The Three Capes Track brings together 48km of breathtaking clifftop sea views, secluded beaches and forests. With a fairly easy walk each day and self-catering cabins along the way, this is a great intro multi-day hike and completely do-able with kids.

We acknowledge that this adventure is located on Lutruwita, the traditional Country of the Palawa people who have occupied and cared for this land and water for thousands of years. We pay our respects to the Palawa as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Highlights of the Three Capes Track

  • Discovering the diverse landscape and unrivalled views of the Tasman Peninsula
  • Walking on Australia’s highest sea cliffs (300+ metres)
  • Eco-friendly cabins with stunning views to rest in each night

The Three Capes Track

I knew I had picked the right track to spend a few days on, when I found myself watching the boat that I had just jumped off, motoring away into the distance. It had left me and my fellow hikers on a secluded beach with four days of adventure ahead of us. I had wanted an escape into the wilderness without the hassle and planning of a big adventure/hike. The Three Capes Track in Tasmania was it!

Also Read: Best Waterfalls in Tasmania

The Three Capes Track is a four-day, 48km self-guided walk around the Tasman Peninsula. Starkly different to the majority of the mainland, it was stunning and spectacular. I felt as if I was the only person on that peninsula. I had to continually remind myself that yes, I was still ‘at home’ in Australia.

The track itself is wide and well formed allowing easy and comfortable hiking. It lets you get lost in the views, rather than getting to intimately know every stitch on your boots. A maximum of 48 people are allowed to start the walk each day, meaning that most of the time you will have the track to yourself. This is always what you want – but even more of a bonus when you have to pee the number of times I do!

A technically easy track combined with cabin accommodation makes it a really attractive best multi-day hike adventure in Tasmania. Simply pack your backpack, buy some food, tie your laces and away you go!

Inspired by Caroline’s wilderness adventure, we’ve answered some of the key questions about the Three Capes Track, So you can get out there and explore it for yourself!

How long does it take to walk the Three Capes Track?

The Three Capes Track is a 48km trail managed by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service. They have broken the trail into a four day, three night self-guided walk with cabin accomodation.

It was designed to showcase the forests, bays, rugged coastline and coastal cliffs of the Tasman National Park. All this while connecting the three capes that the trail was named after – Cape Raoul, Cape Pillar, and Cape Hauy.

Day 1 – Port Arthur Historic Site to Surveyors Cabin

Distance: 4km
Time: 1.5-2 hours

Day 1 starts aboard a scenic boat ride with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys. They take you on a 75 minute scenic cruise from the Port Arthur Historic Site. You’ll discover deep sea caves, sand dunes, ancient dolerite cliffs and abundant bird life on your way to Denmans Cove. Be prepared to wave goodbye to the boat as it leaves you on the secluded beach.

It’s leg-power that will allow you to explore the stunning Tasman Peninsula over the next four days. With your pack on, it’s time to make the 4km journey through coastal heath and eucalyptus trees to Surveyors Cabin. It’s an easy first day of hiking, with plenty more to come.

At Surveyors Cabin – as with each of the three cabins – there’ll be a host ranger ready to greet you when you arrive. You’ll have a bed pre-allocated to you and access to the kitchen to cook up some dinner. The communal spaces at this cabin include a large deck with awesome views out to Cape Raoul. The perfect place to kick up your feet and relax!


Day 2 – Surveyors Cabin to Munro Cabin

Distance: 11km
Time: 4-5 hours

On Day 2 you’ll cover 11km, setting out first for a short climb of Arthur’s Peak. Here you’ll be rewarded with views of Cape Raoul and Crescent Bay. You’re in for a refreshing treat up next – with a walk though rainforest on the slopes of Mt Crescent.The trail then passes through the Ellarwey Valley before retreating into stringy bark forest and on to Munro Cabin.

Throw down the pack and settle in after your first full day of hiking. This is where you really start to appreciate not having to set up a tent at the end of the day. Also, no need to rummage in your backpack for the camping stove – the cabin kitchen is waiting! All the cabins have been design to show off the incredible natural surrounds – this evening’s views are of Munro Bight and Cape Hauy.

Day 3 – Munro Cabin to Retakunna Cabin via Cape Pillar

Distance: 19km
Time: 5-6 hours

On Day 3 you can start with just a day pack as you venture out to Cape Pillar for incredible views of Tasman Island. The rugged, windswept island stands 250 metres tall above the pounding ocean below. Perched on top is one Australia’s most inaccessible light stations.

It’s not just views of Tasman Island that you come to Cape Pillar for. On this section of the walk, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to jaw-dropping viewpoints. Take time to explore views from Seal Spa, The Blade, and the 300m drop at the Chasm Lookout.

After exploring the cape, and perhaps relaxing with a packed lunch, it’s time to return to Munro Cabin to collect your belongings. You then continue on for another hour’s walk to Retakunna Cabin.

After the biggest hiking day, Retakunna Cabin is going to be a welcome sight. Cook up a dinner to refuel in the cabin kitchen and swap stories of an amazing day with your fellow hikers. The views from this cabin are of Mount Fortescue. It’s a good reminder to get some rest – you’ll be climbing the mountain the next day!


Tackling Tassie's Three Capes Track With Advice From a Hiking Guide, Josh Wood, man, boardwalk, Cape Pillar

Photo thanks to @coachjoshwood


Day 4 – Munro Cabin to Port Arthur Historic Site

Distance: 14km
Time: 6-7 hours

Day 4 is 14km of walking and starts with an ascent through the forested slopes of Mount Fortescue. From here you get excellent views out to Cape Pillar (conquered the day before) and the magnificent Southern Ocean.

You then descend through rainforest until you reach a junction. Here you have the chance to drop your pack and take on the 2000+ steps to the tip of Cape Hauy. The view from the top is of the Totem Pole and Lanterns rock formations – and you might spot some adventurous rock climbers headed for their lofty peaks.

Returning to the junction, it’s just another couple of kilometres to Fortescue Bay where the track ends. Have a dip in the chilly water to celebrate the end of four day’s hiking. Then climb aboard the bus which will take you back to Port Arthur Historic Site.

What do I need to pack for the Three Capes Track?

You will still need to pack all of your regular overnight hiking gear to walk the Three Capes Track – minus a tent and cooking gear.

Cosy cabin accommodation

The cabins are set up with bunk beds (with comfy mattresses) to ensure a good night’s sleep. Cabins sleep either 4 or 8 hikers. There’s gas cooktops and basic cookware to whip up dinner at the end of the day, and brekkie in the morning. If you can’t set foot on the trail without a coffee hit, you’ll appreciate the kettles (bring your own coffee and mug!)

There is heating in the communal area of the cabins, but not in the sleeping areas. It’s recommended to bring a sleeping bag rated to -5ºC. During the day temperatures can be between 10 and 19 degrees depending on the season, so layers are the best option here. Wind and rain-proof clothing and backpack covers are a must! It is Tassie after all.

Pack light and easy meals

You’ll need to carry in three breakfasts, four lunches and three dinners, plus any snacks. Dehydrated meals are a great light-weight option! You could even make your own before you go. Here’s a tip: you’ll only hike 4km on Day 1 to reach Surveyors Cabin – maybe you can pack a few treats for the first night?

Rainwater from tanks is available at each of the cabin sites. Another bonus for packing light – you’ll only have to carry enough drinking water for each day!


Check the packing list

If you are keen to get out on this trail, the best thing to do is check the packing list on the Three Capes Track website before you go. It is a comprehensive list of all the items you’ll need. Plus it gives a good insight into what is available to you at each of the cabins.

As a quick example, each cabin has toilet paper, USB charging points and a library with field guides. But they don’t supply pillows, cutlery, or rubbish bins – if you carry it in, you’ll need to carry it out!

Can you walk the Three Capes Track for free?

There are three capes along this track – and three options for hiking them!

Self-guided – with cabin accommodation

The track was designed as a four day, three night hike with cabin accommodation. To hike it this way and stay in the cabins, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service charges $495 per adult and $395 per child. This includes use of all facilities at the cabins, the scenic boat cruise from Port Arthur Historic Site and the return bus ride at the end of your hike. It also covers the cost of entry to the National Park.


Self-guided and Self-sufficient

If you’d rather pack a tent and cooking gear and tackle the trail on your own, there are a few options to do it. None of them are free, and you cannot walk the Three Capes Track exactly as described above. But you can access the trails and incredible view points around the Tasman Peninsula.

First of all, you’ll need to purchase a Tasmania Parks Pass to be able to enter the National Park. You can drive in (via the road the bus drives out) to Fortescue Bay. There are campsites and toilets available at Fortescue Bay – as well as further along the peninsula at Wughalee Falls and Bare Knoll. These two campsites can be accessed via the Old Cape Pillar Track. Do your research before going. Some sections of the track can only be walked in one direction and drinking water supply cannot be relied on at these campsites.

Take a Tour

If you want the ultimate walk experience – with the equivalent price tag – you can also hike the Three Capes Track with a number of different tour companies. The price is much higher but includes luxuries like private lodge accommodation, delicious meals of local produce and Tasmanian wine. You’ll also have a tour guide with you for the entire walk.

Check out Josh’s experience of walking the Three Capes Track as a tour guide.



Tackling Tassie's Three Capes Track With Advice From a Hiking Guide, Josh Wood, hike, group, rain, cliffs, guide

Photo thanks to @coachjoshwood

Where is the Tasman National Park?

The Three Capes Track allows you to explore the Tasman National Park – in the south-east corner of the state.

For Three Capes Track walkers the Port Arthur Historic Site is where the journey begins. It’s a 90 minute drive from Hobart and has options for parking and luggage storage. The walk begins with an 75 minute eco-cruise where you explore the rugged coast on the way to Denmans Cove. From there, the walking begins!

Once you’ve completed the Three Capes Track, stick around – the national park is an adventurer’s paradise! You can rock climb, abseil, sea kayak, dive, fish, horse ride, surf, hang-glide or 4WD. It’s a great place for an awesome east-coast road-trip.

Day Hikes on the Tasman Peninsula

If you don’t have time to complete the Three Capes Track, there’s still a chance to get a taste of hiking this incredible national park.

The shorter day walks and half-day walks take you to locations such as the Tessellated Pavement, Tasman Blowhole, Tasman Arch, Devils Kitchen, Remarkable Cave and Maingon Blowhole. A longer day walk can get you to Cape Raoul, and you can check out the gnarly waves breaking at Shipsterns Bluff.


Is the Three Capes Track a good multi-day hike for beginners?

As Caroline found out – yes, the Three Capes Track walk is great for beginners! The track is rated as Grade 3. The gravel trail is broken up by stone stairs and long sections of boardwalk. It has some short, steep hill sections, rough surface and many steps.

But you don’t need to carry in a tent or cooking gear – and you can sleep in enclosed cabins! So it’s a less challenging walk and an easier start to overnight hiking.

Full points for scenery

The incredible scenery is reason enough to plan a visit to the Tasman National Park. Walk Australia’s highest sea cliffs, journey through lush rainforest and marvel at the tall eucalypt forests. Don’t forget to pack your bathers for a pre-walk and post-walk swim at Denman’s Cove and Fortescue Bay.

You can also plan your trip to coincide with seasonal highlights such as acacia trees in bloom, migrating whales and seabirds, or winter swells crashing into the towering cliffs.

Feel welcome on the trail

There’s host rangers at each of the cabins, whose warm welcome and local knowledge will surely add to your Three Capes Track experience. Plus the communal areas of the cabins are a great place to relax and get to know your fellow hikers.

When you check in for the hike, you get an Encounters on the Edge guidebook, which includes daily walk notes and maps. It also has 40 different stories that match up to art installations at rest points along the trail.


Hike it your way

When you book the Three Capes Track walk as a self-guided experience – you can only stay one night in each cabin. But – you can take your time exploring the trail each day and set your own pace for the adventure. (Except for the last day when you have a time that you need to meet the bus!)

If the total walking distance seems too much, there is an option to sit out the third day’s hike to Cape Pillar. You’ll miss the spectacular views, but can rest up for the final day in the comfort of the cabins instead.

But in our experience, once you’re out on the trail, immersed in nature and finding your feet in a steady rhythm – any doubts you have about hiking quickly disappear. In fact, you might just be celebrating your decision to walk the Three Capes Track – the minute you step off the boat.



Feature photo thanks to Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service