Chuck that bag of primo popcorn in the microwave and settle in – the 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).
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 with a bespoke Pennicott’s wilderness cruise from the Port Arthur Historic Site. Over four days and three nights, 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.
The environmentally sensitive cabins are hella tight, fitted out with gas cooktops, comfy mattresses, and dining tables. Because of the lighter pack weights and achievable daily distances, this track is family friendly, so bring the kids!
Image (Cape Pillar): @agonymedia/Instagram
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.
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.
With so much to see and do, you could easily stay awhile and enjoy the various attractions of the Tasman Region.
Stewart’s Bay Lodge is just a 15 minute stroll along the waterfront from the Port Arthur Historic Site, the start and end point of the Three Capes Track. It’s a beautiful spot to relax before or after the hike, nestled between a stunning white-sand beach, crystal clear ocean waters, and national parkland. Treat yourself to the scrumptious fresh cuisine at the Lodge’s restaurant, ‘Gabriel’s on the Bay’ and relive the adventures of your day in luxurious comfort.
Lufra Hotel and Apartments offer quality accommodation at Eaglehawk Neck, right next to Pirates Bay Beach (so you can get up early and wander down for that magical sunrise over the Tessellated Pavement). Delicious refreshments and incredible views are on offer in the Whale Watchers Café during the day, and amazing meals are served at the Pavement Restaurant of an evening.
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.
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