A thermal pool in this weather? Yes, please! And so we suited up and entered Hastings thermal pool with anticipation.

I was so looking forward to a relaxing soak like we’d experienced in New Zealand, and so the tepid water disappointed me. Our girls, however, were thrilled to be at a pool again, and spent five (5!) hours in the water.

Indigenous Tasmanian weaving, Hastings Thermal Springs, Tasmania, January 2013
Intricate weaving accessorises a plaque detailing the history of the local Indigenous Tasmanians who were deliberately, systematically, chased and exiled from Tasmania.

Hastings Thermal Pool, Tasmania, January 2013
The thermal pool is a small outdoor pool kept at around 28 degrees C.

The Hastings thermal spring feeds the pool water which is purified and cleaned with ultra-violet rays and hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine.

Calista in Hastings Thermal Pool, Tasmania, January 2013
Calista's swimming improves each time she has the opportunity to swim in deeper water, and although she's spending most of the time on the steps, she does swim out every now and again.

Brioni in Hastings Thermal Pool, Tasmania, January 2013
In experimenting with her toy, Brioni confirms that the wooden robot floats.

Brioni taking pictures in the Hastings Thermal Pool, Tasmania, January 2013
Brioni also has fun with the waterproof camera but somehow changes its recording settings from pictures to video.

Aisha swimming underwater, January 2013
When the camera falls to the bottom of the pool, Aisha has to swim down to collect it.

Brioni in Hastings Thermal Pool, Tasmania, January 2013
Brioni is delighted to see that Aisha has managed to retrieve the camera.

Aisha and Brioni in the Hastings Thermal Pool, Tasmania, January 2013
Later, the two girls try to take a portrait of themselves together.

Our girls playing in Hastings Thermal Pool, Tasmania, January 2013
Our girls also had a terrific time playing with other girls in the pool. They quickly entered into an easy comraderie and rode around on each others' backs in a gentler version of "Chicken".

Bathroom block at Hastings Thermal Pool, Tasmania, January 2013
The bathroom facility contained showers as well as toilets in a beautiful timber and stone construction. I do love a well-designed amenities block!

The warm pool was still too cool for me to enjoy, although I paddled with Delaney in the little pool for what seemed like a brave length of time. The pool isn’t the only attraction at Hastings. The grounds have barbecues and open fireplaces in stone shelters. The lawn is immaculate and ringed by trimmed fern trees. It’s a lovely place for families to hang out for the day, and many visitors make this their rest stop after touring Newdegate Cave just up the road.

Hastings Thermal Pool, Tasmania, January 2013
An illustration on the bottom stone shows how the thermal springs work.

Walk at Hastings Thermal Springs, Tasmania, January 2013
A beautiful boardwalk around the back of the premises takes us past a cold creek and the warm thermal spring.

Walk at Hastings Thermal Springs, Tasmania, January 2013
In between the two water sources, two taps can be turned on to demonstrate the difference in temperatures.

Walk at Hastings Thermal Springs, Tasmania, January 2013
A simple, natural sculpture highlights the history of the forest. I am always inspired by natural artworks like this that integrate into the landscape, similar to the work of Andy Goldsworthy.

If you haven’t yet seen the work of Andy Goldsworthy, have a look here. He works with natural materials, designing sculptures that aren’t necessarily designed for permanence, but simply for pleasure.

Walk at Hastings Thermal Springs, Tasmania, January 2013
This huge, 50-metre-tall stringybark gum survived the early settlers' axes — simply because it was assessed as too twisted for good lumber. Imagine a forest full of these giants! That's what we're missing today.

Walk at Hastings Thermal Springs, Tasmania, January 2013
Picnic benches sit on the edge of the creek, providing a beautiful location for lunch as well as the possibility of seeing a platypus.

Our day at the Hastings thermal pools is one of the girls’ favourite since we arrived in
Tasmania. It’s been too cool here for proper swimming in the many waterways we camped alongside, and so this was a perfect day out for us!