Leave the roads…
This week travelling around Tassie in our van we did just that. We left the roads and took the trails. They say that the best part of van life is that you get to spend so much more time outside, and that was definitely true this week as we spent more time on the track or in a tent than in the van at all.
This week’s focus consisted of the rest of the Tasman Peninsula trails that we’d missed while my dad was visiting. After many kilometres, both vertical and horizontal, I’d say that we had a very successful week of hiking and exploring this unmissable region of Tassie!
Eight and a half miles can be covered in minutes in a car or expressway, but what does a man see? What he gains in time he loses in benefit to his body and mind.Richard Proenneke
Hiking The Three Capes Track Independently
What I love about Tasmania is its solid infrastructure and culture around multi-day hiking. It’s like a more subtle version of New Zealand’s south island. Still, something I don’t love about it is that TasParks seem to have structured their resource allocation in attempts to mimic the success of New Zealand’s high-end, luxury hiking experiences.
Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t have any problem with this new wave and I think it’s great that people that weren’t so inclined to get out hit the trails now have an opportunity to do so. But, I feel like if I was in charge, I’d adhere a little more to the popular slogan of Keeping Tassie Wild and nip a little more spending to cater for the market of independent adventurers who prefer a more raw experience. But then again, when there’s money involved, there’s a balance sheet and it’s pretty obvious which market is going to tip those scales in the direction of profit.
The Three Capes track recently opened in 2015 and is already one of the most popular multi-day hikes in Tasmania. The only caveat is that walkers are expected to pay $500+ per person for the privilege of this walk.
Not in protest of the fees, but more in an attempts to experience the wild nature of the Tasman capes independently, we set out to hike The Three Capes on a route accessible to anyone, for free. I have no problem handing over money to the Tasmanian Parks as they do a fantastic job here. But, for us at least, paying for a hike complete with all of the luxuries defeats the purpose and retires the raw, sovereign feeling of adventure that we set out for in the first place.
So, with optimism and our adventurous spirit intact, we strapped up our overnight bags once again, left Clifden at Fortescue Bay and set off for the capes. I’m currently in the process of finishing a long, independent hiking guide for the Three Capes which follows our route. But, in a nutshell it was an incredibly diverse track, with 45 kilometres of epic coastal scenery, lush temperate rainforests and vertigo-inducing sheer dolerite cliff drops.
Below are some of my favourite memories from the Three Capes Track.
You’d think that the number of capes accessible on The Three Capes Track would be pretty clear. However, the third and final Tasman cape is currently only accessible on a separate trail from the southern point of the peninsula.
So, backing up the long multi-day walk on the Three Capes track, we headed straight for the Cape Raoul track for another long 20 KM+ day of hiking. We also extended the walk by adding in a short side-trip to Shipstern Bluff, which is home to one of the best big-wave surf breaks in the world.
Read more: The Cape Raoul Hike in Tasmania
Wrapping Up The Week
Wrapping up the week we found ourselves once again at the Sorrell recreation grounds in front of our laptops. Sorrell has been a little home away from home for us and a great base to park up on those long working days.