It’s not a difficult hike, a mostly gentle grade along timber boardwalks and stone steps. But at its most daring, Tasmania’s Three Capes Track will give you a rush that’s similar to reaching a thrilling summit. This 48-kilometre four-day walk takes in the state’s south-eastern pocket near Port Arthur, a patch of Australia that melds wildflower-rich eucalyptus landscapes with edge-of-the-world sea cliffs. All of which, if you take the Tasmanian Walking Company’s Three Capes Lodge Walk, is capped off each night with local wines, canapés and a plush mattress.
The highlights of the guided hike, which showcases capes Pillar, Hauy and Raoul, are the dramatic cliffs – the kind of teasingly perfect seascape views tailor-made for laptop backgrounds. And those views are never more powerful than at The Blade, a 30-degree incline that juts out from the end of Cape Pillar like a set piece from a Mission: Impossible movie. Its narrow path has sheer drops on either side to the churning wash below, making it heart-in-mouth all the way. Your reward? A climactic sighting of Tasman Island, Cape Raoul and the blue beyond.
Image: Looking out over the Tasman Sea/Chris Crerar.
Hikers, at a maximum of 14 per group, wind down the next day in the cool temperate rainforest of Mount Fortescue that undulates towards Cape Hauy, from where there are stunning vistas of dolerite sea stacks, distant peninsulas and the enormous expanse of ocean stretching towards Antarctica. And then there’s the wildlife along the way – echidnas, wallabies, seals and birds, from southern emu-wrens to yellow-tailed black cockatoos and soaring white-bellied sea-eagles.
Those are your days. Your nights, under a wondrous starry sky, are every bit as grand. Hikers stay at one of the two eco-friendly luxury lodges situated along the track. There are hot showers, massages and communal living areas where the weary are welcomed with three-course meals made using fresh local produce and a selection of terrific Tasmanian wines.
Image: Crescent Lodge, your home for the first night .
Pack light but include wet-weather gear and thermals and invest in decent hiking boots. The experience, which recommences on July 15, begins and ends in Hobart, with a boat first delivering you to Denmans Cove and a bus collecting you at the end from the gorgeous Fortescue Bay – where any humpback sightings are complimentary.