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Ida Bay Railway – a leisurly trip to Deep Hole (and back)

19 December 2011 2 Comments

Review of the Ida Bay Railway Tasmania

Ida Bay Railway is Australia’s southern most railway.

The railway is a narrow gauge system much like the familiar sugar cane trains found all over northern Queensland.

It travels over 7km of government land at a very leisurely pace. The scenery is spectacular and a stop at around halfway provides a very interesting and enlightening account of life at Ida Bay in its heyday. I have to tell you, I wouldn’t have lasted.

The journey terminates at a place called Deep Hole. Deep Hole is actually a very nice beach and a great place to have a picnic. There’s usually about a 20 minute stop at the end before the train turns around and brings you back.

Multiple trips take place daily so if 20 minutes isn’t enough for your picnic, provided it isn’t the last train for the day of course, you can stick around for a later return ride.

If you are keen and catch an early train you can do a walk from Deep Hole, where the train stops, to Southport Lagoon. I haven’t done the walk but I believe it is relatively flat, easy and takes about 50 minutes each way.

You can also camp at each of these locations. I’d suggest the camping is for experienced campers only as the weather is changeable and it can get very cold very quickly.

The Ida Bay Railway also sports a cafe but the range is limited so I suggest, if you are fussy, pack a picnic or get yourself some food at Wombat’s Of Dover  on your way through. It looks like your usual take away fare but actually it is fresh prepared and delicious.

As a day trip and only 100km away it is easily achieved from Hobart. I’d suggest you don’t believe your GPS navigation system’s estimate of the travel time. Windy dirt roads and plenty to see along the way mean it will take longer than the 1 hour and 20 minutes driving time they estimate.

Also take layers of clothes including rain gear. I also suggest you take a towel too as once you see the beach you may well just have to feel the beautiful sand through your toes or pop your pinkies into the water (I don’t reckon that will last long though :).

Lastly make sure you telephone the railway before you head down there. The weather can affect the timetable and you don’t want to go all that way and not get a train ride.

Ida Bay Railway have a terrific website, check it out for more detail.

David Moore lives and works in the Huon Valley. He runs a computer business, I Hate My PC and writes computer/tech stuff for a couple of online magazines but his real passion is comedy. Keep an eye out for him doing “stand up” somewhere near you soon!

Image – vfowler via Flickr

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  • Jude Griggs said:

    Can you let me know if you run every day please.Thankyou, Jude.

  • Frank (author) said:

    Sorry Jude, thought I had replied sooner.

    The Ida bay railway does run each day.Enjoy!

    Here is the information from their website:


    $25 Adult
    $20 Concession
    $12 Children 3-16 (Children under 3 travel free)
    $60 Family of four
    Group Concessions available.

    Trains run every day.

    Open Public Holidays

    Please allow 2 hours for the train trip

    Departures from Lune River.
    Summer Time Table

    October to April
    9.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm.

    Group Concessions & Bookings

    Available by arrangement. School groups, business and social clubs are all welcome.

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