- Duration: 4 days / 3 nights
- Total distance: 46km
- Grade: Easy to Moderate
- Map: Elevation profile map
The Three Capes Track is an easy to moderate 4 day multiday hike in Tasmania Australia, passing through dramatic dolerite cliffs with ocean views, eucalypt forests and coastal heathlands.
Day 1: Port Arthur to Surveyors
Walking distance: 4km
We start our adventure with an hour long boat ride from Port Arthur, with the captain telling us stories and facts about the local wildlife and landscapes.
As we approach a cave opening along the coast, the captain turns his engine off and the boat drifts closer to the cave. He tells us to lean backwards against the railing and to look up towards the sky. The waves rise up and down, swirling the boat gently. It feels as though we’re inside a washing machine.
We follow the coast line, gliding past deserted beaches at Safety Cove and Crescent Bay before circling north to our drop off destination at Denmans Cove, the starting point of the Three Capes Track in Tasman National Park.
With nervous anticipation we walk off the beach, take an obligatory group photo and begin the journey hiking south along the coast. The walk on day one is short, about 1.5-2 hours. Our time nearing the latter as we stop for each “encounter”. Encounters are rest points with unique names that detail stories/facts from the “Three Capes Track Encounters on the Edge” guidebook.
The Three cape track cabins are new and well stocked. All kitchens have pots, pans, gas stoves and kettles. There are board games, yoga mats and a log book for guests to write messages. My friend drew detailed drawings in each log book of what we experienced each day, keep a lookout for them
Day 2: Surveyors to Munro
Walking distance: 11km
It’s recommended to take it slowly today as the ranger at the next camp needs time to clean up, so we leave after 9am.
We walk south and with a gentle climb to Arthurs Peak (at 312m) we see a beautiful view over Crescent Bay and Mt Brown.
We continue reading the guidebook and learn that wombat poo is square shaped and for the rest of day we look for wombats as we encounter the square blobs, unfortunately we didn’t see any.
We pass coastal heathland and sheltered forests before arriving at the second night’s accommodation at Munro.
At Munro there’s a deck area with scenic views of Munro Bight. The camp also has an outdoor shower (the only one on the trail) and some intelligent trekkers heated water in a kettle and used that for a hot shower.
At night you’ll find many possums coming out to play around the camp.
Day 3: Munro to Retakunna
Walking distance: 17km
We woke early this morning to watch the sunrise at the nearby helicopter pad.
Today we head out to the Blade. It’s recommended to bring a light pack with just the essentials (water, lunch etc) as the day’s track is a return path from Munro.
The walk begins through covered forest and then opens out to sweeping views of the ocean.
For lunch we sit on a rock platform along the cliff’s edge before ascending to the Blade.
The views at the Blade are the most extraordinary of the trip with sheer sea cliffs and Tasman Island on the forefront. As we peered down we could see seals sunbaking at the base of Cape Pillar.
We stayed on the Blade for quite a long time, soaking up the views, taking photos and listening to atmospheric music to match the dramatic landscape.
After a long while we pulled ourselves away and headed back towards Munro, collected our backpacks and headed north to our night’s accommodation at Retakunna.
Day 4: Retakunna to Port Arthur – via Cape Hauy and Fortescue Bay
Walking distance: 14km
We have an early start for our final day, leaving camp at 7:30am with looming clouds overhead. We made it out in time and managed to avoid the rain.
We climb Mount Fortescue at 482m above sea level and then walk through lush rainforest with lichen covered trees and mossy logs.
At the junction we drop off our packs and carry a light bag with our essentials as it is an estimated 2 hour return trip to Cape Hauy.
It is a tiring up and down climb over the three peaks before reaching the final platform, looking out towards the dolerite cliff edge and beautiful ocean views. It is incredibly windy here!
We head back towards the junction and it is about another hour, mostly downhill to Fortescue Bay. At Fortescue you can take a dip in the cleanest water in the world.
At 2pm we wait at the bus pickup area and we are driven back to the visitor centre at Port Arthur.
I really enjoyed hiking the Three Capes Track and have fond memories of laughing with friends, whipping up creative meals and seeing some of the most beautiful scenery Tasmania has to offer. I would definitely recommend the Three Capes Track for beginners and the more seasoned hikers alike. Perfect for families, groups of friends or solo hikers.
For more information on Three Capes Track and to book your cabin accommodation, visit the official website.