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Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs

Hastings Caves 3A shawl formation in the Newdegate CaveHastings Caves and Thermal Springs are about 125 kilometres south of Hobart and are part of the Hastings Caves State Reserve.

The thermal pool is fed by natural springs which have a water temperature of about 28 degrees and it is located in the midst of tall forests and ferns. Change rooms, showers and a large picknick and BBQ area with electic BBQs and power points as well as wood fired BBQs ensure you will miss nothing. Hastings Caves 2One of the large halls in the accessible part of the caveBut swimming in the thermal spring water is only the icing on the cake. Walking tracks through beautiful forests are available as well and I can recommend the Hot Springs Track which will take you to a place where the warm waters of one creek meet the cold ones of another. You can actually feel the change in temperature. But all this is nothing compared to the caves, the true reason why people come here.

Hastings Caves 1Another example of what you can find in the caveMillions of years old, these caves were discovered in 1917 by timber workers. The large Newdegate Cave, named after Sir Francis Newdegate, the Governor of Tasmania from 1917-1920, is accessible for visitors and several guided tours are offered daily. The tours last about 45 minutes and take you through the large, well lit caverns where you will see many amazing subterranean formations including stalactites and stalagmites, columns, shawls and flowstones. Unlike most other caves, this one is in dolomite, a very hard rock, rather than limestone and it is the largest cave of its kind in Australia open to tourists.

The cave is home to several species of strange creatures that have been found nowhere else and are highly adapted to a life in eternal darkness. Many have lost all body pigments and have no eyes and instead have developed very long antennae.

Access

Hastings Caves 4Wheelchair accessible path near the visitor centreYou can reach Hastings State Reserve in about 90 minutes from Hobart. Drive along the Huon Highway (A6). 30 kilometres south of Geeveston, turn right into Hastings Caves Road (C635), a well maintained gravel road which will take you to the visitor centre. This should be your first stop as you can buy tickets for the thermal pools and the cave tours here.

The thermal pools are located right next to the visitors centre and most walking tracks start here. To reach Newdegate Cave follow the gravel road for another 5 kilometres until you reach a small car park. From there it is a short 5 minutes walk to the entrance.

Tickets for the cave tour also include entry to the thermal pool. But if you only want to enjoy the water and can do without the cave experience, you can get a separate ticket which is much cheaper.

To check opening times and times when cave tours are conducted, call the information centre on (03) 6298 3209 or visit the official website.

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