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A 5-day hiking tour along some of the icons of Tasmania's East Coast
Navigate the scenic Cape Freycinet isthmus on foot
Spend a day on the acclaimed Maria Island
Embark on two walks across the Three Capes Track
Keep an eye out for wildlife, including sea birds, kangaroos & wombats, as you walk
Spend each night in a comfortable bed for a good night's sleep
The services of an expert leader to join you each day of the walk
All accommodation: Hotel (1 Night), Motel (3 Nights)
Meals: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
Transport: Walking, Ferry, Private Vehicle
What to Expect
Maria Island and Freycinet National Park are jewels in Tasmania's already studded crown of coastal wonders. On this hiking adventure, you will be able to discover both and more of the East Coast's wild beauty.
From Launceston, spend four days hiking some of the southern state's best coastal walks, including part of the Three Capes Track, the Fossil Cliffs, and the awe-inspiring Wineglass Bay. With a knowledgeable leader joining you each step of the way, plus a selection of group dinners included in your itinerary, Tasmania's East Coast will no doubt delight in this active escape.
Where we visit
Day 1: Launceston
Welcome to Launceston! With a charming mixture of heritage buildings, a vibrant foodie scene and beautiful scenery just minutes from the city centre, Launceston is the perfect spot to start your journey.
If you arrive early in the day you'll have free time to explore on your own. Perhaps head to the Cataract Gorge and enjoy a slice of nature just a short walk from the city or discover one of the many museums on display here. If you get a chance to dine in Launceston – you won't regret it; it wasn't named a UNESCO city of gastronomy for nothing.
After a day to explore at your own will, meet your tour leader and group in the hotel lobby for a welcome meeting at 6:00 pm, where you'll discuss the plans for the next few days. Then, get to know each other over a group dinner and toast to your upcoming adventures.
Day 2: Launceston to Freycinet National Park & Swansea
This morning, you're in for a treat. Drive to Freycinet National Park – one of Australia's most renowned and picturesque regions. As you enter the park, the view over Coles Bay towards what's known as The Hazards Range is a sight to behold.
On arrival, lace up your walking shoes for a scenic 11.5-kilometre circuit walk that takes you to the iconic white sands of Wineglass Bay and the lesser-known but no less stunning Hazards Beach on the opposite side of the Freycinet Peninsula isthmus. It's best to have your camera at full charge today because the vistas are out of this world.
After your walk, perhaps enjoy an icy (refreshing) swim before driving toward the quaint coastal town of Swansea to relax for the evening. You might like to take a quiet stroll along the foreshore or stock up on supplies before joining your group and leader for a delicious dinner.
Transport: Private vehicle, & walking with a total distance of 11.5 km
Day 3: Swansea to Maria Island & Port Arthur
After breakfast, jump on a ferry bound for Maria Island. A natural wonder full of history, sweeping bays and rugged cliffs sitting off the coast of Tasmania, Maria Island is an ideal destination for hiking.
Walk across coastal plains, past reminders of settler history and along tracks that often have forester kangaroos and wombats lurking about. Climb the short, steep trail to Fossil Cliffs and marvel at the thousands of shellfish fossils embedded in the limestone formed millions of years ago. Visit the Painted Cliffs, formed from Triassic sandstone that showcases spectacular colouration from seeping groundwater and fantastic shapes sculpted by often fierce salt-laden winds.
Also, enjoy some time exploring Darlington township – with a fascinating history; this town was first established as a penal colony in 1825. Today the township is part of a wildlife sanctuary, while the whole island has been declared a National Park. You'll be lucky to spot Forester kangaroos, Cape Barren geese and the adorable waddling wombats from Flinders Island today.
After a short ferry ride back to the mainland, drive to Port Arthur – where you'll call home for the next two nights.
Transport: Private vehicle, & walking with a total distance of 12 km
Day 4: Port Arthur to Tasman Peninsula return
Fuel up on breakfast today before exploring Cape Raoul on one section of the Three Capes Track. First, you'll start inland, walking through the beautiful heath country this area is known for. Then, as you start getting closer to the coastline, you'll catch a glimpse of the spectacular dolerite cliffs that drop dramatically into the ocean below. As the trail heads east along the striking cliff tops, you'll descend onto the Cape Raoul plateau. Here, you'll be rewarded with views that take in the swirling seas, glimpses of the northern coastline and the incredible Cape Pillar (with its 300-metre-high cliffs) in the distance.
After some time to take it all in, you'll walk back to the bus before driving to Port Arthur for your final night of the trip. Enjoy a delicious dinner with your group and leader, and swap travel stories as you reminisce on the walks you've achieved over the past few days.
Transport: Private vehicle, & walking with a total distance of 14 km
Day 5: Port Arthur to Hobart
Your final walk on the Tasman Peninsula, also part of the Three Capes Track, is the Cape Huay walk. You'll head along the section of the Tasman Peninsula, with spectacular views greeting you along the way. Walk through a heathland full of wildflowers on undulating tracks until you hit the coastline.
The scenes of dolerite cliffs get increasingly pronounced as you near the narrow edge of the promontory – it's seriously incredible viewing. Stop by several vantage points to soak in the best of The Lanterns, Mitre Rock, The Candlestick and Totem Pole – the perfect walk to finish your adventure.
Today's walk is approximately 8 kilometres and includes over 2,500 steps, with one long, challenging descent (and ascent on return).
Afterwards, you'll make your way to Hobart (Nipaluna in the language of the Muwinina and Palawa peoples, who are the traditional owners of the land on which Hobart is now located), where the trip comes to an end.
Transport: Private vehicle, & walking with a total distance of 8 km
Tour departs from the meeting point at Hotel Grand Chancellor Launceston, 29 Cameron St, Launceston.
Frequently Asked Questions
This trip involves plenty of walking over varied terrain and is best suited to travellers with a good level of mobility. Good footwear, clothing for all types of Tasmanian weather, plus perhaps walking poles are recommended. Details on physical activities can be found in the itinerary.
There is no such thing as an 'easy day' on this tour. There are a lot of ups and downs, often quite rocky and uneven terrain. However, the walk has been designed to make it achievable to those with a reasonable amount of fitness by the fact that you only carry a daypack; and you start with short distances, working your way up to longer days and harder days. You will be surprised just how your fitness improves throughout the tour! A positive mental attitude is most important. If you focus on the scenery, the company and the moment, not on the kilometres, then you find yourself reaching your destination with little problem. If you have done some training prior to the walk, you will enjoy it all the more.
The best way to prepare physically for the trip is to walk, walk and walk some more – preferably on rocky and uneven surfaces and lots of stair walking. Try to walk frequently. Even walking around your suburb will get you walk-fit. By the start of your tour, you should be able to comfortably walk 12km and try and do a few 20km walks on rough tracks, as well as be fairly comfortable with steep up and downhill sections.
The Operator knows that this type of preparation is difficult to fit into a busy schedule. If you don't have the time to do long walks, they recommend doing regular stair walking sessions. Walking small distances frequently helps a lot as well. For instance, walking 3-5km four times a week, and 8km once a week, is a great help. If you're doing short training sessions, make sure you get yourself puffed and sweaty. Otherwise, you won't benefit from your efforts. Another good way to get your glutes, hamstrings and quads well prepared is with regular lunges and squats. Then, as you get closer to the walk, take it up a notch and do jumping squats. And start walking in the shoes you will wear on the walk now!
- Day-pack - with a thick waist strap to help take some weight off your shoulders. In wet weather, a waterproof cover or a bin bag to wrap your belongings in can be handy
- Shorts/long pants and shirts for walking - as many sets as you wish! Quick-dry material is best, especially for trousers. Don't wear jeans walking.
- Socks - whichever thickness you're comfortable walking in and as many pairs as you like
- Boots/shoes for walking (make sure you wear them in well)
- Windcheater or lightweight jumper for walking
- Waterproof jacket - you have to expect some bad weather at any time of the year, so bring wet weather gear even if the forecast is fine.
- Sun protection - hat (secure fitting and/or with chin strap), sun cream, sunglasses
- Casual clothes for evenings
- Fleece jacket, gloves, beanie and/or thermals (can get quite cold in the evenings and early mornings, depending on the time of year)
- Torch/headlamp (can be handy when twin sharing for getting up at night)
- Any preferred first aid supplies - such as your favourite blister treatment! (Your guide will carry a full first-aid kit)
- Water bottle/s or camelback - 2 to 3-litre capacity
- A lunch container (with freezer brick if desired) and/or Bees Wax wrap to use instead of the supplied glad wrap
- Waterproof pants. Some people love them, and some hate them - it's up to you
- Fly net (especially for walks in warmer weather)
- Camera and charger/batteries
- Gaiters for snake bite protection are recommended unless you are wearing long pants and long socks. They're also good for keeping sand out of your shoes.
- Sock protectors (to keep sand out of your boots)
- Robust sandals for wading/beach sections
- Bathers and a light towel - there are a few swimming opportunities
- A small towel to carry during the day
- Snacks and alcohol – there will be time to purchase more during the week if needed. Some people like to have some muesli bars, nuts, lollies etc
- Walking poles
- Seasickness tablets (the ferry ride is a mostly calm, 40 min ride, largely sheltered by Spring Bay and Maria Island. However, it can get lumpy in southerly conditions. While not recommended and usually not needed, if you have a history of seasickness, travelling with seasickness tablets may give you some peace of mind)
The itinerary covers mountainous areas, as well as coastal walks and with that comes a variety of climates. Tasmanian weather is typically hard to predict. In fact, the only thing The Operator can say for sure is that the weather will be unpredictable. Despite the fact you are going in summer, you need to be equipped for everything from icy winds to 30 degrees.
All meals are included unless indicated in the itinerary. Breakfast comprises cereal, fruit, yoghurt, toast and spreads with juice, tea and coffee. Lunch is self-made from supplied bread, salads and meats. Finally, you'll eat dinner at various local establishments close to, or at, the accommodation. Please let The Operator know of any dietary requirements.
Each day your guides provide morning tea whilst out on a walk, and fruit is available for snacks. You're welcome to bring additional snacks (e.g. muesli bars, nuts) if you feel you need them. There will be limited opportunities to purchase additional supplies and alcohol throughout the tour.
From vegetarians to pescatarians to meat-loving carnivores with an aversion to cucumbers, The Operator can cater for all dietary requirements and will make sure you are well-fed and looked after on tour. Please let them know if you have any dietary requirements.
This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2023 to 30 June 2024
The minimum age for this trip is 15 years
All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip
Travel insurance is compulsory on all trips for those travelling internationally
If you cancel some or all portions of your booking the cancellation terms set out below will apply. A cancellation will only be effective when we receive written confirmation that you have sent to your relevant sales representative of the cancellation. If you cancel a trip:
56 days or more prior to departure, The Operator will hold your deposit amount as a credit;
between 31 and 55 days prior to departure, The Operator charges a cancellation fee of 30% of the total booking cost;
between 30 and 15 days prior to departure, The Operator charges a cancellation fee of 60% of the total booking cost; or
14 days or fewer prior to departure, The Operator charges a cancellation fee of 100% of the booking cost.
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