Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby headwerkn » Mon 19 Jun, 2023 6:32 pm

File under ‘Hikes of the less desired kind’…

https://parks.tas.gov.au/be-involved/ne ... xperiences
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby north-north-west » Mon 19 Jun, 2023 7:17 pm

The amount of work they're (still) doing on that track is insane. The entire section from the junction out to Cape Hauy has been rebuilt - There are now over 1300 stone steps on that stretch alone. They've done something similar with part of the section between the junction and Fortescue, and work is ongoing to rebuild the rest of it - steps, stone-lined spoon drains, etc. They've been choppering in massive amounts of gravel and rock to do all that.
They really should be building the Cape Raoul-Remarkable Cave bit instead, to complete the original proposal. I still wouldn't walk it (not if it was only hut-based with no independent tent-based option) but at least it would be better value for the money.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby vagrom » Mon 19 Jun, 2023 8:19 pm

Just appeared on Facebook via Tasmap.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby sandym » Tue 20 Jun, 2023 7:11 am

Wow. Up to $600 now to walk that track.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby north-north-west » Tue 20 Jun, 2023 8:17 am

sandym wrote:Wow. Up to $600 now to walk that track.


Well, you can do it with just a Parks Pass if you take the tent rather than use the gluts. Car shuffle between Fortescue and the Stinking Bay carpark will even give you the Denmans-Arthur Speak section. But they don't adverrtise that.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby Warin » Tue 20 Jun, 2023 10:36 am

20% increase on the 3 capes
42% on the overland ....
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby Tazz81 » Tue 20 Jun, 2023 12:21 pm

TBH the Three Capes facilities are spectacular. I camped at Bare Knoll in January (mozzies were horrific!), saw how good the huts were and decided to pay the cash and do it properly. The OLT is a relative bargain still for $295 - at the end of the day if we’re going to be swamped with mainlanders every summer at least extract the maximum amount of money out of them for track upkeep. Now if only some of this largesse was spent where it’s really needed…..
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby Warin » Tue 20 Jun, 2023 4:32 pm

Tazz81 wrote:TBH the Three Capes facilities are spectacular. I camped at Bare Knoll in January (mozzies were horrific!), saw how good the huts were and decided to pay the cash and do it properly. The OLT is a relative bargain still for $295 - at the end of the day if we’re going to be swamped with mainlanders every summer at least extract the maximum amount of money out of them for track upkeep. Now if only some of this largesse was spent where it’s really needed…..


"User pays".. So OLT fees should be spent on the overland track, and similar for 3 capes. (I'd like to see a new hut near Pelion Hut that caters mainly for overlanders, particularly for tent dwellers. It does tend to get crowed there.)

"Where it is really needed" would have to come from park fees... those doing the overland and 3 capes also pay into this.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby sandym » Tue 20 Jun, 2023 4:59 pm

north-north-west wrote:
sandym wrote:Wow. Up to $600 now to walk that track.


Well, you can do it with just a Parks Pass if you take the tent rather than use the gluts. Car shuffle between Fortescue and the Stinking Bay carpark will even give you the Denmans-Arthur Speak section. But they don't adverrtise that.


Fair point. We actually did it before the huts so did it as a freeby anyway. Very glad to have done so.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby Nuts » Fri 23 Jun, 2023 5:29 am

These tracks shouldn't be exclusive to hut use at all.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby Lostsoul » Fri 23 Jun, 2023 10:36 am

Do a Nike and just do it.I don’t think they will be putting anyone in handcuffs anytime soon.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby eggs » Fri 23 Jun, 2023 10:44 am

Since the 3 Capes was put in I have done the 2.5 day loop from Fortescue Bay to Cape Pillar / Cape Hauy twice.
Absolutely brilliant walk.
Parks have put a good effort into the Bare Knoll campsite, so they clearly expect the non-paying walkers.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby farefam » Sat 18 Nov, 2023 3:27 pm

A few weeks ago I walked to Cape Pillar as part of what was supposed to be a return walk from Eaglehawk Neck along the Tasman Track and the old Cape Pillar track. This was the first time I had been to Cape Pillar since the early 1990's, so I was interested to see what differences there would be since the "3 Capes Experience" was constructed.

The first difference was that the original Cape Pillar track has been re-routed and it now starts closer to Fortescue Bay. I can understand the reasoning behind that as minimises the length of road that you need to walk if doing a loop walk to Cape Pillar and Cape Hauy. The new "Cape Pillar track" is nicely graded and it uses zig zags to get up the steeper bit of the initial climb. It is so long since I first walked the track that I don't know whether it is a complete reroute or whether it still uses parts of the original track. In any case it is an easy walk to the junction where it joins onto the "3 Capes Experience" track. That part of the walk took about two and a half hours.

The first campsite at Wughalee Falls is closed due to large fallen trees and it appears likely that it will remain permanently closed due to the ongoing risk of tree falls. I don't see that as being a bad thing, as it was a bit of a descent to the original campsite at or near there, that I used once in the 1990's on my way back to Mt Fortescue and Cape Hauy.

The new Bare Knoll campsite is only a short distance further on (about ten minutes from the junction) and it is very well set up with toilet, water tap and tent platforms. It is also well sheltered from the wind. The campsite is currently being significantly enlarged in order to better cope with the recent significant increase in walker numbers, as well as to compensate for the likely permanent closure of Wughalee Falls campsite.

Parks staff that I spoke to indicated that although the Cape Pillar track is not currently part of the walking permit system, it probably will be included in that system sometime in the next year or so. At the end of my stay a large school group and a bushwalking club group arrived and that would have made things very tight at Bare Knoll, as the additional tent platforms were still under construction.

I found it took 20 to 25 minutes to walk from Bare Knoll to the "3 Capes Experience" track hut complex at Munro Bight. I didn't pay the facilities much notice, but the complex seemed modeled on the huts that you come across on several of the New Zealand Great Walks.

I was told by parks staff that 48 people a day pay to use the "3 Capes Experience" track and that it is pretty much booked out for months in advance.

If you want a less crowded experience, I would suggest that you walk from Bare Knoll to Cape Pillar in the afternoon rather than in the morning.

I was surprised at how hilly the remainder of the walk to Cape Pillar was. I remember the route of the original track being somewhat less undulating, especially in the vicinity of Perdition Ponds. You reach the start of the high cliffs about 1 hour 45 minutes from Bare Knoll Campsite, and the Blade is a further 45 minute walk. Note that these times are for an older walker, but it is still a fair way from Bare Knoll campsite to the Blade!

The track to that point is fairly well graded, but with all of the boardwalk, steps, stonework and very hard packed gravel that is used, I found it very hard on the knees and calves. I regretted not using my walking pole on the first day trip I did on that section. The second time with the walking pole was somewhat easier on the knees.

On my two afternoon day walks to Cape Pillar I didn't come across many people once I reached the cliffs, as by 2pm to 4pm the crowds were already either back at Munro hut relaxing or were heading back there.

It is funny how the memory of a walk fades a lot over the decades. I had several photographs from that time and remembered well that the tall cliffs are spectacular, but I had forgotten just how good the panoramic view from the top of the Blade is. Thankfully I got some good panoramic photos this time that capture it better. I didn't walk the last part to the Chasm, so I don't know whether that has also been rebuilt

For those people with a photographic bent, the location of the Bare Knoll campsite is somewhat problematic. I stayed to watch sunset at the Blade and didn't get back to the campsite until around 11pm! Make sure you take a torch with you if decide to do that, as on a moonless night, the return walk though the scrubby forest is very dark indeed and makes seeing the many steps very difficult. As for trying to get to Cape Pillar for sunrise, you'd have to get up in the middle of the night. Buggar that idea.

i had been walking for 4 days, but unfortunately on the morning of day 5 I had to abandon my walk (and indeed the remainder of my Tasmanian holiday) due to a knee injury that had progressively developed throughout the walk. So I can't comment on what the normal return loop track over Mt Fortescue to Cape Hauy and Fortescue Bay is like these days, as I just retraced my steps along the flatter Cape Pillar track back to Fortescue Bay instead. The Mount Fortescue-Cape Hauy section has been extensively rebuilt as part of the "3 Capes Experience" track and it can be walked for free by walkers doing the Cape Pillar track. I have done it previously in the 1990's and don't remember it being very hard.

Whilst it was disappointing to have to cut my walk short, it was still well worthwhile revisiting Cape Pillar. The increased visitation doesn't seem to have degraded the environment adjacent to the track, although the walk has completely lost the wilderness adventure aspect that it used to have. I do feel that the very unimaginative metal sculpture near Perdition Ponds ought to be removed however. Art may be in the eye of the beholder, but it looks especially ugly and out of place. The other bits of public art located along the final section to Cape Pillar, whilst still completely unnecessary, were much less intrusive.

So far as the Tasman Track from Waterfall Bay to Fortescue Bay goes, the only differences I noted were that there seemed to be some more natural looking stone track work along the way and the installation of large tent platforms at Bivouac Bay. The Tasman Track was certainly easier on the knees, although the climb from Waterfall Bay to Lichen Hill was much steeper than I remembered. There were also a lot of ups and downs that I had forgotten about. Of course I was much younger back then and didn't notice the undulations as much as I do now!

One final comment. Comparing the differences between the 1990's experience and that of 2023, whilst I can understand that the Cape Pillar area has perhaps been sacrificed in the name of encouraging tourism, I feel that this sort of overdone infrastructure ought to be avoided along areas such as the South Coast track, as it completely stops it from feeling like a wilderness experience, or even a challenge for that matter. If this sort of "tourist commodification" development became widespread throughout the Tasmanian national parks it really would ruin what makes wilderness walking in the TWWHA so unique and very special. And it would stop me from coming back to Tasmania as frequently as I have over the decades. The "Three Capes Experience" seems to me to be a case of chasing one market, only to risk losing the other.
Last edited by farefam on Sun 19 Nov, 2023 12:29 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby matagi » Sat 18 Nov, 2023 3:44 pm

Having done the "3 Capes Experience" a couple of times, I'm now leaning towards using the campgrounds at Fortescue Bay as a base and doing a series of walks to Cape Hauy, Cape Pillar and along part of the Tasman Track. Plus a drive over to do Cape Raoul.

I never walked in that area prior to the revamping of the track so I've no idea what it was like previously, but I feel the restrictions on casual walkers are a bit excessive.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby Lostsoul » Sun 19 Nov, 2023 6:20 am

Just walk where you want to.What are they going to do…throw you in handcuffs?
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby matagi » Sun 19 Nov, 2023 8:46 am

It is a little known fact that in Tasmania, Parks Rangers have the power of arrest - pretty sure most rangers are unaware of it too.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby Letstryagain » Sun 19 Nov, 2023 9:11 am

matagi wrote:It is a little known fact that in Tasmania, Parks Rangers have the power of arrest - pretty sure most rangers are unaware of it too.



I thought that was a myth?
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby north-north-west » Sun 19 Nov, 2023 10:01 am

Letstryagain wrote:
matagi wrote:It is a little known fact that in Tasmania, Parks Rangers have the power of arrest - pretty sure most rangers are unaware of it too.

I thought that was a myth?


It depends.
In my day - which was a long time ago - they did have a limited power for certain behaviours, but I can't recall an occasion when it was ever used. Ticketing and the like for various offences (such as harming wildlife or illegal fires) was more common. It also applied only to specific personnel.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby matagi » Sun 19 Nov, 2023 12:24 pm

Letstryagain wrote:
matagi wrote:It is a little known fact that in Tasmania, Parks Rangers have the power of arrest - pretty sure most rangers are unaware of it too.



I thought that was a myth?

Nope, National Parks and Reserves Act 2002 Part 4, Section 66.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby tastrax » Sun 19 Nov, 2023 3:14 pm

A lot of conditions need to exist before any Ranger (who was also authorised) would try and arrest someone.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby Lostsoul » Sun 19 Nov, 2023 3:39 pm

Wouldn’t be worth their while I wouldn’t think.Just like supermarket employees don’t try to physically stop shoplifters
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby vagrom » Sun 19 Nov, 2023 6:40 pm

Given the Three Capes is packing them in, is it possible they'll ever follow-up with the western half ? These maps are part of the 2012 Development Application. Spread the crush out a bit.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby north-north-west » Sun 19 Nov, 2023 7:12 pm

Probably gone into the too hard basket. There used to be walking tracks froom Crescent Bay around to Dog Bark Bay but they've been closed off by landowners (probably with TasPAWS' blessing). The terrain between Mt Raoul and Maignon Bay is pretty tricky and it's only a narrow corridor of public land so not a lot of options for routing.
Given how far over budget the so-far-completed track was, and the current focus on bunging something into the Tyndalls, I can't see the rest of this plan ever being put into action. Which is a pity because it does cover some very interesting ground with stunning views and a variety of flora.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby vagrom » Sun 19 Nov, 2023 9:24 pm

Where there's a will there's a family. We need to get Dick Smith onto it.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby Letstryagain » Sun 19 Nov, 2023 10:58 pm

It's very hard to respect PWS employees these days quite sadly
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby headwerkn » Mon 20 Nov, 2023 10:08 am

Letstryagain wrote:It's very hard to respect PWS employees these days quite sadly


C'mon, seriously?

The folk at the coal face have nothing to do with the overall direction and funding of the organisation. They're just trying to do their jobs as required, often without the support and resources they probably should have. And, arguably, in the face of increasing expectations at least from part of the 'customer base'.

I do find that getting consistent information from frontline PWS staff is rare... ask five people the same question and you'll often get five different answers. That's a frustration, but again, can be blamed mostly on a lack of clear communication/direction and training from higher up.

I highly doubt you'd find a single ranger willing to forcibly detain anyone out on track for anything less than a murder or rape, and even then, only with the assistance of six other burly blokes willing to pile on until the authorities arise. Hopefully that remains an entirely theoretical scenario forever... remember folks, keep the noise down after 8pm in the huts and don't swap the heaters with your wet gear ;-)

All rangers can do is write a fine and let them continue on. You've got to wonder how many of those fines actually get paid, given the vast majority are committed by people leaving the state/country soon after.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby north-north-west » Mon 20 Nov, 2023 12:45 pm

The problem with TasPAWS is not the rangers or other front line staff: it's management, particularly in the upper echelons. The Public Service - at state and federal levels - has been thoroughly politicised and the old (relative) independence destroyed. Plus funding levels are never sufficient for what needs to be done for them to fulfil their raison d'etre properly.

I'm glad I got out when I did, because the white-anting had not really started then.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby DaveTas » Wed 22 Nov, 2023 2:55 pm

No PWS staff member on the three capes track has any authority to arrest or even fine you. They’re all band 2 “host rangers”, not park rangers.
Same goes for the overland track rangers and seasonal wilderness rangers that you meet at WoJ etc. all band 2, not real park rangers.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby Nuts » Fri 24 Nov, 2023 7:07 am

As I understand, and probably worth mentioning: A designated officer, directing you to be escorted out of the park /to a location where a ranger can fine you?

Some other radical thoughts on alternatives, and compromise :) -
Have exclusive commercial operators fund (all) the upkeep! simply means that those expecting luxury having even more bragging rights over their exclusive experience (it wont stop them coming).
Maintain the booking system by substantially refunding any booking fee when the person arrives to start.
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Re: Overland/Three Capes Track price increases

Postby Graham17 » Tue 21 May, 2024 5:56 am

Mt Fuji now $20 odd
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