125 km south of Hobart on the Huon Highway (A6). Just after the Southport turnoff on the C636, take the Hastings Cave Road (C635), a well-maintained gravel road which will take you to the Visitor Centre. 5 min walk from car park.
|Light:||none, bring torch|
|Dimension:||L=800 m, VR=44 m.|
|Guided tours:||D=6 h.|
Arthur Clarke (2004):
Speleograffiti, early history and speleofauna in King George V Cave,
The Speleo Spiel, Issue No. 344, Sep. - Oct. 2004, pp 11-15.
Arthur Clarke (2000): Hastings Caves, Tasmania – Perhaps a New Era?, ACKMA Journal, Vol. 40, September 2000. pdf
|Address:||Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs, 754 Hastings Caves Road, Hastings TAS 7109, Tel: +61-3-6298-3209. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1918||cave discovered and named King George Cave.|
|1930s||cave operated as a show cave by the Esperance Council.|
|1946||cave renamed King George V Cave by the Nomenclature Board, after the formation of the TCC.|
|2000||cave opened for cave trekking by the Hastings Caves Enterprise.|
|2020||cave resurveyed by Alan Jackson.|
King George V Cave, named after the King of the time, is a former show cave, which was opened to the public in the 1930's. Originally it was named King George Cave, but when TCC was formed in 1946, this name was, according to Arthur Clarke, not accepted by the Nomenclature Board. Today it is a (semi) wild cave trekking trip, not difficult but definitely not a show cave. The 6 h tour includes a 3 h cave tour, a BBQ and a relaxing swim in the Thermal Springs swimming pool after the cave trip. The tours are operated by the Hastings Caves Enterprise, a half-government, half-private Board of Management for the management of Hastings Caves. For the tours a stringlined path was marked on the floor. As far as we know, the tours where discontinued when the cave was transferred to the
This cave is famous for marvellous formations, beautiful shawls, masses of straws, box work and cave pearls. The speleothems are in a much better shape as in an average show cave as they are not exposed to electric light. On the other hand the cave was often visited since its discovery, before and after it was a show cave. During this time, numerous visitors wrote their names on the cave wall. Today such destructions are generally considered graffiti, the 100 years old signatures are a historic document. The Signature Wall shows a sort of “guestbook”, visitors signed their names and sometimes the date of their visit. There are name lists, with the cave guide’s name at the top. Assuming that the names and their dates are genuine, they are actually an important source about the history of the cave exploration.
The cave, which is often called KGV, is rich in cave fauna. In the early 1960s, Elery Hamilton-Smith started collecting in Tasmania, and published the findings in the cave. Many species were found in the entrance chamber, both terrestrial and stygobiont cave species have been recorded in the deeper parts of the cave. Typical species are the Tasmanian Cave Spider ( Hickmania troglodytes) or the pseudoscorpion Pseudotyrannochthonius typhlus.