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Edge of the Earth: 5 Dramatic Walks in the Tasman Region

Explore the Tasman Peninsula on Foot

Chuck that bag of primo popcorn in the microwave and settle in – the turrakana / Tasman Region is all about the drama! The peninsula is famed for its breathtaking coastal scenery, including the tallest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere. At just over an hour’s drive from Hobart, all the excitement is within easy reach.

Exploring this pocket of the world on foot is a great way to immerse yourself in the drama (and great exercise for the body and soul before you go for that Home & Away audition). We’ve picked five of our favourite walks to get you going (if you’re within the Tasman National Park, don’t forget to grab a Parks Pass).on

Safe walking guidelines

We want all walkers to have a safe and enjoyable experience, so please plan to walk safely, be prepared, avoid walking alone, tell someone where you are going and record your trip intentions in the log books. Please read the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Safe Walking guidelines before heading out.

Cape Hauy, Tasman National Park (c) tripinaus
Cape Hauy, Tasman National Park (c) tripinaus

1. The Three Capes Track

The Three Capes sound like a group of superheroes, and that’s exactly how you’ll feel standing on top of the giant sea cliffs at the edge of the world! The Three Capes Track is one of those transformative experiences that stays with you for a lifetime.

This cliff-hugging coastal walk plonks you smack bang in the raw drama of nature, beginning from the Port Arthur Historic Site. You’ll trek 46km on a meticulously crafted track, through tall eucalypt forest and colourful coastal heath, with the swirling Tasman Sea your constant companion. A highlight is climbing The Blade at Cape Pillar and gazing across to Tasman Island.

Challenge yourself to complete the walk over three days or take a little easier in four with Tasmanian Walking Company or go pack-free with Life’s an Adventure. 

2. Cape Hauy

If the Three Capes Track appeals to you but you’re short on time, the walk from Fortescue Bay to Cape Hauy (4hrs return / 4.4km one way) is a nice little taster. Trek through a variety of heath and woodland, then behold the awe-inspiring views of steep cliffs and interesting rock formations. See if you can spot any adrenaline junkies on the ‘Candlestick’ and ‘Totem Pole’ – the dolerite columns and cliffs at Cape Hauy are popular spots for climbing and abseiling.

Cape Hauy, Tasman National Park (c) phylicia131
Cape Hauy, Tasman National Park (c) phylicia131
Waterfall Bay (c) @camblakephotography
Waterfall Bay (c) @camblakephotography

3. Waterfall Bay

The walk from the Devils Kitchen, at Eaglehawk Neck, to Waterfall Bay (1 – 1.5hrs return / 1.7km one way) is an exciting coastal trek within the Tasman National Park. Enjoy awesome vantage points along the way for amazing views of the epic sea cliffs and beyond. This hike is particularly stunning after rainfall, as you can gaze across the cliff-lined bay and watch a waterfall plummeting spectacularly down into the sea.

4. Crescent Bay & Mt Brown

The walk to Crescent Bay is a delight, ending with a beautiful secluded beach which you’ll likely have all to yourself. Begin from the carpark near Remarkable Cave (make sure you go for a gander at the cave while you’re there). Around 20 minutes in, you’ll come across the Maignon Blowhole (take care), and around 45 minutes in you’ll enjoy a superb view of the beach you’re about to descend onto. When you arrive, sit under the humungous sand dunes and feel like a tiny dot (very Instagrammable).

If you’re keen for a longer walk, turn off and add in the hike up Mt Brown (4hrs return / 8km total) – the extra steps will reward you with top views of Cape Pillar and Tasman Island as well as Cape Raoul.

5. The Coal Mines Historic Site

A walk AND an education in convict history? Sign me up! The Coal Mines Historic Site, at Saltwater River, is home to one of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks. You can choose from several route options ranging from a few minutes to several hours (we recommend setting aside an hour or two so you can pause to read the interpretation panels along the way).

You’ll learn about the dramatic history of the coal mines as you explore the ruins, including the penitentiary, underground cells and mine shaft. As you walk, imagine what life would have been like for the poor souls who lived and worked at the site! There are no entry fees so it’s easy on the budget too.

6. Cape Raoul

What starts as a pleasant bushwalk soon turns into a stunning, often breathtaking journey. The newly refurbished track climbs through open forest to a cliff edge that may take some walkers by surprise. From there on the 14km return walk, through heath and light forest, it’s never far from those jaw-dropping cliffs. The stunning coastal scenery continues all the way out to Cape Raoul. The dolerite cape drops dramatically into the ocean. Keep an eye out for seals on the rocks and small islands below.6

7. Bivouac Bay

A delightfully varied coastal walk that feels remote but is quite accessible. Starting on the tranquil sands of Fortescue Bay, the walk climbs to a modest clifftop, then undulates through light bush and forest. You’re never far from the water, and are sure to see sea birds, and perhaps even seals, dolphins or whales in the bay. At Canoe Bay, a bit over halfway to Bivouac Bay, keep an eye out for the rusting metal of the sunken dredge William Pitt. From Canoe Bay the track follows the unique coastline before a moderately steep climb into Bivouac Bay.  After reaching Bivouac Bay, you return on the same track. ​

The Candlestick, Cape Hauy. Image Credit Charles Hill
The Candlestick, Cape Hauy. Image Credit Charles Hill
Other Nearby Attractions
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We love it when you share your adventures with us! Share your snaps by tagging @hobartandbeyond and using #HobartandBeyond on Instagram and Facebook – we’ll share our favourite pics on social media and in the blog.

Words: Isabel Galloway. Updated by Hobart and Beyond on 23 December 2022.

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