Park, which are very mountainous, alpine, and have many glacial lakes, with few to no roads (meaning you have to visit many POIs on foot), making up for most of the region by area, and the smaller eastern section, where all settlements (excluding Melaleuca), farms, and infrastructure are.

Get in


Like other parts of Tasmania, the Huon is a very car-centric region. The only likely case where you won't be entering by car is if you fly to Melaleuca and then hike the multi-day South Coast Track (see Southwest National Park for details).

The main highway into the Huon and Far south is the Huon Highway (A6), a highway that links Kingston to Southport via Huonville; the highway north of Kingston is the Southern Outlet from Hobart. Between Kingston and Huonville, the highway is a good 2+1 road but without a median strip. South of Huonville, the road is two lanes with few overtaking opportunities, without a shoulder in some areas.

Get around


As stated in § Get in, you will almost always need a car to get around. Some places, however, like Lion Rock or Adamsons Falls, both of which are somewhat-popular POIs in the Huon Valley, are only accessible on foot.

The aurora is a common sight in the Huon and Far South (Lion Rock, Southwest National Park)

While it depends on whether the sky wants to have it or decide to not, the Southern Lights is a common sight in this region of Tasmania, provided that you are not viewing the lights in a location affected by light polution (so not Huonville or even small towns like Franklin or Geeveston). This page has an aurora predictor for the next upcoming three calendar days, but it's not 100 per cent accurate; BOM's SWS may also be of some use.

While this region isn't particularly for glacial lakes (the Highland Lakes region is, though), there are a few near-pristine lakes in Hartz Mountains National Park, most of which have good walking trails; Lake Esperance has it a step further with a boardwalk.

For those interested in caves, Hastings Caves State Reserve contains the largest dolomite cave in Australia, which contains more flowstones, straws, and shawls than other Australian caves (good for photography). Close to the caves is a thermal hot spring, perfect for a cold Tasmanian summer morning.

To learn about the region's timber industry, The Wooden Boat Centre in Franklin has a collection of locally-manufactured wooden boats alongside the Huon River. While the timber industry has mostly died out today, Huon pines were among one of the popular species of trees for timber harvesters during the 20th century.

There are many hiking trails within the Huon and Far South, particularly within Southwest National Park and Hartz Mountains National Park – see Tasmanian national parks and hiking and bushwalking in Australia for some advice for advice on cold weather. The most well-known out of all is South Coast Track.

Apple orchards and other fruit farms are the main draw of the Huon and Far South.

Otherwise, much of the region has it similar to other parts of Tasmania in terms of restaurants. Fish and chips shops tend to be better further south, partially because the towns down south are bayside or oceanside, as opposed to being riverside.



Bars and taverns are like any other Tasmanian region.

Stay safe

Never underestimate the cold in the Far South

Like in other Tasmanian regions (particularly West and Central), distances are not long, at least not when compared to mainland standards, but travel times should never be underestimated due to the winding nature of the region's roads. While a journey on the Huon Highway does not take a long time (about an hour from Huonville to Southport), a simple 25-km trip from Geeveston to Hartz Mountains can take up to 40 minutes (in other words, you'd be averaging about 37.5 km/h (23.3 mph)), and a 30-km trip between Southport and Recherche Bay can take between 40–45 minutes. Always plan some extra time in case you get bogged up by the region's windy roads.

Never underestimate the cold: the temperature rarely tips above 20°C, even on the best of summer days, and sub-zero temperatures are very common between April and October (and almost a daily occurrence in the mountains). Be prepared for the snow if you're hiking during the colder months and always carry a good jacket with you, even if it's summer.

Like in other Tasmanian regions, watch out for wildlife. Road visibility at night is particularly poor in the Huon and Far South.

Go next


The only region that's connected to the Huon and Far South by road is the Greater Hobart region. Some good nearby destinations in this region close to the Huon Valley include Bruny Island, home to lots of penguins and home to one of the last remaining populations of white wallabies. You may also wish to proceed further and drive northwest to the Derwent Valley, home to impressive waterfalls in Mount Field National Park and some of the state's largest lakes in Southwest (the other side of the park), or explore West Coast Tasmania.

This region travel guide to Huon and Far South is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.