For those primed for fresh experiences, Tasmania sure does punch above its weight. In particular, nature-loving walkers are in for a slice of hiking heaven; 2800 kilometres of managed tracks and more than 880 walks in national parks, reserves and conservation areas are waiting to be discovered.
If there's one walk that manages to encapsulate all that is special about this out-of-the-ordinary destination, it's the stunning Three Capes Track in Tasman National Park. For four days and three nights, you'll be immersed in an extraordinary landscape, encompassing cliff-hugging coastline, ancient dolerite columns, eucalypt woodlands, wildflower scrubland and canopied giant ferns. And always close to those epic Tasman sea views, at times you'll feel you're teetering on the edge of the world, only Antarctica between you and infinity. The Three Capes Track, while offering all the untamed beauty an adventurous soul desires, is paced for a moderate level of fitness and with a track so well-maintained all that's left to do is be in the moment.
If you fancy taking it all in with a side of luxury, there's the option of a guided Three Capes Lodge Walk, as offered by the Tasmanian Walking Company. Each night you'll stay in the only private accommodation within the National Park, architect-designed twin-share rooms, hot showers and nightly three-course dining included. Spa treatments are even on the cards at the Cape Pillar Lodge Relaxation Pavilion, plus your shoulders will have less burden with only a lightweight backpack required on your walks – which will be guided by experts, with choices of which parts of the track, and beyond, you feel up to.
For independent walkers, there's plenty of magic in store too. If you don't have all the gear needed in tow – or knowledge of what to pack food-wise for a four-day wilderness excursion – Three Capes Gear and Gourmet's range of meal kits and gear hire make light work of planning. Simply order online and arrange delivery prior to kick-off. From Port Arthur, a 90-minute car ride from Hobart, you'll begin your epic journey with a scenic boat cruise to the majestic and wild Cape Raoul, before heading to Denmans Cove where you will disembark and your boots will get their first workout. There's plenty of places to catch your breath over the entire trail, with 40 "storyseats" where you can read fascinating tidbits about where you are in a pre-supplied booklet, plus learn about some of the endemic species of plant and wildlife you'll likely encounter.
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At the end of each day, there's rest and respite waiting at the three 48-person-capacity eco-friendly huts on the trail, well equipped with cooking facilities and the bonus of panoramic decks to take in views and a spot of star-gazing. You'll be itching to get going on day two, though, which involves staggering views from Arthur's Peak across a glittering Crescent Bay, forested slops and a traversing of the windswept Ellarwey Valley.
Day three provides even more thrills, including walking Cape Pillar, with some of the tallest plunging sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere. Once you have recovered from the heady heights you will enter the fragrant forest and heathland which lead to Retakunna cabin. The last day and it's onwards and upwards, for the final climb up Mount Fortescue. Head to the tip of Cape Hauy and you might spy rock climbers attempting to conquer Totem Pole and other dolerite columns.
Finally, the white sands of Fortescue Bay below beckon for a refreshing dip before your shuttle back to Port Arthur Historic Site; one of Tasmania's five historic convict sites listed by UNESCO. And all of this just a mere scratch of the surface of the attractions awaiting in Tasmania for travellers ready for a fair dinkum out-of-the-box Aussie adventure.