Fran Spears has lived in Kingston, a popular, pretty and well-situated beach town in the southern districts of Tasmania, for 4.5 years. The mother of two and grandmother of one, who is soon to be a qualified marriage celebrant, loves Kingston because “it has everything you need to be comfortable and happy”. Located on the Derwent River at the mouth of Brown’s Rivulet, Fran says Kingston is the gateway to the amazing Huon Valley and a number of other tourist attractions. Yet, perhaps what stands out in this town that is a mere 12 minutes’ drive from Hobart, is the people and how friendly they are.
Describe your town in a couple of sentences:
“My town is pretty with an amazing coastline, beautiful blue water and white sands. It is dog friendly. My town has one of the best walking tracks in the country. Allum Cliffs track took more than 20 years to complete and is cut into the cliff face, overlooking both Kingston and the ocean. Kingston has many shops and cafés, along with fast food outlets, to cater for all needs. It has the local pub on the beach (Salty Dog), which allows you to sit in the beer garden along with your dog and enjoy the sea views or the magnificent sunset, while your children and grandchildren play in the sandpit, or enjoy one of the many ice creams available. In short, (and I say that loosely), Kingston is the town with the easiest access to beautiful southern
Tasmania and the people are always friendly.”
An interesting thing people might not know about your town is…
“Located on the Derwent River at the mouth of Brown’s Rivulet, Kingston was known as Brown’s River Beach in the 1850s. Also, if you stand on the beach during the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race you can see the yachts turning into the Derwent.”
What are the best events that take place in your town throughout the year that you’d really recommend to visitors?
“We celebrate Harmony Day in March. Members from the Indian and Chinese communities present delicious traditional dishes and the community comes together with them. They talk freely about their culture and answer questions about it for anyone that is curious enough to ask.
“On New Year’s Eve we have a massive fireworks display at the beach. Lifesavers of all ages demonstrate their skills on New Year’s Day.
“As the gateway to the Huon Valley, it is also an opportunity to get involved in the Mid-Winter Festival, which is held in July each year.”
Bonfire! Music! Costumes! Story Telling! Mouth Watering Food! WASSAILING!! Right now they're prepping up the bonfire, they're warming up the seat on the bicycle pork rotisserie, the Morris Dancers are tuning up their sticks, and there's a man cleaning his shotgun, ready to scare the sap out of those apples trees. Today will be an incredible day, so come on down! Gates open at 2! Check out our program on our website for the full run down, so you don't miss a thing!
Best thing for every first-time visitor to do in your town?
“Explore the wonderful beach, even take your pet or canoe.”
Best place for a coffee?
“Beachfront 32, located on Osborne Esplanade at Kingston Beach. Everything is good.”
Best place for a walk?
“Allum Cliffs Track. The track provides a 6km return trip and the beginning of the track provides cafés, toilets and parking. You can stroll through a blue gum forest and silver peppermint bushland before rising onto headlands for a remarkable view of Storm Bay and the Derwent Estuary.”
Best place to look out over an amazing view?
“Just stand on the bridge going across the Derwent to the track. You will see our Mt Wellington(Kunanyi) on one side and a vast ocean and home dotted hills on the other. Even snow in the winter.”
Best thing to do at night?
“Visit The Salty Dog Hotel. It has a great view and music, plus the food is to die for.”
Best place to have breakfast?
“Any one of the cafés in Kingston will serve you a great breakfast.”
Best thing to do in your town for less than $20?
“Buy some fish and chips and head for the picnic area with the best scenery in town.”
Best place to eat a meal with a view?
“Just about all the cafes and eateries in the Kingborough area have views of the mountain or the ocean.”
Best restaurant in town?
“Brookfield Restaurant three minutes’ drive from the centre of Kingston in Margate has amazing food. Recently washed away due to flash floods, it has opened again with a bang. The service is fantastic, the calamari and hamburgers amazing and the mud cake to die for. If you choose something a little less ‘formal’ the Margate Train is also in that area and famous for its pancakes and has many carriages to explore.”
Best souvenir to take home as a memento of your visit?
“Kingston and the surrounding areas have souvenirs of the Tassie Devil, keyrings etc. in gift shops and newsagents.”
Best place for visitors to pick up something special?
“Kettering, the dock where you catch the ferry to Bruny Island has a wonderful store and cafe. It sells souvenirs of the area. Huon Valley is the place to pick up local preserves, fruit (especially berries and apple) and the amazing ciders made here. Grandvewe Cheeses along the scenic route past Margate is a quaint little cheese factory where you can acquire local cheese, chutneys and wine. You can visit the Hilton Ewe Hotel while you are there.”
Best place to visit on a hot day?
“Definitely Kingston Beach or the Snug Falls, just out of Kingston. The Snug Falls is a lovely tranquil waterfall along a 2km easy walking track.”
Best place to visit do when it’s cold?
“Head down the highway from Kingston and visit MONA, the alternative art museum, just 20 minutes away. You won’t regret it. Whether you love it or hate it, it is most definitely a must see.”
Best place to go for visitors to learn more about your town?
“The Kingston Library has all the information you need or drop in to the local council offices. Our new Mayor and Deputy are always happy to help.”