Tasmania/Three Capes Track/Wilsons Promontory 2017

Back in January 2017 I managed to trick my good friend Trent in to a 4 day buddy hiking trip in Tasmania. Poor soul. He had no idea what he was getting himself in to. Having only been to Tasmania once before on another buddy hiking trip, I probably over-prepared for the Three Capes Track. It included a lot more luxuries in the cabins than the Overland Track, space in my backpack that I promptly filled with booze, coffee and more camera gear.

Our hotel in Hobart the night before the hike had a wonderful view.

The hike started at Port Arthur, where we jumped on a boat to cross the bay. But our bus was making excellent time, so pulled over for a scenic coffee, where we got a glimpse of where we would be spending the next 4 days. Out on those cliff lines…

Normally the boat ride across would include a nice bit of sight-seeing as well, but it was a pretty damn windy day so they cut it short and we only saw a bit of the bay around Port Arthur. It turns out the weather got worse after us, as the second boat load got no tour at all, just a ferry across. But hey, it wouldn’t be a trip to Tasmania unless the weather was wild, right?

The first day’s hike was short and easy at 4kms. When we got to the wonderfully equipped cabin (I probably could have left most of my gear at home it turns out) we had plenty of time to go explore, including a very brief and very chilly dip into the ocean over some slippery rocks.

Day 2 took us up on the cliff line for the first time, where I promptly stopped to take photos every few minutes.

After getting to the cabin and having a late lunch, Trent and I went for a longer explore and managed to find the old Three Capes Track, which was much steeper and rugged than what we were undertaking. Luckily we didn’t have our full packs on for that.

The view from the second cabin was just absolutely spectacular though.

When everyone went to bed before sunset, I sat up on the helicopter landing pad above the cabins hoping for a glimpse of the Aurora Australis. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see it, but I got to try some star photos. I didn’t bring a tripod, so it was just my camera leaning on my trusty boot to capture these.

The next day was where we really saw the best of Three Capes Track. We stripped down to our day bags and walked out on to the cape itself, and up onto the Blade. There was boardwalk for a chunk of it that I eventually realised was supposed to be a snake. The walk was great for this, lots of art incorporated into the track itself. Which would have made sense at the time if I actually looked at the guide book they gave us.

The cliffs were high, the wind was strong and it was just stunningly beautiful.

We also got a great viewpoint of Tasman Island, where we could hear the bull seals fighting from across the windy strait.

But the highlight of the whole trip was climbing up to the top of the Blade, where the sheer drops and amazing view just made my head swim. Of course I had a nice drink at the top, but my attention was continually drawn to a single tree, clinging on for dear life. I took way too many photos of this one tough bugger.

The huts we stayed in were amazing. The bunks included mattresses, all cooking and gas was supplied, one night even had a shower! And best of all, they had solar panels with USB chargers. I even managed to get enough reception one night to stream a bit of the NFL playoffs. Talk about luxury.

The last day was a walk out on Cape Hauy, where the weather was unrelenting at first. Lots of rain and strong winds but amazing views back over where we had spent the previous day.

We had our last hiking lunch above the famous Totem Pole, being battered by some crazy winds. I didn’t get a chance to have an explore and a scramble as I had planned, we found out later that some gusts that day were over 100km/h.

The hike ended up in an amazingly beautiful (yet freezing) beach. It still didn’t stop me and Trent from having a quick swim to soothe our aching muscles.

Once back in Hobart I spent a bit of time eating all of the amazing food and even discovering the local whisky.

I decided to visit MONA, the amazing art gallery/museum in Tasmania, but little did I know that the day I had chosen also happened to coincide with their MOFO festival, so the first band I saw of 2017 just luckily happened to be Puscifier at an art gallery in Tasmania. Not a bad way to start the year.

I also stopped by Melbourne for a few days of rest on the way back, where my friends took me out to Wilsons Promontory for the first time, the most southerly point of mainland Australia. And holy crap, was it gorgeous. And warm enough to enjoy a swim in the beautiful water.

All up, two weeks of amazing friends, outdoor adventures and incredible food and beverages. What a perfect start to 2017!

Here’s a gallery: