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Hideaway In The Huon Valley
huon valley appleTasmania's deep south is a land that makes you feel like you are living a fairytale. The hidden valleys are overflowing with local fruits and the snow capped mountains in the horizon create a natural ambience that gives the area a quaint story book setting. Don't be tricked though, this place does actually exist and it can be found within the wonderous Huon Valley. Ideal for campervan travelers, this valley truly is Tasmania's southern masterpiece. Located a mere 40 minutes up the road from Hobart with campervan Tasmania, there really is no reason not to take an adventure here. You will be glad you did!

If you begin your journey in Hobart, you will discover a city that has changed with the times and is now an extremely modern place to be. Trekking to the Huon Valley will take you a step back in time, allowing you to discover and entirely different world. The economy here is larges based on the local apples and timber, meaning that thick forests and fruit laden apple plantations line the road for much of the way. Quaint towns can be found every now and then and these are the centres for the production and process of these two industries, that have existed for many years. Settlements like Geeveston have managed to retain the quaint heritage of the early days of their settlement, and they are a charming place to base your campervan and tour the surrounds from.

You won't be able to resist immersing yourself in the apple growing heritage of this region, so pay a visit to the Huon Apple and Heritage Museum. This will take you on an adventure into the past, into the early days of apple production, through its careful selection of displays of working machines, and other artifacts and photographs relevant to this time. The museum is actually housed in a former packing shed, and there are also over 500 different varieties of apple on display here!

In Geeveston you can also gain a broader understanding of the timber industry and its past. Pay a visit to the Forest and Heritage Centre and you will discover why forests are an integral part of Tasmania. The centre provides a hands on interpretation of foresting practices and how these align with preservation and conservation. You can also enjoy the collection of antique machines, and take a ride on a sculptured log truck!

The coastline of southern Tasmania is ruggedly spectacular. Some parts are inaccessible, they are simply too wild and rugged. This does not detract anything from their beauty, which you can still enjoy from afar at various lookout points. The rocky headlands that protrude into the sea are punctuated by pristine white beaches, and one of the most unforgettable of these is Cockle Creek, which also marks the farthest point south you can drive in Australia. Its sapphire-blue waters are a great spot for a mornings swimming or fishing, and the drive through the forests to reach here is spectacular.

When it comes to experiencing the wondrous mountains of this region, there is no better place to do it then in the Hartz Mountains National Park. Easily accessible from Geeveston, the amazing peaks here offer endless bush walks where the views of the surrounding landscapes will simply blow you away. During the winter months you can enjoy the snow capped peaks, and when the warmer months come around you will experience stunning waterfalls that have formed due to the melting of the snow. The wildlife come to life in spring and the green forests fill with the cry of the numerous bird species. It's a special time of year to drive through this region, and camping is permitted throughout the park, which means you can set up camp for the night wherever you please.

The Tahune Forest Reserve is any bush walker's dream as is it where you can experience a hike with a difference over the Tahune Airwalk. This 600 metre long platform is elevated 20 metres above the ground and features a cantilever in the middle that rises to 48 metres in height. The views from up here of the forest and the junction of the Picton and Huon Rivers are well worth the climb. It is also a great way to experience the Huon Pines growing in their natural riverine environment. The walk is an easy one and can be managed by most people, although the climb up the cantilever is a bit trickier.

For all those who are keen to experience a little more of nature, take a trip up to the Hastings Caves and go on a tour through these cavernous chambers that started their formation over 40 million years ago. The atmosphere within the caves is like no other and as you step out of them you will be greeted with incredibly warm natural thermal springs that are a refreshing place for a dip. There is also the option of making use of the barbecue and picnic facilities. Its a perfect day's outing!

The Huon Valley is perfect for visitation all year round as the beautiful countryside and diversity here will almost take your breath away. It truly is a perfect destination for a campervan holiday as there is just so much to see and do. March is a popular time to visit, because of the "Taste of the Huon" festival which is a celebration of the fresh produce this fertile region is famous for. So bear that in mind when you plan your holiday to the Huon and remember to ENJOY!

Christine Barton

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