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Mystery Creek Cave Glowworms

Tasmania’s Far South includes the well known Hastings Caves (and associated thermal pool!) and the perhaps not as well known Mystery Creek Cave. Mystery Creek Cave is actually very close to Hastings Cave, just on the other side of the small towns of Lune River and Ida Bay.

Mystery Creek Cave Access

For some reason the caves are not signposted, but they are only a short drive off the main road south of Ida Bay. The track is also the start of the trek into the mountainous Southern Ranges – a hike I have not done yet, but needs to get onto my to-do list! The car park is marked on the map below.

The cave is a 40-45 minute walk from the car park and it is basically quite flat apart from the last few minutes where you clamber down to the mouth of the cave. The walk is relatively easy, although there are a lot of obstacles such as fallen trees over the path and it is currently (winter 2024) quite wet and muddy so being steady on your feet is important. On top of that there is a creek to cross too, so a hiking pole, or good water proof boots, are a good idea!


The cave has a healthy population of glow worms, and although we didn’t venture far into the cave on this visit I was able to photograph a couple of them near the mouth of the cave. These shots were captured with my 100mm macro lens and a shutter speed varying from a second or so right through to 20 seconds at 10000 ISO.

There is very little/no light in the caves and it is essential to keep it that way for the glowworms. This means no flash from your camera and to avoid flashing your headtorch at the roof – make sure you just use it to light up your feet until you are in position. Focusing on the glow worms is like focusing on stars as they really are tiny little spots of light.

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About Luke

Luke O'Brien runs a stall at Hobart's popular Salamanca Market every Saturday where his prints and cards are available for purchase. Follow Luke's photographic adventures on Twitter at @lukeobrienphoto, at his Facebook page or by subscribing to his email newsletter.