The Hastings Caves include the large Newdegate Cave that is open for tours and is extremely well presented in its use of lighting. The cave is the largest dolomite cave in Australia. While many caves are limestone, dolomite differs in that it is a harder mineral also containing magnesium and requires a more saline and a warm tropical ocean environment to form. The Newdegate cave has been developing over a period of 650 million years, including when it was located north of the equator and then moved due to continental shifts.
A tour of the cave by qualified guides takes about 45 minutes.
While the existence of the cave had been known for some years it was developed as a tourist facility and opened for the public in 1939.
The picnic area is located at the Visitors Centre and provides shelter huts, power, barbecues and open fireplaces with wood provided.The Visitors Centre is also a starting point for a walking trail to the springs and through the forests of the reserve.