The main town on the eastern shores of Port Huon, Cygnet is a centre for a prosperous fruit growing district (apples; grapes; strawberries; blueberries; cherries) which has numerous orchards and vineyards.
Where is it?
54 km south west of Hobart, 18 km south of Huonville, in the Huon Valley.
The Port Cygnet Sailing Club Regatta is held on the first weekend in March. Reflecting the mix of agricultural and creative local residents, events in Cygnet include the Cygnet Folk Festival, held over three days every January, and the Harvest Festival.
The local area also supports a farming population and there are many second homes, sometimes known as "shacks" in Tasmania. About a mile south of the town centre is Port Cygnet (home of the Port Cygnet Yacht Club), a safe anchorage for pleasure craft with easy road and walking access to Cygnet. Cygnet and surrounding suburbs have access to the beautiful D'Entrecasteau Channel on one side and the Huon River on the other.
The whole area surrounding Cygnet is ideal for picnics, fishing, bushwalking and boating. A locally available pamphlet, Let’s Talk About Cygnet, details a number of scenic drives. The drive along the coast towards Hobart via Verona Sands (19 km south) and Woodbridge (17 km east) is particularly pretty as the Huon River widens into D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
Verona Sands and Randalls Bay are two popular swimming beaches. Being at the foot of the peninsula, where the Huon Estuary meets the D'entrecasteaux Channel, Verona Sands has expensive views south down the channel and across to Port Esperance and Bruny Island, on opposite shores.
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In recent times Cygnet has become the centre of an alternative lifestyle community which have established woodturning, wholefoods shops, craft activities, vintage car restoring and holiday cottage accommodation as important local industries. As a result, the town has its own arts trail and is home to several galleries, including the Whispering Tree Gallery, Stanley's Fine Arts and Crafts, the Ginger Nutt Gallery, Lovett Gallery, Cobweb Designs and the handcrafted woodwork at Phoenix Creations. Throw in a print workshop with an old print press, the fascinating local museum, a bird sanctuary, several waterfront parks and a yacht club and it's a perfect weekend trip from Hobart.
Being a major fruit growing area, there is a wide variety of produce grown in the area and many opportunities to savour it. These range from farm gate stalls to boutiue wineries. Apple cider can be sampled at the Welcome Swallow Cyderworks.
Close by are two award-winning wineries – Panorama Vineyard at Cradoc, and Hartzview Vineyard at Gardeners Bay. At Hartzview, a leisurely stroll through their Heritage Pickers Hut Village will have you experiencing the home of orchard workers and their families, and Italian Prisoners of War in the early 1900s