The village of Cygnet in the heart of the Huon Valley, 50 minutes south of Hobart, was once a centre of Tasmania’s apple industry. Today it’s popular for its cafes, galleries, antique and curio stores and local artisans, ranging from potters to wooden spoon carvers.

 

Cygnet, Tasmania, has gained fame because of the Gourmet Farmer TV series (host Matthew Evans runs a restaurant and cooking school just out of town) and is known for its laidback lifestyle and local produce. You can find seasonal fruits and vegetables for sale at roadside “honesty” stalls. Its eclectic residents range from former Greens leader and environmentalist Bob Brown to former Home and Away star Lisa Gormley.

The town hosts the Cygnet Folk Festival over three days each January, when it quadruples in size, and a popular market is held on the first and third Sundays of each month.

The bay on which Cygnet sits was named Port des Cygnes (Port of Swans) by French navigator Bruni D’Entrecasteaux in 1793.

 

Elsewhere Vineyard in Cygnet, Tasmania

Photo: Tourism Tasmania

Top hotels in Cygnet

Cygnet Old Bank

Cygnet Old Bank is a National Trust-listed 1909 building on the main street. With its rooms completely refurbished, it is a delightful country town retreat with three stylish, beautifully appointed rooms overlooking the town square. The property has several private rooms in which guests can enjoy a read, a boardgame or a complimentary glass of port, and there are several outdoor areas as well as an on-site orchard.

 

Huon Valley View Cabin

For those with more rustic tastes, check out Huon Valley View Cabin, a delightfully quiet escape with dramatic views over the Huon River that often rents for under $100 a night.

 

Frenchman’s River Cottages

Cygnet has dozens of Airbnb and Stayz properties, but two of the chicest places to stay are the Frenchman’s River cottages – beautifully equipped and owned by novelist and McLeod’s Daughter creator Posie Graeme-Evans – and Coast House, a private, adults-only retreat overlooking the water and surrounded by orchards, vineyards and small farms in beautiful surroundings.

There is also a town caravan park and campsite, and Cygnet is home to a massage and natural therapies studio, Earth Mother Natural Health, as well as several yoga schools.

 

Pickles at Lotus Eaters cafe in Cygnet, Tasmania

Photo: Tourism Tasmania

Cygnet’s stellar restaurants and eateries

Lotus Eaters Cafe

There are several great cafes in Cygnet that serve excellent coffee, including the Lotus Eaters Cafe, Red Velvet LoungeCygnet Old Bank, the School House Coffee Shop and Lovett Café.

 

Cygnet Hotel

For those with a taste for something stronger there are two pubs in Cygnet: Cygnet Hotel and Commercial Hotel, colloquially known as the Top Pub and Bottom Pub.

 

Pagan Cider

Just out of town is Pagan Cider, which uses the region’s apples to make a range of refreshing drinks, including cherry-flavoured cider. Cygnet Old Bank and the Red Velvet Lounge are both licensed and serve a range of local wines and ciders, in addition to coffees and teas.

Elsewhere Vineyard

The Huon Valley is also home to several outstanding small producers of cool-climate wines, with Elsewhere Vineyard having recently opened a new cellar door overlooking the Huon River. Other wine producers in and around Cygnet include Sailor Seeks Horse and Chatto, both of which require appointments for tastings, and Two Bud Spur.

 

The Red Velvet Lounge

Cygnet is full of lunch options but it’s much quieter at night, when the two pubs are the best bet for a meal.

The Red Velvet Lounge is open on Thursday evenings for a range of vegetarian curries, and on Friday nights for veggie pizza and live music. During the daytime it draws crowds for its vegetarian and vegan dishes and relaxed ambience (the courtyard is very popular in summer).

 

Conservatory cafe in Cygnet, Tasmania

Photo: Tourism Tasmania

 

Bars and cafes in Cygnet

Jacky’s Cafe

Jacky’s Cafe offers simple dishes to go, while the Lovett Café is known for its burgers.

 

The Lotus Eaters Cafe 

Lotus Eaters has a rustic vibe and delicious pot pies, curries, tarts and cakes, while the Conservatory Café at Cygnet Old Bank has a good range of country-style dishes and desserts. The School House Coffee shop specialises in home-made pies (try the duck and pear) and freshly made scones with jam and cream.

 

Cygnet Woodfired Bakehouse

Cygnet Woodfired Bakehouse is known for its artisan sourdough breads and pastries, while many visitors try to get a spot at Fat Pig Farm, where Evans serves degustation lunches at a communal table featuring meat and vegetables grown on the farm, washed down with local beverages. It can be booked out for months in advance.

 

More foodie feasts can be found in nearby Beaupre Peninsula, home to a fabulous remote retreat. Read about it here.

 

Win 1 of 8 TrulyAus getaways

Embrace local travel and explore your own capital city with State of Mind. Be in the running to win a 3-night Brisbane getaway thanks to our friends at TFE Hotels.

Thank you for entering!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This