Three Capes Track
Traverse Australia’s highest coastal cliffs on this custom-made four-day walk.
Follow the boardwalks to discover the craggy coastal vistas of Tasmania’s stunning south edge. With Storm Bay to the west of you, and the Tasman Sea to the east, you can be assured of getting those cobwebs well and truly blown away!
Each day you’ll set off to your next purpose-designed eco-cabin, where you can relax on a comfy mattress, charge your phone and chat with your fellow hikers in the communal rooms.
This is an ideal hike for those who are not ready, or maybe want a rest from, carrying everything on their back: here, the stoves and mattresses await you! There’s even a shower on the second night.
It’s a trail that sees you enjoying time on a ferry, hiking along cliff edges, breathing that salty sea air and being in awe at where you are: the (almost) most southerly point of Australia. And as you hike, you’ll be reminded to remember those who came before you, generations and generations ago.
Get ready for
- Stunning sunrises over the Tasman Sea
- Australia’s highest sea cliffs; standing at ‘nature’s edge’ with sheer vertical drops to the sea
- A wide variety of landscapes from dense eucalypt forests to expansive heathland
- Dramatic ocean views and calm bays
- Spectacular architecturally designed, environmentally sensitive cabins
- Cooking equipment, heating, water, eating areas and panoramic decks
Our Independent Adventures range begins with trip departures from 4th January 2021
On the trail
Underfoot the track is mostly wooden boardwalk, crushed stone or compact dirt paths, or stone steps. There is nothing technical about the track, however the walk out to The Blade at Cape Pillar involves climbing over narrow stone steps which can be a little harrowing for some, especially if there’s a strong southerly! The highest climb is Mt Fortescue at around 500 metres.
Three Capes Track
The Three Capes Track is a structured 4-day walk where your cabin accommodation is pre-booked cabin accommodation.
Hikers start at Port Arthur, with the official end to the hike at Fortescue Bay and a bus transfer (provided) back to the finish at Port Arthur. There are two set times to catch the ferry from Port Arthur to Denmans Cove, where you start walking to reach your first cabin. The first day’s walk is only two hours, so you can take your time and really take in the surrounding vistas.
You don’t have to stay in Port Arthur as the ferry leaves late enough to be able to commute from Hobart to catch it.
There are sections such as the hike out to The Blade at Cape Pillar that, while highly recommended, are not necessary to complete the Three Capes Track.
Your journey begins, not by walking, but by a delightful 1.15 hour eco-cruise from Port Arthur to Denmans Cove. Taking in some stunning views of Cape Raoul, be sure to keep an eye out for a possible dolphin escort or maybe even a bit of whale spotting. Today’s walk is a relatively short one through eucalypt forest to your first overnight stop, Surveyors cabin. After settling in, relax on the deck and take in the stunning views of nature at its best.
Visit Port Arthur Historic Site
Variety is the name of the game today. It’s only 11km today with just a couple of short inclines so make sure you take your time and take in the breathtaking surrounds as you start to experience the dramatic cliffs that this walk is famous for. Your walk will take you through beautiful heathland and moorlands as you enjoy some stunning coastal views from the top of Arthur’s Peak and Crescent Mountain before arriving at your overnight stop of Munro Cabin and your only chance for a refreshing shower. If you still have the energy there’s some short walks you can do from here after arriving.
If it is dramatic scenery you’re looking for then today has it in spades, a worthy reward for the longer days walk today. The day begins with just a daypack as you venture out to the aptly named rock cliffs known as The Blade at Cape Pillar. With sheer drops down to the stormy seas below, you’ll feel like you’re at the end of the world! Returning to Munro to collect your main packs, your walk continues on through undulating heathland and forests before arriving at your destination for the night, Retakunna cabin. Spend the evening pondering the days adventures while looking at tomorrow’s challenge, Mount Fortescue.
Although not the longest walking day, today is perhaps the most challenging, but not without its rewards. While Mt Fortescue, at an elevation of around 500 metres, is no Everest, the stair climb through beautiful rainforest to the summit to start your day will have you feeling like you’ve had a decent workout. At the top, you will be afforded wonderful views of the previous days walk to Cape Pillar. From here it’s mostly downhill to the junction for Cape Huay where you can again leave your big bags for the 1-2 hour return trip out to the Cape. Then back to Fortescue Bay where it’s possible for the brave to have a bracing swim before catching the shuttle back to Port Arthur to finish your Three Capes adventure.
1) Cape Raoul
2) Bivouac Bay
3) Waterfall Bay
Three Capes Track
Duration: 4 days/3 nights
Route type: Circuit walk
Start: Port Arthur Historic Site
End: Port Arthur Historic Site
Location: Tasman Peninsula
Closest town: Port Arthur (Hobart 1.5 hours away)
- Our detailed guide to hiking the 3 Cape Track – contains all the essential information you need to know in advance
- 4 days worth of food for your adventure; breakfast, lunch and dinner each day – delivered straight to your home
- Our own range of Lightweight, highly nutritious meals that are locally sourced, delicious and easy to carry & cook ( freeze dried and dehydrated)
- Entry to Port Arthur Historic Site (valid for 2 years), car parking and secure lockers
- Pennicott Wilderness Journey cruise departing Port Arthur twice daily
- 3 nights self-catered accommodation in cabins on track
- Bus transfer from Fortescue Bay back to Port Arthur Historic Site twice daily
- “Encounters on the Edge” guide book with maps
- Our ‘state of the art’ Navigation app to guide you on the track; showing huts, campsites and all points of Interest along the way
- Delivery to your door* of our ‘Adventure in a box’ food parcel
- We can also arrange services such as pre- and post – trip accommodation at additional cost (see FAQ’s)
- 10% GST included
* Additional $35 food delivery charge for any locations in NT, WA and Northern Queensland
- Trailhead transfers or transport to Port Arthur
- Any equipment required
Our essential information guides give you everything you need to know – and none of the information you don’t – to prepare well for one of these hikes. We cover off all transport and transfers with contacts, full equipment lists tailored to each walk, and safety factors to consider that can be unique to each track. We give you the information you need to know about water and where the best accommodation is before and after your trip, plus overviews of Aboriginal & European history and wildlife you can expect to encounter.
It saves countless hours of trawling through websites, guidebooks and forums to get to the essential information you need to know, so you don’t forget to factor in anything for your adventure.
Finding your way
Our unique RAW Travel walking app has been designed to help you navigate easily on the trail. Simply download your map with the link we send you and you’ll be able to follow your route with ease, showing your location in real time without any internet connection needed. The app has many great features; it shows you weather forecasts localised for each of your overnight stops, detailed information on each campsite/ hut and what facilities are available there so you don’t need to carry our trail guide. There are important reminders, safety information, videos and emergency contact information for your route. It also has a unique audio feature that can tell you about places and points of interest as you approach them on the trail.
Need to Know
While the walking is relatively moderate and suitable for families, there are some narrow, rocky ledges to negotiate as well as short up and down bursts and reasonably long days walking so a certain level of fitness and agility is still required. The path itself consists of wooden boardwalks, level gravel paths and stone steps.
There are a number of outdoor gear hire companies in Tasmania who can help outfit you with equipment for the Three Capes Track. Details are given in our information guide.
If you are travelling to Tasmania with the main purpose of hiking the Three Capes Track, we recommend you fly into Hobart. Port Arthur is 1.5-hour drive away. The ferry departs Port Arthur late morning and early afternoon to Denmans Cove. You can either transit from Hobart or you can overnight in Port Arthur.
Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia service Tasmania, with the main airports located at Launceston and Hobart.
Flying into Tasmania on one airline and out on another can be a cheaper option. Check all airlines when making your bookings – you may be surprised with the options available.
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, Gray Line and Tassielink all offer bus transfers to/from Hobart and Port Arthur. They depart Hobart in the morning and return in the afternoon with services timed to meet the ferry. There is one service per day to/from Hobart airport with each operator.
- Hobart to Port Arthur – 95km (1.5-hour drive)
Due to the ease of public transport down to Port Arthur, it’s not recommended to get a hire car to get to Port Arthur, as you will have four days with it sitting idle. If you wish to do extra walks around the Tasman Peninsula that require a car to get to, you will need to return to Hobart to collect a car.
If you still wish to rent a car beforehand or you are local and wish to drive yourself, there is a long-term car park free for registered Three Capes Track walkers at Port Arthur, about 500 metres from the Visitor Information Centre. You will need to register your car with your licence number on check-in.
Independent adventures place you at the centre of the experience, giving you the confidence to be a self-reliant walker on the trail. We take care of the research needed and give you all the essential information relating to the trip ( a task that seasoned walkers can tell you often takes many hours to get the correct information) so you can be thoroughly prepared and confident that you have everything you need for your adventure. We give you all the contacts & details to nearby transportation, accommodation and hire services, highlight any risks to be aware of and how to mitigate them.
The food prep is a major hassle of many hikers trips and we solve that for you. We prepare all the food that you need for your trip, all pre-measured and dehydrated / freeze dried to take away the weight but keep the freshness. Our meals are reviewed by Nutritionists to provide the right daily nutrition and energy for your demands of the walk. And our ingredients are prepared from the best local ingredients here on the Mornington Peninsula, cooked to order and freeze dried fresh – not sitting on a shelf for years at a time!
Once you arrive at the trail it’s all over to you the adventure begins! You are free and independent to create your own experience the way you want it. We provide you with an app to help you navigate in real time on the trail and give you the campsite locations and points of interest but you are completely autonomous & self – supporting on the walk. These trips are best suited to people who relish that sense of liberation and freedom that comes with being self-reliant and don’t need the back up of a leader or group travel. Independent Adventures are different from our other self – guided walking trips as there are no briefings, transfers or local support from RAW Travel staff. It’s just you and nature out on the trail!
Yes, this is a relatively safe walk for solo hikers as it’s a well formed track with other hikers around and rangers at the cabins. Opened in 2015, the walk is custom made and carefully designed for independent walkers, so the track is in good condition and easy to follow.
The Three Capes Track has been specifically designed with cabin accommodation. These are very comfortable, yet basic, cabins equipped with kitchens, dining areas and social areas. Rangers are at each cabin to answer any questions you may have as well as to provide the next day’s outline.
Rooms are either four berth bunk rooms or eight berth bunk rooms with a divider, meaning it’s basically two rooms of four. Mattresses are thick and comfortable but there is no linen so you will need to bring a good sleeping bag with you. Inflatable pillows are also highly recommended and light to carry. There are outdoor showers at Munro cabin only (end of day two).
The communal areas of cabins are heated and while the sleeping rooms are unheated, they are reasonably well-insulated.
The warmer months are more popular, but the offseason provides some definite bonuses for the adventurous. Make no mistake, however, you will be about as far south as you can get before you reach Antarctica — so expect to get chilly, or downright cold, at some stage of your walk, no matter what the season.
Weather conditions on the Three Capes Track can be changeable and unpredictable throughout the year. Come prepared (and expecting sun, pelting rain, howling wind and even snow) and you will enjoy it. Remember a coastal environment = cooler temperatures so be prepared for chilly nights with an insulated sleeping bag. You need to be fully equipped to withstand very cold and wet weather with extreme wind chill in exposed areas. Wearing gaiters does help to protect your feet and boots against heavy rain.
On the plus side, because the Three Capes Track has water on three sides, it means a maritime climate that provides moderate temperatures compared to other parts of Tasmania and so Winter walking is possible and not a bad option. Daytime maximum temperatures average 16-19°C in summer and 10-12°C in winter.
Social and environmental
All our adventures are fully carbon offset so that you know your travel has minimal impacts. Hiking itself is a low impact activity but we offset the cost of all our office operations and food production as well, so you can be satisfied that you have chosen a form of travel that is both good for you and good for the planet. Each year we also plant trees on behalf of every customer who has travelled with us, aiming to build towards a carbon positive effect with our operations.
As a B-Corp a focus on local community is an important part of who we are. We are committed to buying locally and source our produce from growers here on the Mornington Peninsula. We care about people in our community and for every meal pack you buy with us we donate a meal to a homeless support charity, to spread some love and share good food with those who need it most.
TRIP date selection
when would you like to travel?
Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed