Cygnet is a small town 55 kilometres south west of Hobart, in the Huon Valley in Tasmania.
There are three pubs, Two petrol stations, a Commonwealth Bank (but no ATM), and an IGA Supermarket which also hires DVDs. Cygnet also hosts many cafes, a hardware store, a couple of backpackers hostels and a Camping Ground. There are also several art studios, a print workshop with an old print press, a library linked to the collection of the State Library of Tasmania and a museum.
events in Cygnet, include the Cygnet Folk Festival www.cygnetfolkfestival.org and the Harvest Festival. There are also some film festivals and art exhibitions. www.haeg.org.au.
Once an important apple growing town in recent times it 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. It should, however, be noted that the farmers in the area still rely on dairy cattle, apple orchards, mixed farming and sawmilling for their economic livelihood.
The Cygnet area was first explored by Bruni D’Entrecasteaux who, in 1793, sailed up the Huon River and named the narrow bay which runs up to Cygnet, Port des Cygnes (the Port of Swans) because of the large number of swans he observed in the area.
The first European settler in the district was William Nichols who arrived in 1834. Part of the home which Nichols built is still standing. It was Nichols grandson, John Wilson, who established the first shipbuilding business at Port Cygnet.