Friday, 14 August 2020

The Three Capes Track

 

Ever since moving to Tasmania over four years ago, Dave and I have really wanted to embark on the Three Capes Track, however it wasn't until this year that we finally booked in for the four day hike.

We decided to go in the first week of August - despite the wild weather that Tasmania can experience in winter, it is a much less busy time than the summer months (where there can be up to 48 hikers each day), and paired with the fact that the Tasmanian borders are still closed, we ended up being the only ones booked in for our departure day.


We arrived at the Port Arthur Historic Site on Sunday afternoon, and after checking in, we embarked on the one hour boat trip to Denman's Cove, where we were dropped off with our packs and a booklet setting out our journey for the next four days. The first afternoon of walking was pretty mild - a 4km walk through the bush and along the coast until we arrived at Surveyors Cabin, our accommodation for the first night. We were greeted by the guide staying at that hut who gave us a tour of the main dining area (equipped with gas stoves, cooking utensils and a fire) and the cabins where we would be sleeping (with comfortable mattresses in bunk beds), before leaving us to relax, cook dinner  - the first of many dehydrated meals - and have an early night.


We woke early on day 2 to a bit of rain which soon cleared up, and after cooking some porridge for breakfast, we set out for 11km of hiking. We were lucky enough to experience a stunning winter's day and epic views on top of Arthur's Peak looking out to Crescent Bay and Cape Raoul. We stopped for lunch in the Ellarwey Valley before heading on to Munro Cabin, where we spent the second evening. When the guide at Munro Cabin gave us the weather forecast for the next day, he told us that we would be experiencing freezing temperatures, a lot of wind and rain, and potential snow for day 3, so we were thankful that we packed all our wet and cold weather gear (this was the day that Tasmania experienced one of the coldest snaps in a long time and snowfall close to sea level, so we clearly chose a good time to do the hike).




Sadly we didn't wake to any snow on day 3, but the rain decided to hold off for a few hours, so we set out early (after another breakfast of porridge and instant coffee) to Cape Pillar and The Blade. Day 3 involved 19km of hiking, so we were glad we set out early (and that we were able to leave our big hiking packs at Munro Cabin, just taking a small day pack with water and snacks). We didn't experience any rain in the first hour or so, but as we approached Cape Pillar, we could see the storm clouds rolling in, and by the time we reached the Cape, we were in the midst of a windy hailstorm. Thankfully the visibility wasn't too badly compromised and we were still able to see amazing views of the coastline. We made it back to Munro for lunch (with very drenched clothes) and had a hot (dehydrated) chicken curry by the fire before hiking to Retakunna cabin. Even though this stretch of the walk was only 45 minutes, we did get caught in torrential rain and were thankful we could huddle by the fire for the rest of the evening.

 




By day 4, we were very much looking forward to getting home to a hot shower and a freshly cooked meal, but not before embracing some more wild weather for our final 14km hike. After climbing up Mount Fortescue (experiencing a lot of beautiful rainforest landscape), we were greeted with views of the coastline and the approaching storms, then headed on to the final challenge of the hike - Cape Hauy. The climb out to Cape Hauy involves a huge number of steps, but the views at the end were worth it, looking out to the Totem Pole, the Candlestick and the stunning rugged coastline. We made it back to Fortescue Bay where thankfully we were able to call the bus company for an earlier pickup, and after driving back to Port Arthur, we collapsed into our car, drove back to Hobart and treated ourselves to a gourmet burger from Mr Burger (along with fries and shakes, of course). 





If you are considering doing the Three Capes Track, I couldn't recommend it enough. The track is extremely well set out, the cabins are very clean and comfortable, and the guides at each cabin were so knowledgeable and friendly, all of which made our first multi-day hike a big success. Even though the weather wasn't in our favour for the last two days, I think doing the hike during an off-peak season was well worth it, as it was so lovely having the cabins to ourselves, and not having to swelter in the summer heat. All in all, it was an incredible four days, providing us with magnificent views of some of the most beautiful landscape in Australia, if not the world.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for such an informative blog post, it has made me look forward to my hike in December even more :-)

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