Australia’s southernmost tourist attraction – Ida Bay Railway™
The Ida Bay Railway™ boosts itself as being Australia’s southernmost tourist attraction and despite it’s location it seems pretty popular. It is situated at Lune River, approximately 2 hours drive south of Hobart. The 14km return train trip starts at the Ida Bay Station at Lune River and takes passengers to Deep Hole and Elliott’s Beach in the Ida Bay State Reserve. The track follows the edge of the beautiful Ida Bay and Lune River Estuary. People are given the opportunity to disembark at Deep Hole for approximately 30 minutes to explore the nearby beach and bushland. You can also stay longer and catch the train back at a later time, it usually runs four times a day. There are shelter and BBQ facilities at Deep Hole and BBQ packs are available for sale at the Ida Bay Railway Cafe. Walks to Southport Lagoon (1.5 hours return) and Southport Bluff Beach (3 hours return) also commence at the Deep Hole picnic area.
You can walk along the train track from Ida Bay Station to Deep Hole and Elliott’s Beach. I did this early one morning at 7am before the train commenced ferrying passengers for the day. It’s pretty hard going, up and down over railway sleepers that are always just far enough apart that you can’t step from one to the next. It was well worth it though for the peacefulness and the early morning reflections in the calm estuary waters. Allow 1.5 hours to walk the track one way.