Newdegate Cave, Steven David Miller / Auscape International

Hastings lies in Tasmania's far south and is known for the stunning dolomite caves to the west of town. The caves were discovered in 1917 by a group of timber workers who, among others, flocked to the small town in more prosperous days.

Visitor Information

Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs Centre, Hastings Cave Rd; (03) 6298 3209.

Nearby national parks

  • Southwest National Park

    This vast remote corner of Tasmania is a landscape of jagged ranges, buttongrass plains and dense rainforests bounded by windswept shores in...more

  • South Bruny National Park

    Created in 1997, this beautiful national park takes in the massive dolerite sea cliffs around Bruny’s southern capes, with the highest...more

  • Tasman National Park

    Comprising a narrow coastal strip along the east and south of Forestier and Tasman peninsulas and several offshore islands, Tasman National...more

Nearby towns

  • Dover

    Dover lies beside the waters of Esperance Bay and the D'Entrecasteaux Channel, with the imposing figure of Adamson's Peak in the background....more

  • Geeveston

    Geeveston, on the cusp of enormous Southwest National Park, is driven by thriving timber and forestry industries, and slow-moving timber...more

  • Cygnet

    Cygnet was originally named Port de Cygne Noir by French admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux – after the black swans in the bay. However, in 1915...more


Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs This is the only cave system in Tasmania occurring in dolomite rather than limestone. Newdegate Cave, which began forming more than 40 million years ago, has stalactites, stalagmites, columns, shawls, flowstone and the more unusual helictites (distorted stalactites), making it – and especially Titania's Palace within it – one of Australia's most beautiful caves. There are 245 steps leading to its vast chambers of formations. Tours run throughout the day. Near Newdegate Cave is a thermal pool surrounded by native bushland. It remains at 28°C year-round and is an extremely popular swimming and picnic spot. The Sensory Trail, an easy walk through magnificent forest, starts near the pool. 8 km NW.

Ida Bay Railway: originally built to carry dolomite, the train now carries passengers to Deep Hole Bay along a scenic section of track. Train times change, so ring for details (03) 6298 3110; Lune River Rd; 5 km S.

Lunaris: gemstone display and shop; Lune River Rd; 5 km S.

Southport: seaside resort town and one of the oldest settlements in the area; good fishing, swimming, surfing and bushwalking; 6 km SE.

Cockle Creek: the southernmost point of Australia that can be reached by car, the town is surrounded by beautiful beaches and mountainous terrain and is the start of the 10-day South Coast walking track; 25 km S.

Hastings Forest Tour: this self-drive tour begins off Hastings Rd west of town, leads north to the Esperance River, then heads to Dover. Short walks and picnic spots en route; map available from visitor centre.

Fishing spots near town

The Springs 68 km

Visitors to Hobart who are short on time can get a trout fix less than 20 mins’ drive from the CBD at an exclusive fishery called The Springs. It is a year-round fishery and is restricted to a maximum of two... Find out more

Salmon Ponds 74 km

Most Australian trout anglers regard Tasmania as the nation’s premier trout destination. It’s like Tasmania was purpose-designed for trout, with hundreds of lakes and a cooler climate. Mother Nature... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Living History Museum of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage 31 km

Set in a former Methodist church that had strong ties with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, this little museum near Cygnet showcases Indigenous history, artefacts, art and bush tucker. It is generally open on weekends... Find out more

Tahune AirWalk 39 km

Located 29 kilometres from Geeveston, this unashamed public relations exercise for Forestry Tasmania starts on the serpentine drive out to the AirWalk, where signs clearly state when an area was last logged. There are... Find out more

Mount Wellington Walks 63 km

You can quite easily pick up a map and explore Hobart’s wilderness playground on your own but, for initiates, the maze of tracks may be best travelled with a guide who will show you bushfoods and wildlife, teach... Find out more

Salamanca Market 67 km

With so much excellent fresh produce in Tasmania, you should consider picking up some local organic fruits and vegetables and cooking up your own feast. Try the famous Salamanca Market (Saturday 8.30am–3pm) or City... Find out more

Island Cycle Tours 68 km

This innovative company offers guided and self-guided cycling tours, ranging from three-hour jaunts in and around Hobart, to three-week expeditions on the west coast. There are trips to combine cycling and hiking, and... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Southport Hotel 
Bar & Restaurant

There are cafes at Hastings Caves Thermal Springs Centre and at the Ida Bay scenic railway terminal but Southport – at the southern tip of Australia’s bitumen roads – is the only place to get an evening... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Cascade Brewery 65 km

It’s impossible not to wax lyrical about the Cascade Brewery. It is the oldest working brewery in the country, one of the quaintest-looking industrial buildings and it’s located in the most picturesque of... Find out more

Moo Brew 72 km

With its striking, glass and steel brewhouse perched high above the Derwent River, Moo Brew is probably the best-appointed microbrewery in the land. It’s also part of Moorilla Estate, situated on the outskirts of... Find out more

Two Metre Tall Company 76 km

Ashley Huntington actually is 2 metres tall – probably taller if you include his mop of curly hair – and his generous height is also the name for the craftbrewing enterprise he runs from the Derwent... Find out more

Campsites around town

Hastings Forest Picnic Area camping area 13 km

Beside the Esperance River, these forest campsites have fireplaces, soft, mossy ground and a babbling brook to lull you to sleep after your walk to Duckhole Lake or Adamsons Falls nearby. You will need to carry your gear... Find out more

Dover Beachside Tourist Park 14 km

This popular beachside caravan park has everything from cabins and campsites to wifi access, and it ticks all the boxes for family fun. The kids will love the playground and the sheltered beach across the road,... Find out more

Gilhams Beach camping area 15 km

What this free camping area lacks in facilities it more than makes up for in magnificent surroundings. Dense green forest, white sand and crystal-clear water attract plenty of visitors in summer, but at other times you... Find out more

Finns Beach camping area 15 km

This undeveloped, free camping area has its own forest-fringed beach and – being so far south – a night sky you will never forget. Turn right off the Huon Hwy (A6) 19 km south of Dover, onto the C635 then... Find out more

Catamaran camping area 16 km

This free roadside camping area is next to the boat-launching ramp. It has a good selection of secluded sites but is best suited to vans and trailers. There are few facilities and you will need to bring all your supplies... Find out more

Cockle Creek camping area 19 km

Alongside the last few potholed kilometres of Australia’s most southerly road, these undeveloped campgrounds suit those who don’t mind roughing it a bit. There is no camping on the ocean side of the road, but... Find out more

Jetty Beach camping area 19 km

Behind the gentle curve of Jetty Beach, this camping ground among the trees is very popular – and deservedly so. Sheltered from the south-west, it faces a sandy cove with clear water, safe swimming, great... Find out more

Boltons Green camping area 19 km

There is room for 10 tents at this campground, which is south of the bridge at the very end of the unsealed and potholed Cockle Creek Rd. Come equipped with a gas/fuel stove and be prepared to carry your gear 100 m or so... Find out more

South Cape Rivulet and Lion Rock camping area (walk-in camping) 23 km

This is the first – or last – camp on the track. There are some campsites at Lion Rock, 8 km (3 hr) from the Cockle Creek trailhead, while the main camping area, beside South Cape Rivulet lagoon, is a further... Find out more

Cloudy Corner camping area 26 km

At the far end of Cloudy Bay, this isolated campsite is accessible only to 4WD vehicles and involves driving 3 km along the beach at low tide. Camping is a short walk from the beach. The creek water must be boiled or... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Snug Beach Cabin and Caravan Park 48 km

A quality seaside park south of Hobart, this place is tourist oriented and has good facilities at a good price. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

New Norfolk Caravan Park 72 km

Across the road from the Derwent River, the park is in a picturesque location just 1.5 km from the centre of town. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Treasure Island Caravan Park 72 km

Located about 9 km north-west of the city, this is a quiet, off-highway park on the banks of the Derwent River. It is close to the Cadbury Factory, a popular tourist attraction, and close to shops. This is an older park... Find out more

White Beach Tourist Park 74 km

This popular, quality park is only 10 minutes from historic Port Arthur. The park has good facilities and large shady trees. It is very busy during holiday periods and bookings are required at these times.... Find out more

Barilla Holiday Park 77 km

This is a quality park on the outskirts of greater Hobart. It has most facilities for the discerning traveller including an eatery, and a ‘putt-putt’ golf course that is worth seeing. We like this park.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

The Jetty House

This bayside homestead dates back to historic Southport’s halcyon days when it was such an important international port and timber town it was planned to be the capital of Tasmania. These days it’s just a... Find out more

Lune River Cottage

This little weatherboard house in out-of-the-way Lune River is a perfect base from which to poke around this fascinating corner of Tasmania. The cottage has three standard budget rooms with shared bathrooms and tea- and... Find out more

Southern Forest B&B

With some of Tasmania’s best surfing, fishing and wilderness bushwalking close by, Southport is a perfect base for those looking for an activity-filled holiday. This B&B is a modern timber home with a... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Peppermint Ridge Retreat, Woodbridge 36 km

Even without the stunning views over the D’Entrecasteaux Channel from 6-metre-high windows, the pademelons that hop around, or the free-range eggs and organic vegetable garden that guests are allowed to raid in... Find out more

Rest areas around town

New Norfolk park area 72 km

At New Norfolk

Just off the highway. In the middle of town.

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