Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cape Pillar Track

Sheer cliffs fell 280 metres away to the sea below from the Blade and Chasm Lookouts. Both exposed promontories rise sharply above the surrounding landscape.

Cape Pillar Track, Tasman National Park, Tasmania
3 day hike
Thursday 25 December to Saturday 27 December 2008

Beyond the two promontories lay Tasman Island, complete with lighthouse and 3 houses set high above the sea, the island surround by high cliffs. All I imagine, is abandoned, probably complete with furniture since the day the lighthouse was automated.

We spent 3 days in this section of the Tasman National Park. On Christmas Day we set out from the camping area at Fortescue Bay loaded with 13.5L of water between us, a special Christmas dinner and some wine. We found a very un-shy echidna on the trail, which Tim made a vid of.

It was a hard climb in the hot sun to Cape Huay junction, where we dropped our packs for the walk out to the Totem Pole and Candlestick on Cape Huay. It was so huge, this freestanding pillar of stone, it was difficult to capture on camera.

Back on the main track, it was a hard slug up the overgrown track to Mt Fortescue at 490m above sea level. Beyond the peak we reached Wughallee Falls where we found a rather unprepared hiker. His tent was set up on the narrow track beside the falls, despite it being clear that he knew the campsite was only 150m further and had ample camping spots available. When I returned the following day for a wash, I collected his rubbish, it would have been nice to have seen him again to return it to him. It had taken us 6 hours to reach camp, we had left later than planned, so we ate a late tea and went straight to bed pledging for a lie-in the following morning.

Leaving our tents set-up, and our packs behind, we set off on the return walk to Cape Pillar. It was beautiful, although really we only kept seeing the same thing again and again just from a closer viewpoints. A comment on the walk registration book at the junction amused us, "not enough trees across the path, please add more." Some track maintenance of the Fortescue Bay to Tornado Ridge section was certainly in order.

On the final day we hiked out for just 1.5 hours across the flat swamp back to Fortescue Bay and the car, from where we visited Port Arthur before heading up to Coles Bay for an overnight stay in the caravan park.

Download Google Earth KML file of Cape Pillar Track hike
Download kml file to view in Google Earth or adapt to use as a navigational aid in a GPS unit


Cape Pillar
Thursday Friday Saturday
25/12/2008 26/12/2008 27/12/2008
Fortescue Bay to Retakunna Creek Retakunna Creek to Cape Pillar and return Retakunna Creek to Fortescue Bay
Distance 13.2km 18.0km 7.3km
Moving Duration 3h46m 4h37m 1h29m
Stationary Duration 2h11m 2h30m 17m
Moving Average 3.5km/h 3.3km/h 4.8km/h
Overall Average 2.2km/h 2.5km/h 4.1km/h
Oodometer 124.7km 142.7km 150.0km

There is limited water available on the track. There was water in Retukunna Creek, but brackish. We filled up with water at Lunchtime Creek. There are no water tanks.

1 comment:

Serviced Apartments Guy said...

What a beautiful looking place, thanks for taking us through the ins and outs too, completely fascinating!

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