After two nights in Hobart, we made our way east to the Tasman National Park to hike along the Old Cape Pillar Track. Our itinerary had changed several times because of weather – snow at Cradle Mountain, rain in the northeast. Since we were in our tent, I didn’t want to have to camp in adverse weather conditions. We decided that hiking/camping along the Old Cape Pillar Track looked pretty cool. Recently, the Parks & Wildlife Service opened up a walk called the Three Capes Walk, which is a 3 day, 4 night trek across the peninsula. You have to book ahead of time to stay in the huts along the way – it looked like a great walk, but again, since we had our tent, it wasn’t exactly what we were looking for. Because the Parks & Wildlife Service had just constructed this new trail, there weren’t that many people who still used the Old Cape Pillar Track. It would be a two night, three day adventure for us.
I think we got on the road just before 11:30am. A little more than an hour into our drive, we were hungry for lunch, so I checked google maps for any restaurants that might be up ahead. There wasn’t a lot between us and the Tasman National Park, but we knew we needed to get lunch before we started our trek.
Fortunately, there was a cafe called Fish Lips that was open. It is owned and run by a Finnish couple, who live in Tasmania during the Tassie summer, and in Finland during the Finish summer. Sounds like a good arrangement to me!
We arrived at the start of our hike just after 3pm. Here’s a good description. With our packs on, we set out. According to the map, it would take about four hours until we reached our campsite at Wughalee Falls. The hike was relatively flat until we came to the extremely steep decent down to a hollow where the campsite was constructed. This is the only place along the trail where you can camp if you are hiking the capes independently.
We arrive just after 6pm. After we set up, we boiled some water and cooked dinner that night. We also walked a bit up a less used path that headed SE out of the campsite valley, we saw glimpses of the sea before turning around and heading back to the tent.
The long descent. It took about 2 minutes to make it down all of these stairs.
It felt magical down here.
The next morning, when we woke up, it was incredibly rainy. So we waited a little bit to see if it would subside. We probably started on our hike to Cape Pillar around 9:30am. This part of the track follows the new Three Capes Walk. We stopped at Munro Hut for about 20 minutes to warm up our hands, have a small snack, chat with the resident ranger, and dry off a little. Then off we went, and amazingly, the wind died down, the clouds lifted, and we were left with these amazing views of Sheepish Bay.
Look closely and you’ll see the padamelon
Well maintained tracks
It’s getting clear!
The most stunning view were from “the blade”, which is at the end of the penninsula and overlooks Tasman Island and the Tasman Sea.
View of Tasman Island and its lighthouse
View from the Blade
View from the Blade
The next day we packed up and left the camp site around 10:30am. On our way, we decided not to take the detour to Cape Huay. It would have been a couple of hours, but we decided we wanted to spend our time down at Fortescue Bay instead.
We made it back to the parking lot just after 12:00pm. We splashed around in the water for a little bit, although it was freezing, so swimming in it was difficult.
We stayed for about an hour, and then we made our way off of the peninsula, and over toward Port Arthur for some local sightseeing. What a great three days!