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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