Bush Walking/ Hiking (and sightseeing again) – Hastings Caves and Duckhole Lake

Today I drove to Hastings Caves to have a look, and then took a short stroll to Duckhole Lake.

How do you get there? Well, thanks to Google Maps, I can show you:

duckhole-lake-route-map

hastings-caves-route-map

 

There is also this excellent Parks & Wildlife Map that will show you in a little more detail:

parks-wildlife-map

Hastings Caves Road is unsealed, but it’s pretty good for a dirt road.

I went to Hastings Caves first, then drove up Chestermans Road/ Coal Hill Road to Duckhole Lake. The signpost to Chestermans Road is a little overgrown, but look for it just before the only bridge and sealed section of the Hastings Caves Road. A word of warning: Chestermans Road is not really suited to a normal two-wheel drive car, so if you decide to visit Duckhole Lake, the unsealed road marked ‘Old Hastings Road/ Darcy Link Road’ may be your best bet.

Another word of warning: The only sign on the Huon Highway showing the location of this road is here:

Old Hastings Road/ Darcy Link Road
But it’s on the northern side, and not really that visible if you’re heading south…

 

But anyway, I digress.

 

Where did I digress to…?

 

Oh yeah, Hastings Caves.

 

There’s lots to do at the Visitor Centre. A couple of short walks and a thermal pool are key attractions.

Visiting the caves does cost – I paid $24 as an adult. I tried to convince them I was not, but they didn’t fall for it.

Parks Tasmania describe it way better than I can.

http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=4525

Once you pay, you drive along Hastings Caves Road until the end of the road and park your transport here:

Park Short walk from the car park

Make sure if you leave your coffee cup on the back of your car, that you remember to grab it off again.

The tours are run by friendly Parks & Wildlife Guides and take 45 minutes. It’s cool inside, 9 degrees Celsius all year round. There are stairs. Quite a few stairs. If you cannot manage stairs, then this may not be the place for you to visit. The tours are catered for the slowest moving members of the party. I attended today with 29 other people.

Once inside, you follow the guide, and can’t possibly get lost. The cave known as Hastings Caves is called Newdegate Cave, and is amazing:

Newdegate Cave Descent into the depths of the Earth Stalactites Looking up at stalactites more stalactites stalactites revisited stalagmite stalagmite pretend glow worms more... oh. you'll figure it out... cool bits & pieces stalagmite fairy cave

Of course, people familiar with the underdark and drow elves will expect to see a few of these here:

the_underdark_cave_by_drowelfmorwen-d58jixd

Duckhole Lake is one of the 60 great walks, according to the sign.

Great walk

It’s a nice little walk: you follow the trail, get to the lake, turn around & come back. It’s nice. No ups & downs, very easy to follow. The trail does link up with a few others in the area, but I just wandered out to the lake today.

trail lake same lake stuff left behind on the trail

Here’s a link to my Endomondo Workout which shows the trail:

https://www.endomondo.com/users/8342602/workouts/879276636.

I walked about 5.5km in about an hour.

No random encounters with orcs, goblins or dragons.

Thanks Gandalf

Which, I have to admit, was a little disappointing.

Thanks for reading!

 

Pete

 

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Bush Walking/ Hiking (kinda – more like sightseeing) Scotts Peak Road/ Creepy Crawly Nature Trail/ Twisted Sister

Today I went exploring to Scotts Peak Dam.

Where’s that?

Well… here’s a map…

map

Map (thanks, Google Maps)

 

It’s about 150km from sunny Hobart by road. The road isn’t the best in the world, but its not too bad.

Take a chance, if you can, to enjoy the scenery on the way out. It’s amazing.

scenery

Scenery

 

Get yourself to the Gordon River Road, and turn left at the sign. The sign is supposed to be 30km past a small town called Maydena, but I think it’s about 27km past.

Oh, and unless you have a satellite phone, Maydena is the last spot you’ll get phone reception, too.

 

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Turn left here

The road you turn off onto at the sign is called Scotts Peak Road. It’s actually quite a good road, for an unsealed one.

There are a couple of well-signed attractions along the way

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Lake Edgar Dam

There are lots of attractions for the serious (and not-so serious) bushwalkers. Tracks to Mt Anne, Mt Eliza; you can even walk all the way to Melaleuca from here. Sadly, I did none of those today, as I’ve been having a few troubles with a knee problem since December. Rather stupidly, I thought I’d give jogging a go. And it all went well, I actually jogged a quite a few kilometres. But my left knee wasn’t too keen on the idea, and has been letting me know ever since. So, I’ve given up becoming a ‘jogger’ and my knee is recovering well.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes.

At the end of Scotts Peak Road is Scotts Peak Dam. There is a boat ramp where you can (presumably) launch a boat.

scotts-peak-dam

Scotts Peak Dam

Also at the end of the road is a wonderful lookout called Red Knoll Lookout. From the lookout, you can see 360 degrees, and the views are simply amazing.

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Lake Pedder

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Scenery (poorly cropped)

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Mt Anne, and Mt Eliza and a few other mountains (names I cant remember… it will all be on the identification tool thingy, above).

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The view south

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View from Lake Edgar Dam looking south

Of course, anyone familiar with the Gnoll species will be surprised to find one here.

red-gnoll

Red Gnoll

On the way back, I stopped to wander along the Creepy Crawly Nature Trail. I suspect this trail is a nice distraction for bored youngsters. It’s about 300 metres return, but would be a lot of fun to climb under and over a heap of tree trunks and branches. Its fully boarded the whole way.

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Sign

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Room to park

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Creepy Crawly Trail

I suspect it wouldn’t be as fun if it had some real creepy crawlies there.

Like this, shown for illustration purposes.

gianthornet3

Creepy Crawly

 

Once back on the main road, about 10km toward Maydena, I stopped at a sign that said Twisted Sister.

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Twisted Sister

 

Turns out, this isn’t where the rock band has been residing…

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Twisted Sister. Sadly, I didn’t see these guys…

It’s a cool little trail though the bush, about 700 metres in length. Again, I think a great distraction for bored youngsters.

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Twisted Sister Start

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The trail

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This could be a fallen tree…

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End of the line for twisted sister

 

Thanks for reading!

Pete