Wednesday 28 November 2018

Free Capes Track

Recently we did the slack-packing trip down in Tasmania and you'll find tons of blog and self-proclaimed expert hikers who give you all kinds of tips for this indulgence. Basically you have three major options on how to do the trip:
  • Glamping - around 3k AUD
  • Slack-Packing - roughly 500 AUD
  • Old-School Camping - free (besides the park pass) 
Now I don't want to bore you with yet another insta-blurb or re-written track-notes, so I'll quickly run down some pro-tips on the slack-packing option and then go into the free old-school version.


  • Day 1 - Port Arthur to Surveyors Hut
    This day is short so load up fresh food, booze and steak. Don't worry about a hangover, because day two can be endured with it.
  • Day 2 - Surveyors Hut to Munro Hut
    About an hour before you hit the hut, you literally get to the junction which is only 10 minutes away from the Retakunna  Hut (Night 3 accommodation). Stash some critter-proof packed food & drinks for evening number 3 and save yourself carrying some stuff for 2 more hours.
  • Day 3 - Munro Hut - Cape Pillar - Retakunna Hut
    Since this is the main event, you want to be down there in good weather ... if possible. Get the latest forecast from the ranger. You can pick up some phone reception near the loos / helipad. We left the hut at 11 am with a baby which left plenty of time for an easy walk, breaks, taking pictures and getting to the last hut.
  • Day 4 - Retakunna Hut to Fortescue Bay
    There's a BBQ at the end of the track ... steaks and beer ... just a thought. There are also showers in case you feel like one.

Free Capes Track

First of all the current Three Capes Track is false advertising: Cape Raoul is still missing in the itinerary. As of end of 2018 the tracks around there have been upgraded which means you can do it as a day-walk however the huts haven't been constructed yet. From what I gathered the development of this section is still on the cards. For now it's a day hike which you can just google > here's a tour-description on the Alpine Club Portal.

3CT development map from 2012

That's one cape down, on to the next one. If you google Cape Pillar and camping you'll get a bunch of conflicting information. This is what's actually happening:

  • Yes you can go camping, 
  • No, nobody forces you to do one of the paid trips
  • Yes you can camp in other spots than the Wughalee Falls. Just get in touch with the rangers.

So there is free version of the Three Capes Track which can be done in two to three days using the Wughalee Falls Campsite. This is an easy hike which let's you experience one of Tasmania's crown jewels without forking out a lot of cash AND big plus: You can pick a good weather window! Now you can do this as one epic day however this is more of a trailrun than a hike. Maybe if you want to take it all in, this is not the best choice.

Two-Day option:
Go to the campsite first, drop your packs, do Cape Pillar and return to the camp for the night. The next day do Cape Hauy and return to Fortescue Bay

Three-Day option:
Go to the campsite and stay the night. On day two travel light, do Cape Pillar and come back to camp for the second night. The next day do Cape Hauy and return to Fortescue Bay

My recommendation is to do it in three days and load up on good food > you don't have to carry it far anyway and if you suffer from FOMO because you'll miss day one and two of the 3CT, don't beat yourself up. Day one is barely worth mentioning (4km) and day two isn't that great compared to what you're doing. However there is an option to access these parts of the track as well, if you're really keen.

You'll find the complete description including a GPS file on Alpenvereinaktiv: 

... and here are some pics from our trip.

Enjoy & Cheers


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