Travel – Cockle Creek and Hastings Caves

Cockle Creek, Tasmania

After taking a long and bumpy dirt road in the rain, we made it as far south as we’ll ever go with Tonka and Sheila.

When we arrived at Cockle Creek it was wet, cold and grey; not a beautiful day.  We drove past a reconverted bus connected to a ute by a snatch strap, trying to get out of a bog and I wrinkled my brow.  The weather had cleared the place out, in spite of the school holidays.  My rain-jacket was no match for the downpour, as I directed our rig onto a level spot (that I hoped we wouldn’t sink into) before running into Sheila as fast as possible to take shelter and warm up.  It was January – summer – in Tasmania, and I was drying off and trying to warm up.  Better than being stinking hot, I told myself, before Adrian came in and shook the rain off himself like a wet dog.

The next day, the sun gloriously emerged to show us the true beauty of Recherche Bay and I sighed with relief.  

The weather has a huge impact on my state of mind.  I am always happy when there is sun and I’m moody when the clouds are too.  I don’t think I could ever live happily in the UK.  When the sun comes out, things just seem to get better and better.

The ranger came rushing past the next day to tell us, and some of the campers who turned up magically with the sun, that there was an elephant seal on the beach, taking a snooze.  Let me introduce you to our elephant seal, who we named Celia, with a slide show:

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Celia was beautiful.  She snored and yawned and rolled about slowly.  I think this remains one of the biggest highlights of the trip for me.  Meeting Celia blew me away.

The next day, I drove along the long bumpy dirt road again in search of caves and thermal pools.  Adrian rode there on his mountain bike.  He’s good like that, with the exercise.  Hastings Caves State Reserve is a beautiful place to explore and swim.  Here is Adrian in the thermal pool – a good reward after his ride.

The entrance to the Newdegate Caves was spooky….

Our tour guide explained that this cave started forming more than 40 million years ago and was one of the few caves in Australia formed from dolomite.  I don’t really understand much about geology but I could see and feel that this was a special place.

The light was low and I was a bit shaky with the photos, unfortunately.  This is my favourite formation in the cave.  I can’t decide what it looks like.  What do you think it looks like?

Our time in the deep south really made me appreciate how awesome nature is.  There are so many spectacular things to see in this world, when you make the time to see them.  Have you seen something spectacular lately?

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  1. Take me with you. Please.
    Every time I read your blog, I mentally log another place I want to visit. Recherche Bay looks like heaven and those caves are amazing. I can’t decide if the formation looks like a chamoix leather hanging from the roof or rashers of bacon. Fab.

  2. thatsummerfeeling1 says:

    Wow. I would have been amazed by Celia in the flesh. What a gorgeous creature. As always, beautiful photos and places to add to my future travels file. Thank you for taking us on your trip Heike.

  3. Loved all! :)

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