One of the main strengths of Tasmania as a place to visit and explore is that, no matter which city or town you are in, you are never more than one hour’s drive from a variety of beautiful scenery. This ranges from rugged, snow-frosted mountains to dark, temperate rainforests, and from idyllic, secluded beaches to pristine rivers brimming with trout.
Our most recent experience of this feature of Tasmania came from a self-drive day trip that we made, southwards from Hobart, along the edge of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, past Bruny Island, to Cygnet, a small but lively town in the valley of the Huon River.
Cygnet is one of many comparable towns across Australia which have been revitalised in recent decades by an influx of persons with enough skill and determination to pursue a vision of sustainable production of artisan food products and the like. Usually this occurs in cooperation with some of the longer-established residents, who welcome both the opportunity to share their accumulated knowledge with the newbies and the associated creation of new markets for premium products.
Okay, I’m probably exaggerating a little to make my point. But cast your eye over the delightful salad plate which Maggie and I shared for lunch at The Lotus Eaters’ Cafe in Cygnet. Every item on the plate – including leaves, herbs, olives, cheese, ham, smoked salmon and dried tomatoes – was produced within a small radius of the town. It was the perfect antidote to the overload of carbs from our first couple of days in Hobart.
The balance of the photos show, inadequately I regret, some of the coastal and inland scenery we enjoyed as we made our way very gently to and from Cygnet. Which reminds me to mention another one of Tasmania’s lovely attributes for travellers – there’s hardly any traffic. Ever! Well, except on the water – boating is to Tasmanians what cycling is to the Dutch.