Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Another Attempt at an Extended Hike

By Jen.

After Freycinet, we decided to hit up Maria Island. But, we decided that we must update our camping supplies before we did that. Last retirement in North America, we felt like we missed out on some really awesome sights because we didn’t have camping gear to go on overnight hikes. So, this time around, we made sure to have some basics. We received a lot on loan from a generous friend at work, but I was still missing a sleeping bag and we didn’t have a camp dining set. Plus, the sleeping pad I picked up from Amazon on a lightning Black Friday deal was terrible. Since Tasmania seems to have an abundance of these hikes, instead of heading directly to Maria Island, we headed towards Hobart to find an outdoor store. After visiting several shops to find exactly what we wanted, we were mostly set, and made our way back to Triabunna to catch the (person) ferry to Maria Island. However, the ferry people hadn’t responded to my email yet and so I tried calling them. To save money, I tried calling on wifi, but the connection wasn’t good enough. Irritated, I called by the cellular network, and was told to call back because they were on the line with someone else. After several minutes, I called back and was told to hold again, so I hung up. As you can imagine, by this point I was annoyed and stressed. At the next time, I called, she took my call, but told me the ferry was booked for the next day and I wouldn’t be able to get on until the day after next. With this delay and since arranging the trip to Maria Island was stressing me out, we decided to skip it and instead head to the Tasman Peninsula.

cute birds

These cute birds were swarming the campground we were at in Richmond. So cute! It is a Pink Galah.


Oldest historic working bridge in Australia. Located in Richmond.

In the Tasman National Park, there is another multi-day hike to Cape Pillar, which is supposed to be really good. The most known route is a really cool Three Capes Experience walk that visits all 3 capes on the peninsula and includes a small ocean cruise, pickup from finish, and you get to stay in nice rooms every night. But, since we are cheapwads, we wanted to hike it for free. There is an option to do so. In theory, if you are really fit, you can do a 28km day trip, but I knew that was out of the question for me. The alternative is to use the Wughalee Falls campground and turn it into a 2 or 3 day overnight trip. We chose to make it a 3-day trip and do a circuit, returning by Cape Hauy. We hoped this time we could actually do the whole trip without turning back and not finishing. Fortunately, this 3-day hike is set up a bit more manageably, as your first day is only 7-8km with a pack. Then you can leave your pack with your tent at the camp, and make the trip to Cape Pillar (map says 14km, someone’s GPS showed 20km) without a pack and only light provisions. However, the last leg is a bit harder. We forgot to record the map and thought the last leg was a bit shorter, but it turns out that it is 17km (with a pack).


Fortescue Bay Beach.

It started off pretty well, but then I realized I had forgotten to tape my knee before we left. Not good, but nothing I could do about it until we camped that night. We arrived early in the day at the camp, feeling well, except for my knee, which was killing me, especially because the last 850m had been a torturous and slippery downhill (the steepest part of the whole walk). Downhills are especially hard on my knee, and without the tape, I was really struggling. We rested the rest of the day and met a nice couple that we talked to for a couple of hours. The next day, we successfully made it all the way to cape without too much pain or problems. But on the way back, the distance started wearing on me, especially on my feet this time. But, we made it back to camp with no problem. On the last leg, Jonathan wanted to return the way we came with a short 8km walk, but I (with my what’s-around-the-next-corner attitude) wanted to take the long way back and hit up Cape Hauy, as I didn’t think we would get around to it otherwise. As I mentioned though, we weren’t sure how long it was. After checking our internet history, all we knew was that it was less than 17km. We figured we go to the Three Capes hut and ask the ranger there about the track. But, when we arrived, the ranger had already left. Figuring that the cushy Three-Capes walkers could handle the walk, we decided to press on. However, it was a bit steeper than we expected, and longer. We did make it, but we decided to skip the spur that actually lead to the edge of the cape. I am calling it mostly a success!


They have huge ants here!


Tasman Island off of Cape Pillar’s Blade.


Seal Colony off of Tasman Island.




This cape has the tallest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere. These are made of dolomite rock.



Next day, to “rest” before we left the campground, I wanted to go out on the kayak in the bay. It turned out to be a bit longer of kayak than I planned as well. In fact, I think we are accidentally developing an active lifestyle. We did about 40 km of walking/hiking in 3 days followed by 7kms of kayaking the next day. We still aren’t up to the level of most bushwalking Australians, though. Did we mention bushwalking (basically hiking) is a national pastime here, and they take it seriously. All their signs are posted for a brisk pace without stopping. We typically have to add an hour to any of the posted estimates. Anyways, after kayaking we made our way out of the peninsula, but not before stopping at the “unzoo” to see some Tasmanian devils!


Sunk for fish.



Tasmanian Devils. Apparently they are totally just scavengers, but eat the entire carcass, bone and everything!




Joey action with some Forester Kangaroos at the Unzoo.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Island views and cliffs..."endless beauty&adventure". Love Aunt Nancy