Being the world’s 26th largest island and home to lush jungles with clean air, a swim in the natural hot springs in Tasmania would be the cherry on top of any trip. These warm, relaxing mineral pools are healthy for the skin and ideal for finding tranquility to reset the mind.
Being able to swim out among the Australian natural elements is a treat in modern times that shouldn’t be overlooked. Consider these thermal springs and swimming holes when you’re ready to explore the wild parts of Tasmania.
Hastings Caves & Thermal Springs
Located about 106 km/66 miles from the heart of downtown Hobart, Hastings Caves & Thermal Springs is the perfect day trip from this Tasmanian city. The caves and the springs pool are located in the Hastings Caves State Reserve, and the closest town is not surprisingly also named Hastings.
Aside from traveling to his destination independently, an organized tour can be arranged in Hobart, which can often be bundled with an entrance to Tahune Airwalk.
To go inside the caves, it’s critical to book a tour ahead of time and arrival 45 minutes before it begins. Everyone meets at the visitor center, where tickets and thermal pool entry can be purchased.
A park ranger will guide guests through Australia’s largest cave, Newdegate Cave, and discuss the magnificent ecosystem thriving down below. The ancient yet everchanging environment in the cave area features stalactites, stalagmites, flowing rock, and spacious regions beneath the earth’s surface.
The unusual formations can be seen after taking the descending 250 stairs down the dimly lit area, but at least there aren’t any narrow pathways. Opening hours vary depending on the season, so be sure to check in advance.
Thermal Springs Pool
The other attraction is the thermal springs pool, fed by natural hot springs. Reservations aren’t required for swimming, but there is an entry fee to use the facility. The swimming pool is infused with several minerals and is kept at a temperature of 28 ℃/82.4 ℉. Changing rooms, picnic tables, and barbeques are located near the water for daily use.
Inside the visitor’s center is a cafe that sells small snacks and grab-and-go type foods.
While visiting the Hasting caves and thermal pools, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Platypus Walk and Hot Spring Circut trails, which range from 10-30 minute strolls. Taking a casual walk in the area is an excellent way to explore the destination and enjoy some time in outdoors amongst the varied plant life.
Lodging and Camping
One of the closest hotels to the caves and the thermal pool is Lune Mill River House, which is 3.1 km/2 miles away. There are also a few vacation rentals that are easily found on websites like Airbnb and VRBO.
When it comes to camping, Southport Lagoon Campground is the nearest to Hastings Caves & Thermal Springs. The tent campsites are less than 10km/6.2 miles away and have toilets but no swimming in the water. There are also fire pits for cooking, and kayaking is permitted on the lake.
754 Hastings Caves Rd, Hastings TAS 7109, Australia
Kimberley Warm Springs
Kimberley Warm Springs in Northwest Tasmania is an unspoiled, partially-developed location to soak and swim in. Set in the Kimberley Warm Springs Reserve, this hidden gem swimming hole has a gorgeous environment surrounded by lush plants and flowers.
The relaxing atmosphere of these springs makes it the perfect spot to rejuvenate your skin, boost metabolism, and completely unwind. This location isn’t a big tourist area, so your chances of seeing it without crowds are relatively good. Hobart is 251 km/156 miles from the springs, ideal for a day trip.
There are no parking or entry fees to use the warm springs, and they are the only of their kind in this region of the island. The waters are pretty even-keeled and stay at a solid 25℃/77℉ all year long. Originating 350 meters/1,000 feet below the surface, these thermal mineral waters bubble up the pool, which is a size of 20x13x1.2 meters/66x43x4 feet.
The Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania manages the area, so there are some basic amenities like a public toilet and a shaded BBQ facility. Algae are known to grow in the water, and when it gets to be extensive, it is removed from the bottom of the pool. Using the swimming area is permitted 24 hours a day, year-round.
The closest places to stay by the warm springs are in nearby towns, Sheffield and Raiton, which are 16km/10 miles and 10km/6 miles away from the reserve. There are a variety of hotels to choose from and a few VRBO properties to book a stay at.
Kimberley TAS 7304, Australia
Local Non-Spring Swimming Holes
In addition to hot and warm springs, Tasmania has a few natural swimming areas that are fantastic for spending time at and in water. Visitors who prefer rural areas to manufactured swimming pools won’t want to miss these.
Apsley River Waterhole
The Apsley River Waterhole is located in Douglas Apsley National Park, about 190km/118 miles from Hobart. Set along the Apsley Gorge Trail, this swimming hole is a must-visit spot during Tasmania’s hot summer months.
After arriving at the parking lot for the trailhead, getting to the swimming area is just a short 10-minute walk from the car. The serene and primitive atmosphere is perfect for immersing in Tasmania’s woods while unwinding in the cool water.
Even though you can go there to swim, many visitors choose to hike the rest of the Apsley Gorge Circuit, an 8km/5-mile loop that takes about four hours to complete. On the path, trekkers get a chance to see a lot of native Tasmanian trees like the native cherry, blue and white eucalyptus, and black wattle.
The trail is well-defined but can include challenging terrain and involve minor scrambling, so suitable footwear is necessary. The safest time to make the whole loop is around November through June in the dry season.
To use the waterhole and other facilities in Douglas Apsley NP, purchasing a visitors pass is required. However, bush camping in the park is free. Be aware that if you choose to stay the night, there are next to no modern amenities.
Douglas-Apsley TAS 7215, Australia
Set in the Trevallyn Nature Recreation area, the Cataract Gorge is a haven for outdoor lovers. There are several walking paths, an abundance of Tasmanian wildlife, boat cruises of the gorge, an in-park restaurant, and a swimming pool that is free to use all year long. Visitors are also welcome to swim in the natural gorge, which has chilly water but refreshing nonetheless, at no cost.
After cooling off in one of the swimming areas, take a ride over the gorge in the world’s longest single-span chairlift with 457m/1500 feet of track. Moving slowly, this chairlift gives riders a chance to appreciate the surrounding scenery and water below.
Basin Road, Launceston, TAS
This little oasis is based about half an hour from Hobart and has been a locals’ swimming hole for years. The crystal-clear waters of Longley Waterhole are cold, but the natural rock formations add to the stunning backdrop around the waterhole.
Large boulders in the area are great for sunbathing or picnics. While the swimming area isn’t too big, it’s large enough for a quick soak or dips on a summer’s day.
Since this area doesn’t get a lot of tourist traffic, there’s a good chance you will get the place to yourself. When driving to the waterhole, go towards the town of Longley and find Matthews Road. From there, be on the lookout for a small pub and a Reserve sign that will point lead you towards the parking spot.
27 Matthews Rd, Longley TAS 7150, Australia
Tasmania is a beautiful island that boasts incredible opportunities to reconnect with nature. Visit these warm springs and swimming holes on your next journey down under. And if you’re venturing further up north to the mainland, check out the rest of Australia’s thermal springs, to find one that’s perfect for your itinerary.