Cygnet is a small hamlet and an outlying suburb of Hobart along Tasmania's southern coast. This small alternative lifestyle town is sandwiched right in between the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and the mighty Huon River. Roaring waters and fertile soil gives Cygnet the ability to grow in abundance of orchard fruits such as apples, cherries and berries among beautiful rolling hills. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Simon DeSalis
Cygnet sits along the coast south of Hobart and is an outlying suburb. The hamlet is 54 kilometres south of Hobart CBD which takes about 45 minutes by car. Launceston is 3 hours and 254 kilometres north. Devonport, sitting on the northwest coast clear across the island, is 336 kilometres away and 4 hours by car.
Cygnet - An Alternative Lifestyle Among Fertile Orchards
While this small hamlet is right in the middle of Tasmania's most important apple, cherry and berry growing area, Cygnet may be best known for its alternative lifestyle. You'll find the citizens of this fertile land think a little bit differently. The residents hold whole foods in high demand and practice craft activities such as wood-turning.
You'll find that those practising an alternative lifestyle have a symbiotic relationship with the more traditional farmers in the area. They work hand-in-hand to bring fresh local produce to restaurant tables. And you'll find plenty of foodies in the area that have travelled to indulge in the experience.
This quaint town is lined with craft shops, galleries and music studios. The town is quite popular with musicians, artists and craftsmen seeking a lifestyle that is just out of the norm. And you can indulge in their artworks on the Cygnet Art Trail.
The artisanal ambience extends to Hartzview Vineyard at Gardeners Bay. Make a visit to experience some of Tasmania's best wines and to be surprised by what you find at the winery. The vineyards Heritage Pickers Hut Village is a historic Museum that allows you to experience what life was like for orchard workers and their families in the early part of the century.
You'll find that the artists, musicians and makers all support the local farming economy. There are many "Shacks" in Cygnet, otherwise known as second homes. And you'll find plenty of leisure boats anchored in a safe harbour about a mile south of town. The local population loves to experience all that the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and Huon River have to offer. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Simon DeSalis
A Romantic Getaway
Cygnet is perfect for a week of romance. This small, quaint and inviting hamlet is full of incredibly unique shops and galleries perfect for a daytime stroll with a loved one. And after exploring the town and all it has to offer, you can spend the afternoon picking apples in the hills.
The small town is also full of artists, musicians, craftsmen and creative people from all over the world. The town is home to the Cygnet Folk Festival which takes place every January and attracts acoustic music lovers from all over the country.
This creative little town is also big into film. The Harvest Festival features plenty of films, art exhibits and dance shows. And this enclave is host to the Cygnet Cup where the townsfolk race snails every November. Cygnet is definitely a little out of the norm. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett
You'll find a couple of busy backpackers hostels in town. There are also 2 hotels. One of them, in the middle of town, is a standard Aussie hotel. The other, just south of town, is a luxury hotel with an inviting spa. Cygnet also has a warm and inviting bed-and-breakfast in the middle of town.
The Cygnet Living History Museum opened the back in 2000 at 37 Mary Street. You'll find all sorts of photographs and artefacts illuminating the history of the Huon Valley. The museum is open every day of the week and features exhibits that include indigenous cultural art, early settlements, historic buildings and Cygnet festivals.
This small hamlet is full of natural beauty and is ripe for a picnic. The drive around the channel and the Huon River is full of unforgettable scenery while the coasts are dotted with ideal spots for picnics, nature walks, fishing and boating. Simply spend a day drinking in all that the Cygnet surrounds have to offer. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania & Steven Pearce Photography
Despite the fact that Cygnet is a very small town, you still have a few dining options. There is a hotel in the centre of town that serves up hearty pub foods using produce from the surrounding farms. There's also a pizza parlour and take away food shop. You can find these 3 eateries on the Channel Highway near the edge of the water.
Hobart was originally settled by the British in 1804. It took 3 years for the first settler to arrive in Cygnet. In 1845, convict probation stations were established in what was known as Port Cygnet. Employment was steady at the probation stations and the population began to rise.
The stations closed just 3 years later in 1848, but that gave way to free settlers that found Cygnet beautiful and fertile. The town quickly built a school and a post office in the next decade. In 1862, the town was founded with the name of Lovett, but the town was continually and colloquially referred to as Port Cygnet. In 1915, the town's name was officially changed to Cygnet.
Farm production records began in 1935 and show just how fertile the area is. Almost 650,000 bushels of apples were produced along with 22,000 bushels of pears, nearly 6,000 pounds of gooseberries, 32,000 pounds of black currants, over 100,000 pounds of raspberries and 170,000 pounds of strawberries. This agricultural heritage continues today, but Cygnet mainly relies on an economy that revolves around an alternative lifestyle.
Cygnet enjoys a very warm and temperate climate. The temperature never gets too high in the summer and rarely gets to freezing in the winter. But you should expect some rain. Even the driest month in Cygnet is fairly rainy.
Head down to the old banking building to try some local chocolate handcrafted by Cygnet artisans.
The Cygnet Folk Festival has been held on the second weekend of every January since 1982. Over 350 musical acts take the stage while dance, crafts, poetry, films and awards take place all around. It is an exceptional way to experience this hamlet's alternative lifestyles.