about ida bay railway
IDA BAY RAILWAY is heritage listed as one of the last operating bush tramways in Australia!
Located at the southern-most of Tasmania, just opposite the South Pole! However, it’s only 95km away from the capital city of Tasmania, Hobart, about one and half an hour if you follow the A6 Huon Hwy and turn into to C635 Hastings Caves Road for about 8km.
The journey departing at Ida Bay Station, about two hour (return) travel on the historic 7.3 kilometer track, through pristine rainforest by the edge of Huon River to the Elliott’s beach meeting the ocean. While you journey through the magnificent bush with lush fern gullies brushing past and blue gum trees towering overhead, enjoying the scenery, confronting the bird life and friendly wild animals, just name a few, black swan, white sea eagles, wood ducks, kangaroo, Tasmania devil, and perhaps spot a seal or whale swimming alongside the shoreline, you could take this wonderful opportunity to relax and breathe.
Parents and grandparents can step back in time and relive their own childhood memories, as much enjoying this authentic experience, the next generation could also learn this unforgettable part of Tasmania history about the quarry and forestry while visiting our history keeping room.
There are many more to do and see. Whale watch platform, Southport Lagoon, Mystery caves, Hasting caves and thermal springs, walking track, 4×4 track, Cockle Creek, Recherche Bay, Southwest National Park, and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area all are nearby, and famous for camping, fishing, birdwatching and bushwalking. Same to many of our visitors from around the world enjoy traveling aboard the Ida Bay Railway, no matter you are interstates and international visitors or a local bringing friends, kids, parents, and other family members, this is a perfect place for you to pack a picnic and explore this historical tour attraction.
Apart boarding the historical WWII Diesel locomotive by train lovers, you can also hire one of the paddle & battery powered Rail Bike, first introduced in Australia and now it’s the only one as well, to experience the freedom of moving in the wild.
The Steam Age Ida Bay established since in 2018 is the biggest & first festival event displaying a rally of steam machinery from old time in the far south of Tasmania. This year you can bring your friends and family members to participate and have great time out here and enjoy the music, drinks, and local hand crafts, products and services.
Newly introduced Rail Bike is the first and only one in Australia in this kind, pedal and battery power assisted, more ECO friendly for the pristine State Reserve. As an addition to the historical site, the Rail Bike brings lots of fun to explore the Ida Bay area with more flexibility.
A little bit of history…
This century-old railway continues to run on its original bush track from Ida Bay / Huon River to Elloitt’s Beach return in the magnificent Ida Bay State Reserve 95kms south of Hobart.
Ida Bay Railway is one of remaining operating narrow gauge railway built to carry very high quality limestone from quarries about 4-5 km over the mountain of Ida Bay Mystery Caves, Marble Hill, and Huon Sugarloaf area. The carriages were original flatbed wagon first used in 1800’s at the West Coast mines before obtained by the Australian Commonwealth Carbide Company to be used for the Ida bay tramways.
Volunteers form large part of the Ida Bay Railway’s operation, we say thanks to those contributing their time, energy, and financially! If you are interested to see the history to be kept and not forgotten, please consider to donate HERE.