Author Topic: Hastings Caves, Tasmania  (Read 10004 times)

Offline Salt Breeze

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Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« on: February 17, 2008, 03:33:25 PM »
http://www.discovertasmania.com/activities__and__attractions/popular_attractions/hastings_caves

These are great caves to visit.  There is a guided tour.   Also nearby is the Thermal Springs Pool.   Full details are in the above link.   This place is located in southern Tassie and its a nice drive around to Port Arthur.

Hastings Caves include Newdegate Cave, the largest tourism cave in Australia.

The Parks and Wildlife Service conducts 45-minute tours through Newdegate's large, highly decorated cavern. Formations in the cave are spectacular and include flowstone, stalactites, columns, shawls, straws, stalagmites and the unusual helictites - tendrils of calcite that grow in all directions in tiny filaments.

The caves of this region started to form approximately 40 million years ago and remained unseen until 1917, when timber workers discovered an entrance. They named their magnificent find after the governor of the time, Sir Francis Newdegate.

Newdegate Cave is spacious and well lit, with no narrow passages. There are around 240 stairs but these are traversed in small sections. It is one of the few caves in Australia to have formed in dolomite, which is harder and heavier than limestone. (Dolomite is characterised by pearly white and pinkish crystal, and should not be confused with that famous Tasmanian rock, dolerite, which weathers into tall grey flutes such as those you see on Mt Wellington and Cradle Mountain.) The underground temperate is naturally maintained at nine degrees Celsius (48 degrees Fahrenheit) all year round.


Offline lotsakids

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2008, 03:36:35 PM »
I remember going there on a school tour when I was  a kid down into the caves, they are awesome, would like to go back again and really have a good look around...[and this time mum I will go to the Shot Tower and i WILL climb to the top of it if they still allow it...so there...lol..]

One day my light went out, but was blown again into flame by an encounter with some wonderful people I call friends. I owe the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light...
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Offline Salt Breeze

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2008, 04:05:05 PM »
Yes, me too.  I first went to Port Arthur when I was at school.   (So long ago, the convicts were almost still there. rofl).   

Most recent trip:   Hubby and I went to Tassie a few years back because he'd never seen Port Arthur.  So we did the whole tourist thing and visited all the interesting places.  The caves was one of them, and we stayed nearby at a cosy motel, overlooking the water.     

At the Thermal Springs, near the caves, you can go on a bush walk which is so pretty and peaceful.   Then you come to a tiny platform built next to the creek and its where the hot and cold waters actually meet.  Its very strange.  Right at this point, and no other, the water changes from warm to very cold at this very spot.  It doesn't blend, you can put 2 hands in the water, one hand is in hot water, the other in really cold water.   They have a free swimming pool at the springs too, so you can float around in warm 'thermal' water which is supposed to be good for you because it contains natural things that are beneficial.   I didn't feel the need for a swim.....it was mid winter.     

You're right, Lotsa, the caves really are awesome.   They've built walkways, bridges and platforms over the crevasses too, so its like a total 360 view all around, and above and below.     

Offline Christine

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2008, 08:47:33 PM »
Yes, me too.  I first went to Port Arthur when I was at school.   (So long ago, the convicts were almost still there. rofl). 

rofl
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Offline lotsakids

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2008, 08:53:12 PM »
hehe i was 6 when I went to port arthur...we stopped to look at the shot tower too that day at taroona i think..I wanted to climb t the top but mum didnt want to climb so wouldnt let me..lol...it looks like a light house by the side of the road..they used to drop molten metal through a grate to a vat of water down at the bottom to make the round shot

One day my light went out, but was blown again into flame by an encounter with some wonderful people I call friends. I owe the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light...
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Offline Salt Breeze

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2008, 08:59:52 PM »
Oh...okay.....I thought you meant the stone tower over by the Commandant's house at Port Arthur.....its like a guard tower, and they would have taken shots at things from there.   ROFL.  I wondered why you weren't allowed to climb it.  lol.   

Offline lotsakids

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2008, 09:18:02 PM »
lol..

this is it..built in 1870, has 259 steps to get to the top

http://ianh.typepad.com/photos/tasmania/shot_tower.html


One day my light went out, but was blown again into flame by an encounter with some wonderful people I call friends. I owe the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light...
[inspired by Albert Schweitzer]

Offline Salt Breeze

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2008, 03:52:15 PM »
Oh......okay.   It should have a nice staircase.  ROFL.  I wonder if its a metal spiral or stone staircase, or just a ladder.   

I don't recall seeing this tower....but the day we left to drive up around Freycinet and Hour Glass Bay, it was pouring rain. 

Offline lotsakids

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2008, 04:08:24 PM »
if i remember rightly its metal...but then i was only 6 so what do i know..lolol..

oops no..just found this

A remarkable tapered structure 48m (157 feet 6 inches) tall it features an internal spiral staircase of pitsawn timber and an external gallery at its top which was probably used to store firewood for the upper cauldron. The staircase provided scaffolding during the construction of the tower and access to the upper cauldron and shot-making colanders. The tower is 10 metres in diameter at the base and tapers to 3.9 metres at the top . The walls are a metre thick at the bottom and thin out to .45 centimetres at the top.

http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/historic/visguide/shot_tower/hist.html
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 04:14:00 PM by lotsakids »

One day my light went out, but was blown again into flame by an encounter with some wonderful people I call friends. I owe the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light...
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Offline Salt Breeze

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2008, 04:16:15 PM »
Maybe its one of those ladder type things up the outside of the tower, built into the brickwork, around on the side that's not visible in the photo....considering the dropping of molten lead down the inside could have been a bit hazzardous to dodge on a staircase...ROFL.   

Offline lotsakids

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2008, 04:22:29 PM »
no SB we climbed up half way, its definately inside....sounds like a dangerous job though..especially the poor buger shovelling the lead shot from the water vat below..you would have to be on the look out for silver rain drops from above..lol

One day my light went out, but was blown again into flame by an encounter with some wonderful people I call friends. I owe the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light...
[inspired by Albert Schweitzer]

Offline Salt Breeze

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2008, 03:59:35 PM »
Wow..... that's incredible.  But I suppose when you consider the kinds of work they did way back, especially at places like Port Arthur, its easy to fathom.   Imagine a piece of that hitting your skin.   

Offline lotsakids

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2008, 04:03:20 PM »
no thanks..lolol...i'd rather be at the top

One day my light went out, but was blown again into flame by an encounter with some wonderful people I call friends. I owe the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light...
[inspired by Albert Schweitzer]

Offline Salt Breeze

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2008, 04:59:56 PM »
I remember watching my dad make lead sinkers for fishing, when I was a kid, and that's enough to make anyone keep their distance from the stuff.

Offline lotsakids

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Re: Hastings Caves, Tasmania
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2008, 06:09:34 PM »
my uncle used to do that....sinkers and bullets

One day my light went out, but was blown again into flame by an encounter with some wonderful people I call friends. I owe the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light...
[inspired by Albert Schweitzer]

 


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