Mole Creek - ChudleighMole Creek is a pretty town surrounded by some of Tasmania's most beautiful wilderness and is the perfect base for exploring nearby national parks, Cradle Mountain and some amazing caves that must be seen to be believed.
There are several walking and cycling tracks near Mole Creek, like the scenic Westmorland Falls and Alum Cliffs Gorge lookout. A little further afield, Liffey Falls is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and has an easy walking track with picnic facilities among lush green ferns.
Be sure to taste some of the local honey and learn about the town's interesting past and pop into the neighbouring town of Chudleigh, a pretty little village 7 km east of Mole Creek. Mole Creek is a 50-min drive (74 km) south-east of Devonport.
When visiting Tasmania's north west, don't forget to include Trowunna - a Wildlife Park with a difference. Trowunna Wildlife Park has been the place to see the Tasmanian devils since 1985. Trowunna is a privately owned wildlife park, where native Tasmanian fauna and flora thrive. It houses the world's largest heritage population of endangered Tasmanian Devils, but also has a great range of marsupials, birds and reptiles on site.
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The village of Chudleigh, not far from Mole Creek, is one of those places that seemed destined for greatness but never quite got there. During the early 1820s the Van Diemen's Land Company created a track or stock route from Deloraine to Emu Bay (now Burnie) that ran via Chudleigh and Mole Creek. The route enabled them to move grazing livestock from the higher rainfall areas in the west of Tasmania, to the population centres further east. The company built facilities, including a grain satore store (1827-28), in Chudleigh. The store still stands as a silent reminder of what might have been.
Old VDL store, Chudleigh
A railway line was built from Mole Creek to Deloraine, through Chudleigh. It ran 20.4 kilometres and opened on 5 April 1890. The rail line was used for mail, freight and passengers; occasional passenger services went as far as Devonport. Passenger services mostly ceased when they were replaced with a bus service in 1960. The line was closed in 1985, and the tracks lifted in 1992.
Originally planned for a population of around 5,000, a township was laid out by John Batman, founder of Melbourne, prior to 1835, but Chudleigh's anticipated development never came and today it is a quite village of around 150 people. Its major attraction, and well worth stopping for a visit, is the Melita Honey Shop, which not only sells a dazzling variety of honeys and honey related products, it is home to a museum about honey, bee keeping and related activties.
The Chudleigh Agricultural and Horticultural Society runs an Agricultural show annually in February. Chudligh Show is a great family day; Expect to see cattle, horses, sheep dogs, vintage tractors, chopping & more.
Melita Honey Farm at Chudleigh is your one-stop shop for all the best in farm fresh products - Honey; Balsamic Glaze; Beeswax Crayons; Beeswax Polish; Sustainable Food Wrap; ; Apple Cider Vinegar; Manuka Honey; Royal Jelly; Bee Pollen; Beeswax Ear Candles; Wound Care; Nougat; All Skin Care; Honey Soaps; Lip Balms; Beeswax Balms; Hair Care; Therapeutic; body and Hands Care; Travel and Gift sets.
Come and try the amazing range of natural honeys and discover the mysteries of the honeybee! Watch a Queen Bee lay her eggs in the honeycomb. See the worker bees spin the precious nectar into iquid gold ... and maybe even see a baby bee hatch. Complete hour honey experience by experiencing delicious Honey Ice Cream, freshly made here in Chudleigh. Choose from 12 different flavours - all made fresh Tasmanian milk and cream and pure honey. Don't miss our signature Leatherwood honey ice cream, only available by the scoop here in Chudleigh. Location: Melita Honey Farm 39 Sorell Street Chudleigh
The Mole Creek Karst National Park was declared in 1996 to provide protection for some of the finest and most visited cave systems in the State, including Marakoopa and King Solomons Cave. Both caves are open to the public, and provide the opportunity to take a deeper look into the fascinating world of karst landscapes.
The Mole Creek area is renowned for its caves. Marakoopa and King Solomons Caves are but two caves in an area that contains over 300 known caves and sinkholes. Other typical karst features in this area include gorges and large underground streams and springs.
Both caves are home to a range of fascinating animals which have evolved features which allow them to adapt to their lightless environments. The glow-worm display in Marakoopa Cave is the largest you ll see in any public access cave anywhere in Australia. For the visitor, the Mole Creek Karst National Park offers a range of activities. Although guided tours of the caves will be high on your agenda, don t miss the opportunity to take a short walk through the beautiful forests in which these caves occur.
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Marakoopa Cave features two underground streams, a large display of glow-worms, large caverns, rim pools, reflections and shawl and flowstone features. Marakoopa is a Tasmanian Aboriginal word meaning handsome. After taking a tour of the cave you will understand why it is so named.
Tours are approximately 45 minutes in duration. There are two unique tours in Marakoopa Cave:
Underground Rivers and Glow-worms
Visit the lower chamber to be dazzled by sparkling crystals and reflective pools of stalactites. Take time to listen to the music of underground creeks and soak up the silence of abandoned river passages. This easy tour caters for all age groups and levels of fitness.
Cathedral, Gardens and Glow-worms
The magnificent cavern known as the Great Cathedral is a highlight not to be missed. The Gardens feature delicate formations and beautiful colours. Medium fitness levels are required to ascend the stairway to the Great Cathedral . How to get there: Travel to Mole Creek on road B12. Continue through Mole Creek for a further 10 km to sign C170 indicating Marakoopa Cave. From the sign it is a further 4 km to the cave.The trip takes about 90 minutes from either Launceston or Burnie. Access to the caves is possible from the northwest coast, by back roads via Sheffield or Wilmot.
King Solomons Cave is jam packed with features and lavishly decorated with shawls, stalactites and stalagmites. This small but compact cave displays a range of formations and caters for all age groups and levels of fitness. All tours are approximately 45 minutes in duration. Further information is available at Mole Creek Caves Office Telephone (03) 6363 5182. Both caves are open seven days a week except Christmas Day. Fees are charged for the cave tours.
Both reserves have shelter huts, toilets, picnic areas with electric barbecues and nature trails. Food and petrol may be bought in the nearby township of Mole Creek, where accommodation is also available. For further information contact the Senior Ranger, Mole Creek, phone: (03) 6363 5182. How to get there: Follow the Bass Highway to Deloraine, and then take the Mole Creek Road (B12) via Mole Creek for a further 16 km following the signs.
Kubla Khan at Mole Creek is also a long cave (2.2 km), but its fame lies in its incredibly rich formations.The cave is not open to the general public, but its 18 m high stalagmite, known as the Khan, is famous. The Khan is in a huge chamber called Xanadu. This cave also contains a flowstone floor which is 40 m long, and terraced up to a height of 15 m! This is a limited access cave with permits issued only to recognised speleological groups.