You, a pack, and 46 kilometres of cliff-hugging wildness in Australia's far south-east. The next stop is Antarctica. Tasmania's Three Capes Track is not about getting from point A to point B. It’s about the journey. Few places on Earth remain that feel so remote, so raw, so removed from the ordinary.
Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service’s ambitious track is an artwork rivalled only by the landscape.
World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site is your start and end point. A purpose-built Pennicott Wilderness Journeys' boat delivers you to the track start. Any migratory whales, dolphins or fur seals are complimentary. Pack light; the overnight stops are equipped with gas cooktops, comfy mattresses and generous dining tables where new friendships may forge.
They say walking can be transformative and this is Tasmania's natural pathway. Four days and three nights on a track so meticulously crafted you’re free to enjoy your experience rather than watching every step. Look up, look out, look within.
Walk side by side up mosaic stone steps and let nature’s drama unfold. Here, your senses will be refreshed and your heart will skip a beat (regularly). Stand on nature’s edge. Hear the silence and be overcome with awe. Move through shadows of tall eucalypt forest and colourful coastal heath. The Tasman Sea is your constant.
The Three Capes Track can be admired walking in one direction, with bookings for only 48 walkers per day. Expect timber boardwalk, gravel and stone steps, with creative story-seats along the way to enrich your journey. When you check-in, you’ll receive your complimentary Encounters on the Edge guidebook, which includes daily walk notes, maps and 40 extraordinary stories to match your story-seats. Walkers are required to stay one night in each overnight stop – cabins and quarters are architecturally conceived to capture nature’s best side.
Overnight stops are within environmentally-sensitive cabins. Mattresses in the sleeping quarters are a welcome surprise. Shared dining hubs are equipped with heating, gas cooktops, tables and seating. Outside, relax on the panoramic decks and enjoy the staggering views.
The Three Capes Track cabins are designed to be simple and elegant with minimal environmental impact. More information
Not every walk begins with an eco-cruise aboard a purpose-built vessel. Explore coves and ancient cliffs en route to Denmans Cove (1 hour 15 minutes). Choose from an 11:30am or 2:00pm start, from August to April (11:30am or 1:30pm during May-September 2018). The salty air is a taste of what's to come. Your two hour walk leads through eucalypt woodland and coastal heath to Surveyors cabin. This is the part where you stop, unlace and breathe it all in. Park yourself on the panoramic deck looking across to Cape Raoul.
Today is a day of contrasts. Revel in the fragrant eucalypt forests, be captivated by the colourful heathlands, and stride across bronzed moorlands. Your short climb to Arthur's Peak gives staggering views across sparkling Crescent Bay and beyond to Cape Raoul. Feel the space around you expand as you descend from the forested slopes of Crescent Mountain to cross the broad, windswept Ellarwey Valley. Retreat to the shelter of the forest to finally wander into your Munro cabin haven. On nature's big screen this evening - the drama of Munro Bight and Cape Hauy.
Day three, sea cliffs plunge beneath your feet. The same way they've done for eons. Front row seats to their epic vista are worthy of today's longer kilometres. Look across to Tasman Island as you take on the challenge of scaling The Blade at Cape Pillar. The track returns to Munro, allowing you to leave your pack at the cabin and walk out and back with a light day pack. Continue on through fragrant forest and heathland to Retakunna cabin. Restorative views of Mount Fortescue – tomorrow’s climb – fade into your final nightfall.
Rise early for the final climb, Mount Fortescue, before venturing out to the tip of Cape Hauy. Here, you may catch a glimpse of brave rock climbers tackling the Totem Pole and other dolerite columns, while islands rise up from the sea. It's mostly downhill from this point, where the white sands of Fortescue Bay below beg for a bracing swim. Dry off just in time for your return bus trip to Port Arthur. Bus transfer from Fortescue Bay back to Port Arthur Historic Site takes 30 minutes and you can choose from 2:00 and 4:00pm daily (3:00pm and 4:00pm from May 2018).