Located on the Huon River 39 km southwest of Hobart, Huonville is a small but thriving community serving the surrounding apple, timber and hops industries. Although it is relatively small Huonville is recognised as the major centre in the Huon Valley. Huonville is also a relatively young town with little heritage.
The Huon River was first explored by the French Admiral, Bruni D'Entrecasteaux, who named it, a nearby island, a soft pine and the Kermandie River, after the commander of his support vessel, L'Esperance, Captain Huon de Kermadec.
As far as can be determined the local Aborigines didn't settle in the Huon Valley although it is true that when d'Entrecasteaux entered the river in 1792 his party did make contact with an Aboriginal girl Oura-Oura near the present site of Cygnet.
The establishment of the British settlement at Hobart Town in 1804 led to the exploration of the area by the botanist Robert Brown but he dismissed it as unsuitable for settlement because of poor soil. This did not stop the timber getters and whalers from camping in the area while searching for stands of timber and schools of whales.
It is thought that the first white man to settle permanently in the area was a 'bolter', an escaped convict, who was found by timber getters in early 1820s. The man, whose name was Martin, had built a primitive camp near Price's Creek.