If you've got a taste for adventure and the unknown, head to Hastings Caves in Tasmania for an enthralling experience set in the dark!
Tasmania's Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs are only a 90 minute drive south of Hobart, so get your bags packed and ready for an exciting day out.
Weave your way through chambers of flowstone, stalactites, stalagmites, columns, shawls and other wonders, where you'll also be able to visit Newdegate Cave – Australia's largest cave open for tourists.
You can explore Newdegate's highly decorated cavern in a 45-minute tour conducted by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, discover the spacious, well-lit passages containing dolomite (a pearly white and pinkish crystal), but don't forget to bring a jumper because the underground temperature is usually around a standard nine degrees celsius.
The caves were said to have formed around 40 million years ago, and were undiscovered until 1917 when an entrance was found by timber workers.
You can purchase your tickets for the cave tour from the caves visitor centre with entry for adults $24 and for children $12 (ages five to 17, under five are free).
The entry fee includes admission to the caves, complimentary pool entry and access to walks, electric barbecues and facilities.
If you need to warm up after your journey to the caves, ensure you make your way to the Thermal Springs Pool, it is a constant 28C degrees year round, surrounded by forest and ferns and equipped with barbecues, showers and toilets.
A highlight that you have to check out during your time at Hastings Caves is the Hot Springs Track. This will take you to the merging of two streams, where you can dip your hand in the water to feel the warm current of one stream meet with the cold current of the other.
This is an ideal trip for the whole family, for a day of adventure in the caves and relaxation in the warm thermal springs; surprisingly too – it is an ideal wet weather outing. Provided there is not a raging storm, the caves are dry and swimming in raindrops adds a whole other perspective to the enjoyment of the springs.