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South Cape Bay

A flat walk to a wild surf beach affording great views of coastal features.

Images - click to enlarge

Features

Coastal landscape, surf, islands, sand dunes, remote beach, some mountain views.

Difficulty

Easy

Distance

Altitude

Climb/Fall

Time

Gear Code

16km

0m - 50m

Minimal

3 - 5 hrs

B>C

Access from

Dover

Distance from
Dover/Hobart/Huonville

44/127/88 km

Road Directions

See the Google Map also.

This walk starts at the southernmost end of the Australian public road network. The map actually shows logging roads slightly further south, but these are closed by gates. From Huonville, drive south, passing by Geeveston and through Dover. Just before Southport the road turns sharply right towards Hastings Caves. Avoid the Hastings Cave turnoff, and continue south. Remain on the main road, passing through Lune River, Ida Bay, Moss Glen and Catamaran. Ramsgate or Cockle Creek is at the end of the road. This walk is in the South-West National Park, and a permit is required. Do not expect to find a ranger at Cockle Creek, purchase a pass at Geeveston on your way south.

Road Types

Sealed until approximately Lune River, although deteriorating by then. Moderate dirt road after that, often with sizable chunks of "gravel". Take care of your windscreen. Look out for large trucks.

Description

See the Google Map also.

The signposted track leaves Cockle Creek car park immediately to the right of the southern end of the bridge over Cockle Creek. It follows the creek around to a registration point. Then it meanders gently around the lower slopes of Moulders Hill for about 2.5 km, before emerging onto duckboarding on the floor of Blowhole Valley. The duckboarding saves wet feet, and makes the walking easy. After about another 2.5km, low dry forest on what are essentially dunes is entered, and the track undulates over and around several low hills before emerging above South Cape Bay.

The slopes above the beach are a strange barren gray ?coal-like rock, terminating in low cliffs which drop to the rocky platforms of the shore at this point. To the west the beach is sandy and broad. Views of South East Cape are very impressive, with South Cape off in the distance. SE Cape is the southernmost point on mainland Tasmania, and there is currently discussion about the feasibility of cutting a track there. Rough, scrubby, off-track walking is required to get there at present. A set of wooden steps leads down to the beach, and the beach can be followed around to where two creeks emerge from the dunes. This is a good lunch spot, looking at the surf and Lion Rock.

Safety

Can become cold wet and windy very quickly, but is all basically at sea level. At the far ends of the described walks it will take considerable time to return if the weather changes. Carry warm and waterproof clothing at all times, especially for children.

In high seas care must be exercised on the beach, which can be completely washed with surf up to the steep rocky outcrops in the middle, and particularly on the rocks near Lion Rock. The surf can be surprisingly large. Most importantly, do not attempt to pass around the base of Coal Bluff in high seas.

Maps

Google Map. 1:25,000 Recherche (4817) sheet. (Best), 1:100,000 South East Cape sheet.

Facilities

Walk registration shelter, ranger station staffed at times, composting toilet at Cockle Creek, water available from a tap about 200m towards the "Whale". Oh, and the "Whale" is regarded as a "facility" by the gummint.

Nearby items of interest

Cockle Creek, other walking opportunities, Southport, Hastings Caves and thermal springs pool.

History

None available.

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