AUSTRALIA'S SOUTHERN MOST TOWN
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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TO SOUTHPORT, HASTINGS THERMAL SPRINGS AND DUCKHOLE LAKE
16.12.09 and 22.12.09
Southport is about 20 minutes south of Dover and is a tiny holiday town with a pub, Caravan Park, general store and not much else but beauty and remoteness. We did notice some lovely oceanfront B&B places.
It is also Australia's southern most settlement. In the early 1800’s it was Tasmania's second largest town and apparently was even proposed as the capital of the colony. Now, two hundred years later, the former convict station, bustling timber mill town and international port shipping timber to Europe consists mostly of holiday shacks.
The ocean is calm and the beaches white and the surrounding peninsulas create interesting vistas and of course the frequently changing weather presents constant chances for a new photo opportunity.
We checked out the pretty spot, chatted briefly to a Swiss tourist who was on his 6th visit to Tasmania because he loves the rugged wilderness and you guessed it, his favourite spot is Lake St Clair and for those who don’t know, Lake St Clair resembles Switzerland more than any part of Tassie!!!!
Our next stop was the Hasting Caves Visitors Centre which has interesting displays about the history of the area.
We visited the Hastings Thermal Pool where the water is naturally 28 degrees all year, great feat in this part of the world and took the "Platypus Walk" behind the pool.
On our first visit, a hot and sunny day we watched two platypus swimming around in the creek which is a special treat as these shy creatures are notoriously hard to see. On our second visit the place was busier and noisier and we saw no sign of them.
Access through this area is on wide well maintained gravel forestry roads and Forestry Department has been careful to leave natural ferns and trees roadside to create an image of pristine forest.
Most of the area is regrowth forest, logged and replanted and designated “multiple use”.
The nearby Hastings Caves discovered by timber workers in 1917 is a big tourist attraction but we decided to give them a miss and drive on to Duckhole Lake Walk, a great little short walk on a boardwalk alongside a creek terminating in a flooded sinkhole in the middle of the forest.
The walk through stringy bark, rainforest and ferns was easy and beautiful.
The forest drive took us through another tiny town Strathblane on our way back to Dover. We called in to the Dover Hotel to check out the menu, service and ambience and suffice to say we have not been back since.