Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

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Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby Tortoise » Wed 16 Dec, 2015 1:10 pm

Pretty good news - the only restriction is the direction of walking. Might only fit those 6 tents though...

Opening date yet to be confirmed - possibly 23rd Dec.

No extra fee apart from your parks pass - at this stage anyway. Just crowds. :( Still, walking early or late in the day would probably help that.

The Cape Pillar Inland Track to the 4-ways junction will be open, new track to Cape Pillar, Mt Fortescue track and Cape Hauy track will also be open to independent walkers.

You will be able to walk to Cape Pillar via the inland track, camp at the Wughalee Falls site (upgraded, tent platforms and toilet facility), and walk back out either via the inland track, or over Mt Fortescue and Cape Hauy track. You will not be able to access Cape Pillar via Cape Hauy and Mt Fortescue Tracks, the direction of walker traffic is south to north on the Mt Fortescue track only. Basically you will be able to do the circuit in an anti-clockwise direction.

The cost to do the track is whatever National Parks pass you choose, starting at $24 for 24 hours, and up to $123 for a 2 year all-parks pass. There are no bookings necessary at this stage, and no extra fee to do the track, it is covered by your parks pass.

Water should (subject to weather conditions and walker numbers) be available at Retakunna Creek next to the Wughalee Falls camp site, also a small water tank at Wughallee Falls camp site, and the new track passes over Lunchtime Creek. Please prepare for the worst, as water supply can be unreliable due to numerous reasons. All track water is subject to local habitat contamination and should be treated or boiled for a minimum of 3 minutes.

Hope this helps.

Kind Regards,

Matt Stapenell
Fortescue Bay Caretaker
Fortescue Bay Camping Grounds
Tasman National Park

Phone - (03) 6250 2433
Fax - (03) 6250 2961
fortescue.fortescuebay@parks.tas.gov.au
Last edited by Tortoise on Wed 16 Dec, 2015 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby DanShell » Wed 16 Dec, 2015 1:17 pm

That's great news. I might jump at it before they change the rules!
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby north-north-west » Wed 16 Dec, 2015 1:25 pm

So there's no camping beyond Wughalee Falls? Not at Tornado Ridge, not at Lunchtime Creek, nor Hurricane Heath, nor Perdition Ponds. Sod that for a lark.
And are they actually going to enforce that? Check everyone with a full pack south of the Falls to see if they are paying customers and, if not, turn them around?

Way to screw up a good place, you *********s. :x
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby Tortoise » Wed 16 Dec, 2015 2:02 pm

Ah yes, that's pretty restrictive. I did like the no fee and no booking aspect, as I thought we were going to have to pay extra.

Yes the Wughalee falls campsite, I believe there are 6 platforms, but im sure there are other spots within the designated camping area, it was the original retakunna ck camp site.


As you say, though, they're hardly going to be having an manned check point. Some people like to carry lots of emergency stuff if they're going to be coming back all that way in the dark from a sunset photo shoot at the Cape...

Edit again:
It's a bummer re the phytophthora down that way - I wonder if that had any influence. Might have just been convenient.
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby stepbystep » Wed 16 Dec, 2015 2:39 pm

Best not make assumptions nnw. No you won't be able to camp at the hut sites or on the side of the track, a little bird tells me free camping within the park will be fine. Perdition Ponds is being rehabbed after being trashed for many years. Shhhhh.....
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby north-north-west » Wed 16 Dec, 2015 4:32 pm

Only going on the implication of the information in that message. One can always find somewhere to pitch and I agree that perdition Ponds needs rehabbing (although I never camped there - always prefered Hurricane Heath) but one can only work on public information.
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby DanShell » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 10:00 am

Sorry for going a little off topic but is it possible to walk to Wughalee Falls camp site from Fortescue Bay via the inland track, set up camp and then go to Cape Pillar and back on Day 1 and walk back to Fortescue Bay via Cape Hauy on Day 2?
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby stepbystep » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 11:04 am

DanShell wrote:...is it possible to walk to Wughalee Falls camp site from Fortescue Bay via the inland track, set up camp and then go to Cape Pillar and back on Day 1 and walk back to Fortescue Bay via Cape Hauy on Day 2?


That's exactly what PWS advocate for independent walkers I believe.
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby DanShell » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 11:07 am

stepbystep wrote:
DanShell wrote:...is it possible to walk to Wughalee Falls camp site from Fortescue Bay via the inland track, set up camp and then go to Cape Pillar and back on Day 1 and walk back to Fortescue Bay via Cape Hauy on Day 2?


That's exactly what PWS advocate for independent walkers I believe.


Yes but I didn't want to be rushed. Ive just checked some distances and it appears to be around 24 kays day 1 and 17 or so day 2 so it should be ok especially as we will go down to Pillar without packs. I have some spare time between xmas and new year so even though it will be busy down there I want to get it done before Parks change their mind. Ill never pay $500 to do it.
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby stepbystep » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 11:13 am

Why not stay two nights?
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby DanShell » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 11:17 am

stepbystep wrote:Why not stay two nights?


We are trying too however we also want to take the camper up the coast and spend some relaxing days in the sun as well so we are trying to balance the two......walking vs relaxing :P
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby Thornbill » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 11:23 am

stepbystep wrote:Perdition Ponds is being rehabbed after being trashed for many years. Shhhhh.....


Oh good. I love Perdition Ponds. One of my first ever overnight walks 3 of us spent a night out there crammed into a 2 man tent in a howling gale wondering if the tent was up to it. I does need a bit of a re-vamp though.
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby devoswitch » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 1:19 pm

Having to do this circuit now kind of pushes it out o reach for a big day walk... I was wanting to just walk in an out via the inland track but am I now going to be marched back and put on the other track for the way back?
Is this now open on weekdays and not just the weekends?
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby north-north-west » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 1:52 pm

DanShell wrote:Sorry for going a little off topic but is it possible to walk to Wughalee Falls camp site from Fortescue Bay via the inland track, set up camp and then go to Cape Pillar and back on Day 1 and walk back to Fortescue Bay via Cape Hauy on Day 2?

I've done that with a camp at Lunchtime Ck - and actually packed up camp and walked all the way back out, finishing a bit after sunset, mid autumn. It's a bit rushed, really. Wughalee isn't all that far in. You don't have time to really explore the Cape.
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby Tortoise » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 1:58 pm

devoswitch wrote:Having to do this circuit now kind of pushes it out o reach for a big day walk... I was wanting to just walk in an out via the inland track but am I now going to be marched back and put on the other track for the way back?
Is this now open on weekdays and not just the weekends?

I don't think it's a problem to walk out the same way - we're just not supposed to walk the Cape Hauy/Mt Fortescue track in the opposite direction from the hordes.

I think the weekend restriction is until the track is officially open - possibly on the 23rd Dec.
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby stepbystep » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 2:06 pm

Tortoise wrote:
devoswitch wrote:Having to do this circuit now kind of pushes it out o reach for a big day walk... I was wanting to just walk in an out via the inland track but am I now going to be marched back and put on the other track for the way back?
Is this now open on weekdays and not just the weekends?

I don't think it's a problem to walk out the same way - we're just not supposed to walk the Cape Hauy/Mt Fortescue track in the opposite direction from the hordes.

I think the weekend restriction is until the track is officially open - possibly on the 23rd Dec.


Correct on both counts. Weekend restriction was all about OH&S. The entire area is a work site.
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby MrWalker » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 4:22 pm

I'm not convinced this one-way idea is going to work.

If someone wants to do a day walk to Mt Fortescue then they are probably going to go via the new track rather than the old one, so they will going the wrong direction from the Cape Huay junction to Mt Fortescue, which is most of that section. In fact day walkers will wander all over the place and there will be no way to stop them.

They previously said the old track direct from Fortescue Bay would not be maintained, but now you must use that on the outward leg. This means they will have to maintain that track, or the less experienced walkers will all go via the new track sections rather than use a non-maintained track.
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby devoswitch » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 5:46 pm

Tortoise wrote:I don't think it's a problem to walk out the same way - we're just not supposed to walk the Cape Hauy/Mt Fortescue track in the opposite direction from the hordes.

I think the weekend restriction is until the track is officially open - possibly on the 23rd Dec.

Thanks for that. Bummer was kind of hoping to do it tomorrow.. Such beautiful weather
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby DanShell » Thu 17 Dec, 2015 11:46 pm

north-north-west wrote:I've done that with a camp at Lunchtime Ck - and actually packed up camp and walked all the way back out, finishing a bit after sunset, mid autumn. It's a bit rushed, really. Wughalee isn't all that far in. You don't have time to really explore the Cape.


Thanks I am thinking along these lines as well.
We are now going to get a late start on day 1 but still walk into Wughalee and spend the night.
Then we will have all day 2 to look down at Cape Pillar. We will then walk out on day 3.

This will still give us time to get back home, hook up the camper and spend a few days relaxing in our secret squirrel location away from crowds ;)
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby north-north-west » Fri 18 Dec, 2015 6:46 am

Good idea. It also gives you time to follow the new track over Arthurs peak and up to Denmans Bay. Views on Arthurs are great and the rest of that section is worth visiting. Although I'd steer a wide berth around the city at Surveyors Bay. :(
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby tastrekker » Sat 16 Jan, 2016 8:14 am

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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby bumpingbill » Sat 16 Jan, 2016 9:55 am



Really good post. Very interesting. Thanks!
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby Thornbill » Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:18 am

Thanks for the info and pics. The campsite at Wughalee Falls isn't exactly the greatest, but at least they've made a bit of an effort with platforms and a toilet.

I had no idea that the new track bypasses this campsite. At least that's what it looks like from the maps? So to access the camp its a walk in and out off the main track? In that case, is the old track still open? The campsite was on the route up to Mt Fortescue. I wonder if I could walk from the camp up to Mt Fortescue on the old track to meet the new one, rather than having to double back?
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby DanShell » Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:21 am

Thornbill wrote:Thanks for the info and pics. The campsite at Wughalee Falls isn't exactly the greatest, but at least they've made a bit of an effort with platforms and a toilet.

I had no idea that the new track bypasses this campsite. At least that's what it looks like from the maps? So to access the camp its a walk in and out off the main track? In that case, is the old track still open? The campsite was on the route up to Mt Fortescue. I wonder if I could walk from the camp up to Mt Fortescue on the old track to meet the new one, rather than having to double back?



Correct the track now bypasses so you have to drop down into the camp site and walk back out each day. They have made an effort to put old limbs etc over the old track to stop people using it but it wouldn't take too much to find your way on the old track if you wanted too. The new track however is like a national highway and you get to walk through one of the new villages they have built ;)
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby Thornbill » Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:26 am

DanShell wrote:They have made an effort to put old limbs etc over the old track to stop people using it but it wouldn't take too much to find your way on the old track if you wanted too. The new track however is like a national highway and you get to walk through one of the new villages they have built ;)


Good point. I'd like to check out the new village and mobile phone-charging folks that inhabit them :)
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby DanShell » Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:28 am

If you ask nicely you may get a Latte and muffin :)
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby MrWalker » Mon 18 Jan, 2016 9:20 pm

Would it be quicker to walk out from the campsite by the new route, or by the old route direct to Fortescue Bay?
I can see that the direct route is shorter but it may not be quicker, since the new section is so fancy.
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby DanShell » Mon 18 Jan, 2016 9:38 pm

If you mean walking back out via the inland track, the same way you now must come in as an independent walker, then yes it is quicker.
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby north-north-west » Wed 20 Jan, 2016 6:37 am

DanShell wrote:If you mean walking back out via the inland track, the same way you now must come in as an independent walker, then yes it is quicker.

But a lot more boring.
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Re: Cape Pillar Track for independent walkers

Postby DanShell » Wed 20 Jan, 2016 9:42 am

north-north-west wrote:But a lot more boring.


Yep, one of my pet hates on any walk is coming back out the same way I went in. I won't do it unless I have to.

The walk over mount fortescue is really nice. The bush or forest if you like is very appealing and so are the views.
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