The Three Capes hike is a great hike (I personally prefer it over the Overland Track). We only did a part of it (in 2 days instead of 3). Magnificent views on and from Cape Pillar and Cape Hauy.
Fortescue Bay to Cape Pillar
We started at Fortescue Bay, where we left the car, registered for the hike and started going up to our first point: Bare Knoll camping ground (apparently this is a newer camp site). This took us about 2,5 hours (8km), including some drone testing. We set up our tent, dropped our backpacks and carried on with a day pack up to Cape Pillar. A lot of other people stop here for day 1 (I guess they only start in the afternoon). We wanted to cover all in 2 days, so that’s why we continued. But be aware of the number of kilometers, which are quickly adding up…
According to our watches, the walk up to Cape Pillar and back to Bare Knoll is 18km instead of 14km, so take that into account! Luckily you don’t have the weight of your backpacks to carry! It’s not a very strenuous track, tough. A lot of duckboard and no steep uphills which seem to go on like forever. And… most important of all… the views you get as a reward are astonishing!
Back at camp, the toilets were very clean – no smells at all! There’re about 5 or 6 wooden platforms for the tents. No rain water available. The night was very cold (for me). I didn’t wear any thermals, though, but did have a sleeping bag that should be able to cope with up to -12°C… And it wasn’t even a windy night!
Cape Hauy and back to Fortescue Bay
The next day, after breakfast with a fuel stove (that’s the only one you can use in Tasmania) and packing everything up, we continued our hike to Cape Hauy. This time the number of kilometers as indicated on the maps is correct (17 km from Bare Knoll to Fortescue Bay over Cape Hauy).
The way up to Cape Hauy took us about 3,5 hours. For most of it, the track is pretty ok. One exception: once you have passed the huts which are used for guided tours (all new, look pretty great), you have to ascend fairly steeply and for quite some time – over a lot of steps. I had to take a few moments to regain my breath (but as you might know from other posts, I’m not the best in ascends). Once that is done, though, the hardest part of the track is over.
As soon as you arrive at Cape Hauy junction, you can take your backpacks off (protect them from the black curalong birds!) and just take your cameras and some water to do the Cape Hauy return walk, which is 4km return. This has a few ascends and descends too, but without the backpacks, they are a lot easier to tackle! Again – the views are amazing, so absolutely worth it! This part took us about 1,5 hours. The most annoying part: the flies that seem to attack you as soon as you take a short rest…
Then you’re left with the last part of the track from Cape Hauy to Fortescue Bay, which only takes about 1/2 hour, but really feels to last longer, as you just want to get it over with. Make sure to sign out, once you’ve got back to the parking lot.
As regards wildlife we saw a few pademelons, parrots and 2 tiger snakes. Be aware – all 3 types of snakes in Tasmania are venomous, but they are not very aggressive, so although the likelihood of you being bitten is low, it speaks for itself to be careful and keep your distance.
All in all: great walk, certainly one we’d recommend!