HASTINGS CAVES AND THERMAL SPRINGS & WILLIE SMITH’S APPLE SHED FOR LUNCH
We took off south bound for Hastings Caves in late Autumn. Allow approx. 90-100 minute drive time from Hobart.
Hastings Caves State Reserve is within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which is a place of profound significance to today's Tasmanian Aboriginal community due to the cultural heritage that is found here. Click for detailed information
Newdegate Cave is the largest dolomite tourist cave in Australia, with it’s vast chambers began to form more than 40 million years ago. The cave was named after Sir Francis Newdegate, the Governor of Tasmania from 1917-1920. The wet sclerophyll forest around the cave was being harvested when the entrance was uncovered by a gang of tree fellers in 1916-1917. There is evidence of early logging techniques on tree stumps along the forest walk to the cave.
Local entrepreneurs began guiding trips into the cave in 1919 and the area was proclaimed a scenic reserve a few years later. A government-led job creation program developed the access road, thermal pool and internal cave infrastructure – including timber staircases, a walkway and lighting – during the 1930s Depression. While upgrades have occurred regularly since then, the town of Hastings is shadow of its former self. At its peak it had a port, a sawmill and homes for the many timber workers living in the area.
There are tours of the caves available – but you need to check session times and book before arriving and fees apply.
We made the mistake of not booking in advance and ended up just visiting the thermal pool area and the smaller easy walking trails, leading through the forest area. Look out for native wildlife – birds, pademelons and even platypuses. Dogs are hence not allowed in the reserve.
Bring your cossies and towel as there is a swimming pool you can access, which is fed by mineral-rich thermal springs, that is said to be around 28 degrees, year-round. There is A barbecue area where you can cook some lunch while taking in the greenery and also light snacks and coffee in the visitor centre.
754 Hastings Caves Road, Hastings TAS 7109 Phone:03 6298 3209
Hastings Caves State Reserve is 105 kilometres (1 hour and 45 minutes) from Hobart city centre.
Head West on Davey St and veer left onto the Southern Outlet (A6) towards Huonville. Follow the A6 for 93 Km passing through Huonville, Geeveston and Dover. When you reach the turn-off to Southport, veer right onto Hastings Caves Road (C635). After 4.2 Km, turn right and follow the sealed road for 3.3 Km to the Hastings Visitor Centre.
Stop at the Hastings Visitor Centre for tickets before returning to your vehicle and travelling the last 5 km of sealed road to the cave car park, from there it is a short walk to the cave entrance.
Where possible, please avoid driving in our reserves at night. You are sharing the roads with our native wildlife, so take it slow and watch out for animals on the road.
We had lunch on the way back at Willie Smith’s Apple Shed on Huon Highway, which is around 25 minutes from Hobart. They open every day at 10am but closing hours vary. On the seasonal menu there is light meals, heavier meals, share boards and a children’s menu and of course you can pair your meal with a cider of choice.