Guest Blogger: Daniel
Cape Hauy Tasman National Park
100km drive from Hobart
9km - 4hrs - Moderate to Hard Hike
Arguably Australia's best coastal day hike, Cape Hauy takes you right to the edge of the world. The trail work is sensational, as it is the last day of the iconic Three Capes Track. Starting and finishing the hike at Fortescue Bay beach is also a highlight. The cool turquoise waters make for a refreshing swim post hike. With bbq’s and picnic tables, the trail head is perfect for making a day of it. After leaving the beach, the trail winds along the bay to begin with, before the stairs begin. Winding up into a native pine forest, there’s plenty of places to rest along the way with views across the bushland and water. The stairs may seem to never end but they do just as the spring flowers line the track side. Meeting the Three Capes Track junction, you’ll most likely meet some fellow hikers who have been out deep in the Tasman National Park for the past three days. Not long past the junction rest area, the views become endless. Cape Hauy and the track are laid out in front, while views stretch out along the Tasman Peninsula coastline all the way to Maria Island. With a few more rock steps to negotiate, the end of the trail close by. Be sure to take a rest and gaze southward towards the enormous cliffs of Cape Pillar. The highlight at the end of the trail is staring down at the swirling sea from the safety of the hand rail. The vertical rock pillar known as ‘The Totem Pole’, reaches out of the ocean below and is a challenge for daring rock climbers. Enjoy watching the sea birds soar around the cape before retracing your steps back to the beach. Cape Hauy is best enjoyed with plenty of rest breaks along the hike. The track work is good, though can be a challenging hike at times, though always rewarding. So take your time and enjoy the changing scenery as you move along the trail.
Mount Victoria, Mount Victoria Forest Reserve
110km drive from Launceston
5km - 3hrs - Moderate Hike
One of the many peaks in North East Tassie, Mount Victoria is a fun day hike, with a bit of rock scrambling to make it to the trig point on the 1,213m peak. From the car park, the trail begins with a mixed wet rainforest section, with some impressive myrtle trees and lichen covered boulders. The track is marked by ribbon, so be careful not to wander too far from the markings. The first views of the mountain come soon after emerging from the forest, into some scrubby heath. The fun begins with a short rocky section before a few larger boulders are needed to negotiate. There’s enough rock markers to make the track easy enough to follow. Keep an eye out in spring and summer for flowering Tasmanian Waratahs, a lovely red flower with some tasty nectar! Carefully make your way to the summit for unrivalled views of the North East! On a fine weather day, picnic on the summit and enjoy panoramic vistas all around. On a clear day the ocean is viable and many mountain peaks dot the skyline in the distance. Some peculiar dolerite rock formations make for interesting photography on the summit. Carefully retrace the path back down the rocks, pass the scrubs grasslands and beneath the rainforest trees. A fun, challenging hike that takes you to the summit of a rugged mountain peak.
West Coast Tasmania
130km drive from Burnie
8km - 3hrs - Easy Hike
Follow the signs to the trailhead, just south of Rosebury on Tasmania’s Wild west coast.
At just over a 100m in height, this grand waterfall takes the title of Tasmania's highest waterfall. This hike is a gentle one, especially for the West Coast of Tassie. The trail follows an old narrow gauge tramway, making it mostly flat the entire way, though the thickness of the forest and steepness of the mountain sides make you ponder how they managed to build a tramway here to begin with. Pass by plenty of favourite rainforest tree species such as leatherwoods, myrtles, sassafras and tree ferns. Listen out for birds and keep a close eye on the ground for vibrant fungi. The trail zigs and zags around hillsides, passing creeks and many reminders of the old mining activities that once occurred in the region. Arriving at the falls, there is a stunning suspension bridge (currently closed at time of writing) that gives a view of the falls cascading from top to bottom surrounded by the thick rainforest. However, just past the bridge it is possible to make your way right to the base of the falls for an incredible view up the face of the waterfall. The rocks at the base can be slippery so be careful if you’re wanting to feel the cascading water flow. A nice rocky picnic spot can be had at the end of the trail, which gives views down the valley and up to the falls. Return via the same route keeping and eye and ear open for native birds.
Mount Wellington Summit
10km drive from Hobart
6-7hrs - 15km - Moderate to Hard Hike
Standing 1272m above Hobart, kunanyi/Mt Wellington dominates the skyline. The mountains rivers carve valleys down to the sea and provide a backdrop to a city like no other. The mountain has been a hikers playground from the early days, with many explorers tackling the feat while in port. Rising from sea level to an alpine environment over such a short distance is truly incredible.
There are many routes up, over, around, across and down the mountain. One of the most rewarding hikes is to begin in the leafy village of Fern Tree and hike right to the summit and back again. Starting at the recently renovated Fern Tree park, across from the Tavern, this route begins by following the Pipeline Trail (another amazing track best enjoyed by bike). Lined with beautiful Tree Ferns, the trail is gentle and flat for the first part. Follow the signs to Silver Falls, and begin the upward journey. A tranquil waterfall framed by ferns is always a pleasant site. Enjoy a moment in the cool wet forest then follow the track towards Radfords Monument, a plaque dedication to a participant in the early Go-As-You-Please running race who tragically didn’t return off the mountain. Follow Radfords track all the way up to The Springs, the recreational hub of the mountain. Enjoy a break and hot drink from the lovely Lost Freight cafe. There is a wonderful and useful map of the mountain to see which tracks to take next.
The signage is good to the Pinnacle Track, just next to the site of the historical Spring Hotel site, a former accommodation provider for weekenders to the mountain, that unfortunately burnt down in the 67’ bushfires that ravaged Mt Wellington and Hobart. The Pinnacle track gradually climbs as the trees begin to decline in size. Panoramic views over southern Tasmania emerge between the branches, with plenty of gaps in the forest for sensational vistas. The final track junction is with the Zig_Zag trail, the final push to the summit. The views from this trail are simply amazing. The alpine flowers are stunning and before you know it, you’re on top of the mountain which defines Hobart. Stay on top as long you can, before retracing your steps (or catching the new shuttle bus service), back down the mountain for a rewarding beverage at the tavern. A true local adventure.
Bakers Beach to Badgers Head
Narawntapu National Park
80km drive from Launceston
23km - 6-8hrs - Easy to Moderate Hike
This longer hike takes in one of Tasmania’s prettiest coastlines with a diverse range of plants and surprising natural highlights along the way. The hike can begin at either end, though the main visitor facilities are at Spring Lawn, the Bakers Beach end of the trail. Hugging Bass Strait, the trail follows the sweeping beach passing Springlawn Lagoon and Archers Knob (a nice side trip if you have the time - or another day). From the end of the Bakers Beach, the trail is marked and zigzags up to the headland with scenic views in all directions before dropping down into the tranquil and secluded Copper Cove, a very nice spot for a break before resuming the hike towards Badger Head. The trail follows a simple path with a beautiful array of flowering plants and coastal heath. Once reaching Badger Beach, return via the same route.The Narawntapu National Park is home to many native animals. Plan to finish around the Spring lawn area towards the late afternoon to watch kangaroos graze in the sunset. This lesser-known National Park is certainly a surprise to visitors. Spend the whole day and enjoy a beautiful easy graded coastal hike.