Bushwalking/ Hiking – Cape Raoul

Yesterday I went for a trudge to Cape Raoul. Cape Raoul is on the Tasman Peninsula, about 120 km from Hobart.

I showed you on my write up of the Cape Huay walk how to get to the peninsula, and also info on National Park fees, entry, etc.

Here’s some more maps (prepared without the owner’s permission) that explain how to get there a bit better.

Tasmania

Tasmania

Cape Raoul Maps

Cape Raoul Maps

Drive toward Port Arthur, but don’t go into the old convict settlement. Unless you want to, I guess. I mean, it is a tourist attraction…

After the Port Arthur settlement, keep going about 10km until you get to a turn off on your left to Stormlea Road. If you get to Nubeena, turn around, retrace your steps… or the way you drove… (You know what I mean…).

To make it easier, just turn left at this sign.

Turn here

Turn here

Follow the ‘Cape Raoul Walk’ signs along Stormlea Road for about 10km until you get to a campground and car park. Park here.

Car Park (and Winnebago Park, apparently)

Car Park (and Winnebago Park, apparently)

If you want to use the toilet, climb here. Make sure you take some coins to pop in the money box. (Seriously – the land owner maintains the toilet for free… and accepts donations).

Hop over here for number 1 or number 2

Hop over here for number 1 or number 2

The walk starts at the end of the car park.

Start here

Start here

Serious note about this walk. There are massive (and I mean 200 metre +) cliffs along most of the length of this walk. There are no fences, or any other protections to stop you from falling over the edge. Be careful. If you’re not going to be careful, then this may not be the walk for you.

It also has the dubious honour of having the strongest recorded wind gusts in Tasmania.

A short way in you will pass some signs and this fallen log, where you can engage in some stunt-trudging.

Leave your horses and dogs at home so they can play with your guns while you're out

Leave your horses and dogs at home so they can play with your guns while you’re out

Log - perfect for stunts

Log – perfect for stunts

This rock formation is really cool. I presume you can add a rock? I did…

Not a natural rock formation

Not a natural rock formation

A short way uphill you will come to an intersection. If you choose to go to Shipstern Bluff, all the best to you. People do crazy things there…

Shipstern Bluff - for crazy surfing people

Shipstern Bluff – for crazy surfing people

This link will explain more…

Follow the left hand trail and continue uphill. At the top, you get this view. This is a view of the Cape Raoul Plateau, where your walk will take you. Of course, if you like this view and think you’ve seen enough, then you can just turn around and walk back to your car. However, the further you go on this trek, the better the views get.

Cape Raoul Plateau

Cape Raoul Plateau

To give you some perspective, I’ve (poorly) superimposed the Eiffel Tower over the top.

With Eiffel Tower...

With Eiffel Tower…

If you peek over the edge, it looks like this…

Over the edge

Over the edge

Looking down

Looking down

A short side-trek to the right, and you get to another cliff. Here you can see back to Shipstern Bluff. Very placid today.

Shipstern Bluff

Shipstern Bluff

It can get quite windy up here, so please be careful. Remember… cliffs?

Cliffs, in case you missed them

Cliffs, in case you missed them

The trail heads roughly east along the cliff tops and onto the Cape Raoul Plateau.

Once there, simply follow the trail. I’ll not articulate it as well as these pictures do.

Views down

Views down

Cliffs

Cliffs

At the end of the plateau

At the end of the plateau

More views

Majestic

Majestic

Picture tells a thousand words… or a few million…

When you’re on the plateau, make sure you keep going past the (currently dry) lake and out to the northern coastal bits.

Make sure you see this

Make sure you see this – the dry lake is behind you, you probably won’t notice it

The view down

The view down

Breathtaking

Breathtaking

Big rocks... look small from up here

Big rocks… look small from up here

You will come to a fork in the trail… turn left and walk for a hundred or so metres and you can view the cape from the northern side.

Northern view

Northern view

I usually do a trudge with my ipod on, and today was no exception. I was listening to Iron Maiden (El Dorado, for all those who are interested), and I could still hear the seal colony ‘barking’ from the base of the cape. You can just make out the colony’s home (white colouring on the rocks) at the base.

Cape Foot...?

Cape Foot…?

I had lunch perched atop the rocks in this picture, but more of that to come…

lunch up to the top right

Lunch up to the top right

If you go back to the fork and continue along the right hand trail, you will come out atop Cape Raoul.

It is… just… wow.

Looking back

Looking back

Rocky thing sticking up

Rocky thing sticking up

The view down the rocky thing

The view down the rocky thing

'Perched on the rocks'

‘Perched on the rocks’

Cape Raoul

Cape Raoul

And again, in case you missed it

And again, in case you missed it

Lunch

Lunch

In the distance to the north, you can make out Tasman Island and Cape Pillar

Even bigger cliffs?

Even bigger cliffs?

Return the way you came… but stay as long as you can – this scenery is so majestic, awe-inspiring.

Oh, just in case you missed the log, I did some stunt-trudging on the way back

Stunt-trudging

Stunt-trudging

The walk is listed as being 7km one-way (as the crow flies*), 14km return.

I trudged for about 17.4km all up: this is because I did every single side trail and often took the opportunity to blaze a trail to a cliff’s edge to have a peek, despite there being no official trail. It took me four and a half hours, which included the side treks and admiring the views. Give yourself as long as you can though; this trail is a beauty.

Here is a link to my Endomondo workout.

*No crows were harmed in the measuring of this track…

Thanks for reading!

 

Pete

Bushwalking/ Hiking – Cape Hauy

Today I went for a trudge to Cape Hauy.

Cape Hauy can be walked as part of the Three Capes Track. It starts and ends at Fortescue Bay on the Tasman Peninsula. Fortescue Bay is about a one and a half hour drive from Hobart. It’s about a hundred kilometres from Hobart, but it’s one of those roads where you’re guaranteed to get stuck behind some slow traffic for at least part of the trip. So plan for an hour and half.

From Hobart, head across the Tasman Bridge to Sorell and take the Arthur Highway towards Port Arthur. The turn-off for Fortescue Bay is on the left a few kilometres past Taranna (which, I must say… seems to have the longest 70kmh zone in the whole world…) and about the same distance before Port Arthur.

Here’s a couple of maps I prepared earlier.

Fortescue Bay

Fortescue Bay

Fortescue Bay close-ups

Fortescue Bay close-ups

From the turn off there’s about 12km of unsealed Forestry Road to Fortescue Bay.

Turn here. Otherwise you can go see Port Arthur

Turn here. Otherwise you can go see Port Arthur

The Fortescue Bay Road isn’t the best Forestry Road in existence. It’s easily accessible by ‘normal’ cars (my trudging-mate Dean rode his Suzuki road bike down there), but sticking to the 40kmh limit is advised. It’s a little dusty and bumpy.

Fortescue Bay is within the Tasman National Park, so park entry fees apply. The Tas Parks & Wildlife Service site will tell you all you need to know about this.

If you’re just visiting Fortescue Bay for the walk, then you can park in the day use car park, otherwise, you can camp. It’s an awesome camp site. Make sure you fill in the walker registration book.

Visitor Registration

Walker Registration

The Star Wars fan in me wished I had an Imperial Walker to register here…

Register these here... (starwars.com)

Register these here… (starwars.com)

The walk starts at the end of the day use car park, and you will trudge past the boat ramp.

Walk here

Walk here

The walk here

Then walk here

The track is incredibly well constructed, and you cannot possibly get lost. Unless you leave the trail. But like anytime you walk in the wilderness, don’t leave the trail. That’s just silly.

Well-built track

Well-built track

The trail heads roughly east and follows the coastline for a short way before it heads inland. You will reach an intersection that leads south toward Cape Pillar, but there’s another sign not far down that trail that asks you not to trudge that way. I think the Tree Capes Walk is designed to be done in a certain direction?

Intersection

Intersection. Anyone who turns right will be shot.

Take the left had trail to descend toward Cape Hauy. The track undulates across the headland, and you can see it quite clearly in front of you.

Headland

Headland

More headland

Making headway into the headland

One thing to note; if you’re not super-keen on stairs, then this isn’t the trail for you. The track is very well-constructed… and this means that steps are built into the hills (as opposed to climbing and scrabbling over rocks and stuff). Get used to it; there are lots of them.

Incredible views await.

Incredible view

Incredible view

Here is a sinkhole. I wanted to get closer to look down into it, but there wasn’t a clear trail, and I didn’t want to fall in.

Sinkhole

Sinkhole

You can see back toward Cape Pillar

Cape Pillar

Cape Pillar

And Fortescue Bay

Fortescue Bay (almost)

Fortescue Bay (almost)

Here’s me looking down a cliff.

Peering down

Peering down

And here’s what I was looking at.

What I was looking at

What I was looking at

Many of the cliffs on the trail are not fenced, so be really careful. Don’t do anything silly like dangle your feet over the edge. Its’ a few hundred metres straight down.

Don't do this... even though I did

Don’t do this… even though I did

Cliff

Cliff

Another cliff

Another cliff

Oh, and try not to fall off.

Warning...

Warning…

 

Don't fall

Don’t fall

At the end of the trail, there is a small fenced area that you can enjoy the best views from. At the end you can see the rock formations of the Candlestick and Totem Pole, large columns of dolerite that spout up from the ocean.

Fence

The Totem Pole is the smaller one, in the foreground. The Candlestick is much bigger, but right behind.

Totem Pole

Totem Pole

Candle Stick (bottom)

Candle Stick (bottom)

Candle Stick (top)

Candle Stick (top) and Hippolyte Rocks

If you look closely at the bottom of the Candle Stick, you may see a seal or two that was playing on the rocks. I say playing; for all I know they were doing something more serious, like discussing home schooling for their kids, or who they would vote for in the upcoming seal elections, or the state of the Middle East. I guess I’ll never know…

Beyond these rock formations are the formations known as the Lanterns, and Hippolyte Rocks are barely visible in the background.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of doing an adventure cruise that went past Cape Hauy. Here is what the Candlestick and Totem Pole look like from the ocean.

Candle Stick/ Totem Pole

Totem Pole/ Candle Stick

And here is the gap between The Lanterns from the water.

Gap between The Lanterns

Gap between The Lanterns

If you only ever do one walk in Tasmania… do this one. The scenery is just incredible. My pictures don’t do it justice.

(update 14 February 2016)

I forgot to mention how long the walk is when I originally posted it. My GPS advised that we walked a touch over 11 and a half kilometres, and took just under three hours. This doesn’t include the time spend at Cape Hauy marvelling at the scenery, but it does allow for how much we dawdled toward the end and looked over the cliffs, etc.

Here’s a link to my Endomondo workout.

Thanks for reading!

 

Pete

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bush Walking/ Hiking – North South Track

Today I went for a trudge along the North South Track.

What’s that, you say? What is the North South Track?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

The North South Track is in Hobart and Glenorchy, and is a purpose built shared-use track in Wellington Park linking The Springs (about halfway up Mt Wellington) with the Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park. It runs… errr… in a north south direction…

I say shared-use, but it is predominantly used by mountain-bikers. The trail is built for riders of any ability, and has a number of challenging features for the more confident riders along the way. There is good visibility for most of the length, and only a few tight corners toward the top where you will need to keep your eyes and ears peeled for riders. It’s also not steep.

The length of the trail varies, depending where you start, where you finish and who you listen to. Today I trudged about 24km in just under 5 hours. It’s a gem of a trail that’s only about 10km from where I live. I should have done this years ago.

I started at the Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park end, which meant that the first half of the trip was mostly uphill. Depending on your level of stupidity, you can start at The Springs and walk the last 12km upwards if you like.

This link will take you to the Glenorchy Council page that contains heaps of info about how to get there.

Glenorchy Mountain Bike Park is at the very top of Tolosa Street in Glenorchy. Seriously, drive up Tolosa Street, go past Tolosa Park, and stop when you can go no further. That is the Mountain Bike Park. You should see this sign.

This sign

This sign

Sometimes the gate will be closed, and sometimes it will not. Glenorchy Council advise that you should park here and make your way into the park – squeeze through the gap in the gate.

Walk up the hill, and follow the signs until you find the trail you’re after. Here’s a hint: look for this sign.

This is the sign you are looking for

This is the sign you are looking for

The trail within the Mountain Bike Park is mainly for benefit of riders, so the uphill part zigzags back and forth upwards. Of course, for walkers there is the odd opportunity to go cross country. Remember to look out for snakes.

I won’t bore you with too many details; the trail is remarkably easy to follow. It’s well signposted the whole way.

?

Obstacles

Several times you will cross other trails, fire trails, creeks and the occasional wandering monsters. Just kidding about the monsters. Fear not if you take the wrong path, there is always a signpost a short way in to each trail and offshoot that tells you where you are. Or more importantly, where you aren’t.

Walk this way

Walk this way

Bridge

Bridge

Trail

Trail

I’m not too sure what happened here. I looked around for ages trying to see the rest of the bike, or the rider…

If found, please return to owner

If found, please return to owner

 

The trail is broken up into two main sections. The first 7 or so kilometres from the Mountain Bike Park leads to Junction Cabin. So named because it is a cabin at the junction of several trails. I know I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but we Tasmanians can’t think of exciting names for things… like Main Road, Junction Cabin… anyways, I digress… Junction Cabin is a nice spot to rest.

Junction Cabin. A cabin at a junction.

Junction Cabin. A cabin at a junction.

A sign at a cabin at a junction

A sign at a cabin at a junction

After Junction Cabin you go from the drier Eucalypt ‘hill’ environment, to sub-alpine rainforest, which usually happens in Tasmania about 500 metres up. Here’s where the real excitement will be for the riders on the way down.

Optional Technical Feature

Optional Technical Feature

About two kilometres from the end you will cross a rocky bit that has some great-looking boulders/ scree all around. If you look upwards, you can see the Organ Pipes of Mt Wellington.

Rocky Bit

Rocky Bit

Scree

Scree

 

Organ Pipes

Organ Pipes

The trail has lots of cool little nooks and crannies.

Nook or cranny? I'm undecided...

Nook or cranny? I’m undecided…

Here is where the trail ends.

The end of the line

The end of the line

Just a little further past the end of the trail at The Springs is a nice little lookout.

Is that Kingston I see...?

Is that Kingston I see…?

Then, turn around and retrace your steps. Walk back to your car.

On the return, I was feeling a little adventurous and did some stunt-trudging; i.e. I walked along the ‘optional technical features’ for riders along the way, to make it more fun. I’m so glad I didn’t fall off, that could have been embarrassing…

Stunt Trudging

Stunt Trudging

More Stunt Trudging

More Stunt Trudging

Stunt Trudging again

Stunt Trudging again

Anyway, I managed to make my way back down without any serious incidents. Oh, except I did find this monster on the way back down…

Monster

Monster

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Pete