Did you know, from Hobart, you can drive to the end of the southern-most road in Australia in just two hours? We reckon the journey is half the fun though, so take your time!
Stop at attractions along the way and discover some real gems. Fly through the forest, disappear underground into an epic cave system, float in a thermal forest pool, and jump aboard a historic railway.
We’ve put together a little itinerary for your Cockle Creek adventure. Now, off to the paradise at the end of the road!
Experience 1: Tahune Adventures
Obviously you are super pumped about your adventure, so let’s go big or go home! Set your inner forest nymph free at Tahune Adventures, around an hour and a half’s drive south-west from Hobart. Walk among the giant trees on the AirWalk, skip across swing bridges stretched over rivers, glide through the air on the Eagle Hang Glider, or navigate the river’s moods on a raft or kayak on the Twin Rivers Adventure Tour. Refuel your energy levels with lunch in the Visitor Centre Cafe.
UPDATE: Tahune Adventures were impacted by the January 2019 bushfires and are closed until further notice. They are currently working to re-establish aspects of the site that were damaged and will reopen later in the year.
Experience 2: Hastings Caves & Thermal Springs
From Tahune Adventures, the drive to Hastings Caves takes around an hour and 15 minutes. Hastings Caves existed for millions of years before timber workers chanced upon them in 1917. Friendly and knowledgeable Parks and Wildlife guides run regular tours, and they are fascinating! Walking through the cave entrance and discovering a whole world underground is an unforgettable experience.
Above ground, enjoy a relaxing float in the naturally heated thermal pool in the forest or explore the walking tracks. There are BBQ facilities available, or you might like to bring a picnic.
Your final destination: Cockle Creek
(Not that kind of final destination! We promise you’ll come back safe and sound.) From Hastings Caves, drive another forty minutes south until the road runs out. Woohoo, you’ve arrived at the southern edge of Australia! Next stop, Antarctica—though we hear it’s chilly down there, so it’s probably best to bunker down at Cockle Creek’s free campsite.
The edge of the country sure is a beautiful spot. Stroll along the pristine sand at Recherche Bay and admire the crystal clear water (jump in if you want a brisk awakening). Find the giant bronze whale sculpture, climb aboard, and gaze longingly into the distance for real migrating whales. For a taste of history, walk to the Fishers Point Navigation Light and Pilot Station ruins (2hrs return).
Cockle Creek also offers an entry point to the wild Southwest National Park (get your Parks Pass here). If you’re feeling adventurous, give the ruggedly handsome South Cape Bay Track a whirl (7.7 one way/4hrs return).
Experience 3: Ida Bay Railway
Ida Bay Railway is around a half hour drive from Cockle Creek, and a perfect stop on the way back to Hobart. Perched on board the historic WWII diesel locomotive, you’ll journey along the Heritage-listed railway to Deep Hole, chugging along the water’s edge through pretty bush planes. Your tour guide will tell you some interesting stories about the area’s history at the old cemetery. Grab some lunch at the onsite cafe.
Experience 4: High Tea at Villa Howden
If you are returning on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, treat yourself to Villa Howden‘s traditional high tea. The food is superb, Villa Howden is absolutely gorgeous, and the views of North West Bay are stunning!
We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook – we’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog.
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