Hastings Cave & Hot Springs

We were fortunate to have a rare sunny day even though it was quite cool for a day trip to Hastings Cave and the Hot Springs near by. We took a picnic lunch with us and stopped along the road on one of the short walks. We were entertained by the local birds especially watching the antics of one particularly brave smaller bird making repeated swooping attacks on a larger black bird, most likely a currawong. I guess it was protecting something maybe a nearby nest though it just looked like bullying to me.

As is to be expected there are many different stalactites and stalagmites and interesting structures. It is very interesting to see all the various colours and configurations that God encourages nature to form. I understand it is one of the premier caves to be seen in Tasmania. Hastings Caves complex is unique because it is one of the few caves in Australia to have formed in dolomite, which is harder and heavier than limestone. It is worth a visit especially if you have not seen the inside of a cave before! By the way the underground temperature is an even 9°C no matter the season.

After we had completed our guided hour long cave tour by Parks and Wildlife staff we went back to the Robbiebago at Ida Bay where we were camping, for a few hours before going back in the late afternoon to enjoy a swim in the Thermal Spring Pool just a few kilometres from the Cave. The entry fee included both automatically. The pool water is a steady 28°C. It doesn't seem that hot, but it certainly is pleasant and one is able to swim or paddle even though it was much too cool out of the water to really sit in the sunshine and enjoy. Personally I was a little disappointed with the pool. My expectation was for something of a more natural rock pool sort of image in my head, whereas the reality was that they had corralled the hot springs into a regular concrete pool environment which I suppose makes it more accessible for people and possibly easier and/or cheaper to maintain. I suppose it is just one of my silly expectations being a bit unrealistic. Having said that the pool and surrounds are very nice but look like any community swimming pool anywhere.

We also took advantage of the hot showers to freshen up rather than use the shower within our motorhome. If you have thicker skin than us or come on a beautifully warm day, then there are picnic tables and a hut for you to enjoy your visit. Food is also available at the Visitor Centre from where you walk into the pool.

Hastings Chalet

Just outside the entry to the Hot Springs Pool you will see a lovely old building that has been well maintained. It is Hastings Chalet. It was built in 1938 from rough sawn wood and river stones. which has also served as a tearoom and a kiosk in times past as well as a few other uses.


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