Southport, Tasmania

A sleepy coastal village off the main road. In the early 1800?s Southport was a convict station, bustling mill town and international port. Being Tasmania s second largest town at that time, it was proposed as the capital of the colony. Today, it is just a nice quiet spot to relax, go swimming, sail the calm waters of Southport Bay, walk on the beach or a little fishing.

Where is it?: 104 km south west of Hobart, in the Huon Valley.

Lunaris Gemstone Museum shop has a comprehensive display of fossils and agates fromthe local gem fields as well as minerals, rocks and fossils from around the world.

There is a monument on Southport Bluff (40 minute walk from the road) to the convict ship George III which was wrecked off the coast in 1835 with the loss of 94 passengers. It is said that the guards on the ship, fearful that the convicts would panic if the ship went down, shot indiscriminately into the ship's hold. This is supported by the peculiar death toll which saw 81 convicts lose their lives while only 13 passengers and crew were drowned.

Surrounding Area

Hastings Caves

Hastings Caves State Reserve offers visitors a variety of from relaxing in the warm waters of a thermal springs pool, walking in the rich forests of the reserve and, of course, the unique experience of exploring Newdegate Cave on a guided tour.

Both the thermal pool and the trail which leads through the surrounding forests are accessible to wheelchair users. Named after Sir Francis Newdegate, the Governor of Tasmania from 1917-1920, Newdegate Cave is the largest tourist cave in Australia which occurs in dolomite, rather than limestone. Adamson's Falls and Adamson's Peak, the Mystery Creek Caves are accessed from Hastings.

Adamsons Falls

Situated on the eastern edge of the Southwest National Park, Adamsons Falls is an attractive waterfall accessed via a 6km return trail. Aside from occasionally muddy patches the track is easily followed in its entirety and should take just over 2 hours to complete. The walk commences with an easy stroll through regrowth forests. The track is wide but littered with boggy sections. Gradually, the trail begins to climb and you weave your way through charming established rainforests.

Walking Track Notes

Adamsons Peak

Adamson's Peak is located in the Hartz Mountains National Park. With an elevation of 1,225 metres above sea level, it is the 55th highest mountain in Tasmania. The Peak is a prominent feature of the national park, and is a popular venue with bushwalkers. The challenging hike to Adamsons Peak (15 km / 7–10 hours return) should only be tackled by experienced hikers in fine weather. The long climb to the top winds through tall forest and alpine moors. Your efforts are rewarded with incredible views of the Southern Ranges and Southport Lagoon. Please note, the walk from the plateau to the peak is not well marked and walkers should be prepared for sudden changes in weather.

Walking Track Notes

Mystery Creek Cave

The Mystery Creek Cave Track (4 km / 2 hours return) near Ida Bay is mostly flat and features mining and rail relics. The well-marked trail follows the route of an old tramway to the remains of a limestone quarry and onward to the entrance of the Mystery Creek Cave (home to glowworms). It is not recommended that walkers continue past the initial cave entrance without suitable caving experience and equipment, as it is prone to flash flooding.

Walking Track Notes

Moonlight Ridge

Moonlight Ridge to Mt La Perouse walk

Moonlight Ridge to Mt La Perouse is a challenging three-day walk from Lune River. Moonlight Ridge traverses the Southern Ranges, and the scenery is spectacular. Enjoy stunning views of Federation Peak, Precipitous Bluff, the Hartz Mountains, South Cape, and the Southern Ocean. If you’re not keen on doing a multi-day walk, the walk up to Moonlight Ridge and back makes a great day walk.

Walking Track Notes