Itinerary: A full summer in Tasmania

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Itinerary: A full summer in Tasmania

Postby tom_b » Tue 06 Feb, 2018 8:11 pm

Hi guys,

I am planning on spending at least all of December 2018 - January 2019 in Tasmania (with the main intention of spending as few days as possible in towns) and was looking at putting a list together of all the hikes I should do. I was thinking of landing in Launceston and doing the following in that order:

Bay of Fires Lodge Walk – 20k
Freycinet – 31k
Three Capes Walk - 135k
Walls of Jerusalem – 34.3k
Overland Track – 80k
Frenchmans Cap – 46k
Mt Anne – 15k
South West Grand Tour – 282k
Includes: Southern Ranges, South Coast Track, South West Cape, Port Davey Track, Western Arthur Range, Federation Peak, Farmhouse Creek

I have not walked in Tasmania so I am aware of the very slow progress and reputation it has deservedly earned as being much more dangerous and difficult than elsewhere. However it is not economically/time efficient for me to return to Tassie one trip at a time.

I finished walking the Te Araroa (South Island) in January and walked the AAWT the summer before that. I know this is not as 'technical' as Tasmania but I think I am well enough prepared to go and give Tasmania a serious crack. I have significant off track experience in terms of 24hr rogaines etc.

The only big thing I can see I have missed is the South West Coast but I don't feel particularly inclined to do it at this stage.

What other walks should I do (or not do)? And any other advice in terms of getting from one track to another? It seems that this may be the hardest part!

I have loved reading all the trip reports about Tas on here so looking forward to getting down there myself!

Tom
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Re: Itinerary: A full summer in Tasmania

Postby north-north-west » Wed 07 Feb, 2018 7:49 am

tom_b wrote:Three Capes Walk - 135k

Is it really that far? Given that it is currently - and for some time yet - still just a Two Capes Track that can be done in two days, the distance seems a bit much.

There are a few private commercial operators around for transport (Tasmanian Adventure Shuttles - Greg Kingston - 0407 654 554 - E: TASshuttles@bigpond.com W: www.tasmanianadventureshuttles.com is one, but there are others although not cheap), plus it's often possible to organise lifts from forum members. Buses will help for some of it - Tassielink between Cynthia Bay and Frenchmans trackhead, for instance - but mostly you'll be relying on private transport. And making sure it's available exactly when you need it is going tot be tricky. Either you have to create a strict schedule right from the start and stick to it - which will mean walking through some vile conditions at times - or have someone on call ready to come and get you at short notice. Some connecting sections it's easy to hitch, others it's more problematic.

With regard to the Overland - do as many sidetrips as possible. If you're a competent navigator, the DuCane traverse is a good addition. There are tracks to Barn Bluff, Pelion West, Oakleigh, Pillinger ( a bit circuitous but still doable from New Pelion). Pelion East and Ossa, plus those available from Pine Valley (Acropolis and Labyrinth, which is the start of the DuCane route), Lake Marion, Gould Plateau. Plus the Rufus/Hugel or at least Rufus/Shadow Lake circuit out of Cynthia Bay.

Anne circuit should also be considered, instead of just Anne as an up and back.

There's a massive variation in difficulty in what you've chosen. The East coast stuff is all easy, very good tracks, and will be very, very crowded (especially Freycinet). Once you get into the mountains it gets a lot harder. Southern Range and South West Cape are mostly overgrown pads rather than tracks, once you get beyond the first stage or two. And you'll need to have a food drop delivered to Melaleuca to cover the second part of the 'Grand Tour'.
That is also an area where you need to be prepared to wait out bad weather - it gets very, very nasty down there very, very easily.

You could consider the Tarkine Coast walk - from Pieman Heads to Temma - as well. Glorious coastline, much wilder than anything on the east. Only downside is the bogan 4WD element from Sandy Cape northwards over summer school holiday period. Actually possible to walk a lot further up the coast, just following headlands, beaches and rough vehicle tracks. A lot further south too - down to Trial Harbour via Conical, Four Mile, Top Farm & Climies, then on to the Little Henty. Better than the South Coast Track, in my opinion, but you need at least part of the SCT to connect your routes, and for someone without a car hitching is your best option for transport.
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Re: Itinerary: A full summer in Tasmania

Postby nicktobin » Wed 07 Feb, 2018 8:28 am

south coast and port davey are awesome , in terms of mud think stewart island if you did that as part of your NZ trip , lots of tree roots and mud at points
3 capes is very pretty but a major highway , not a stone or tree root in the entire track im pretty sure it was about 45ish km though
cant comment on the arthurs ( we are doing that in march ) but the only bit that would be hard if your by yourself is rowing accross bathurst harbour , boat is heavy and would be a pain to do by yourself ( the campiste there is an absolute cracker though )
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Re: Itinerary: A full summer in Tasmania

Postby tom_b » Wed 07 Feb, 2018 1:56 pm

Yeah sorry I made a mistake! 45k. I was rushing my bad. Walking the Tarkine Coast looks awesome NNW.

What is the hitching culture like in Tasmania?

In NZ it was mostly very easy. I got 25+ hitches around and never paid for a bus, or waited 3+hrs for a lift. On the other hand I have also been warned that hitching is much less common in Australia and is considerably harder.
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Re: Itinerary: A full summer in Tasmania

Postby north-north-west » Wed 07 Feb, 2018 2:13 pm

I think like most places, hitching varies in Tassie. I've done it a few times here and never had any trouble either getting rides or with people who've stopped. I'll also give a ride to one or two whenever practical. But it isn't always like that for everyone. There can be issues, of course, but people are mostly reasonably decent.

UnZud was awesome like that. I recall being invited to stay with people numerous times and it was considered the norm - and it was genuine, no attempt to take advantage, just people being really friendly and helpful. Some roads are easier to get rides on, others have less traffic or just generally warier drivers.
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Re: Itinerary: A full summer in Tasmania

Postby DylanT » Sat 26 Jan, 2019 12:52 pm

hello !.Did you end up doing the South West Grand Tour? if so how long did it end up taking you overall? any tips ? :)
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Re: Itinerary: A full summer in Tasmania

Postby tom_b » Sun 03 Feb, 2019 7:16 pm

Hi Dylan,

I finished everything on the trip except the SWGT due to bushfires! But I plan to go back. I had a food drop placed but it got singed haha.

In terms of hitching I found Tassie to be much much slower than on the mainland and NZ. Many more cars passed on average.

Tom
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