How to walk Tasmania’s Three Capes Track

When the Three Capes Track opened two days before Christmas 2015, it immediately set a new benchmark for Australian bushwalks, creating a hike that’s both heady and hedonistic, combining the raw beauty of the southern hemisphere’s highest sea cliffs with comforts and interpretation unsurpassed by any other trail in the country.

Has the Overland Track, Australia’s most famous long-distance walk, just been usurped? Edging along the tops of cliffs that soar more than 300m above the unruly Southern Ocean, the Three Capes Track has quickly assumed the mantle of Australia’s most intriguing bushwalk.

The four-day, 46km track opened to huge expectations at the end of 2015 and was quickly embraced. Replacing faint existing trails that were known mostly for their difficulty, it opened Tasmania’s Tasman Peninsula to a new breed of walkers, providing wide and smooth trails and the most luxurious and comfortable public huts in Australia. Within one month, more than twice the number of people had hiked to Cape Pillar, the track’s southern tip, than typically used to walk there in a year.

There’s great variety along the way, as the track winds in and out of heathland, dry woodland and a striking section of rainforest on the shoulder of Mt. Fortescue. But its finest moments come when the track teeters along the cliff edge on its approach to Cape Pillar and the Blade. As the Roaring 40s winds inevitably howl in from the Southern Ocean, there’s a humbling sense of being poised at the edge of the world.

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