Tassie is famous for its natural beauty, and to add to this, Catriona has found an underground wonderland.
The Hastings Caves State Reserve offers a variety of experiences. You can relax in the warm waters of Hastings thermal pool, with its sheltered picnic spots, walk in rich forests and have fun exploring the many caves. You don't need to have caving experience to enjoy this amazing place.
Don't miss the opportunity to take a guided tour of the magnificent Newdegate cave. Guided tours by qualified National Parks and Wildlife staff, available throughout the day, will introduce the geology, history, fauna and unique features of the cave.
The walking trail, which begins near the thermal pool, offers an easy-grade walk through beautiful forest. The Hot Springs track is slightly longer, leading to where the warm waters of one creek meet the cold waters of another. Dip your hand into the water to feel the change in temperature.
King George V cave was opened to the public in the 1930s, named after the king of the time and then basically forgotten. It features formations of beautiful shawls, pristine straws, suspended floors, rare boxwork and cave pearls. There is also cave fauna which has adapted to life in this unique environment.
The Entrance Glowworm Experience offers a tour into a cave which has one of the country's best glowworm displays. Take the 30-minute walk along a relic rail track, passing through forests and an abandoned limestone quarry within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, and spend around one-and-a-half hours exploring and investigating the wonderful limestone cave. Small passageways open to a magical underground waterfall. There is no lighting or walkways. As you follow a flowing creek, your guide shows you a rich diversity of cave life, including insects, crickets and spiders.
The tour follows the creek until reaching another chamber which is home to thousands of glowworms. Cave experts say it is one of the best and most easily-accessible displays in Australia.
The glowworms, which are the larval stage of a mosquito-like fly, are 2.5-4cm long and as thin as a piece of uncooked spaghetti. They are brownish. A chemical reaction to their faeces causes the blue illumination, similar to that given off by a star.
They produce a sticky thread like that of a spider and anything which makes contact is stuck. The larval stage can last up to 12 months and after that, the adult glowworms live for just a couple of days.