Three Capes Track, Tasmania – Day 1

Watching the rain teem down and spatter against the glass walls of the café at Port Arthur Historic site, I was wondering what I had got myself into. The Optimist in me kicked in though knowing that the weather forecast said that rain was clearing from 1pm. I am so much of an Optimist that I still believe the predictions of Weather Forecasters!

Grab your backpack (and raincoat), we are off on Day 1 of the Three Capes Track.


Day: 1

Date: Tuesday, 13 September 2022

Port Arthur, Tasmania
Glimpses of historic Port Arthur through the trees

From: Hobart to Port Arthur

To: Surveyors Hut

Official Distance: 4km                  

Actual Distance: 4.4km

Total: 4/48km

Time: 1h26m

Ascent: 199m                                  Descent: 58m

Weather: Rain then very welcome, sunshine

Stayed At: Surveyors Hut

General Comments:

  • Hitting the High Seas: Interestingly, this walk starts with a boat ride. The path heads off from a small inlet on the other side of Maingon Bay, directly opposite Port Arthur. Instead of quickly zipping us across the bay and depositing us, we get a grand tour up the waterway, heading out towards the open water and Antarctica beyond.

I love a good boat ride and even better when there is a bit of sea spray slapping me in the face. The chill of the spray and the thump of the boat as we crested the next wave certainly woke me up and signaled that the adventure had definitely commenced!

Even better was the commentary provided by the boat crew, explaining the flora, fauna and geological history of the area. The boat idled quietly up to the rocky shore and the Guide pointed out a sea eagle nesting in the tall eucalypts towering over the shoreline. This trip was going to be a Twitcher’s idea of heaven.

Turning back inland once more, the boat veered into Denman’s Cove and its duckboard was lowered in preparation for our disembarkation. Yes, it was boots off, socks off and time for a short, refreshing stroll in the chill Tassie waters. Step lively!

  • Timing: There are two boat departures each day as 48 walkers (and their backpacks) cannot fit onto the boat all at the same time. There was no need for us to rush though as there was plenty of daylight left to walk the short distance to Surveyors Hut and the rooms are pre-allocated so we knew we wouldn’t miss out on a bed.
  • Surveyors Hut: It was a joy to spy Surveyors Hut through the trees, not because I was tired, it was because it is so architecturally pleasing, nestled in a small open area and on top of a small rise. The huts are surrounded by spacious timber verandahs with seating to enjoy the bush or views out towards the water

Each Hut on the Three Capes Track has a host Ranger who is there to ensure everyone settles in and finds everything they need. They are also a font of knowledge and can answer most flora and fauna questions, as well as spout poetry! Multi-talented folk and good fun to talk to.

  • Temperature:  It was a frosty night and the air felt as if it was coming off snow somewhere. During a wee wander in the middle of the night, my headtorch picked up the silvery sparkle of a heavy frost covering the boardwalks. Again, step carefully.

Top Tips for this Section:

  • Luggage Storage: Below the main reception area of the Port Arthur Information Centre is a dedicated Three Capes Track Check-In Office. There you will receive your walk pass, comprehensive information book, and it is possible to leave excess luggage in a locked storage area or there are keyed lockers if you would prefer to keep your gear separate. I am not sure I would leave anything super-valuable there, but it felt very secure, was very convenient, and free!
  • Boat ride: If boat rides are not your thing, I definitely recommend you take a tablet or two. The water can be quite rough with a big swell, which may not be good for queasy tummys.
  • Disembarking At Denmans Cove: While it may look a little risky, the step down from the boat is only into water that is 30-50cm deep. Roll your trousers up high, step gently and go carefully until you get your balance. I also recommend you pack your towel or dry cloth on the outside of your backpack to dry your feet after your little dip.
  • USB Charging: All the huts on this walk are solar-powered and there are no 240V sockets. Bring your USB cords to charge any devices and be prepared to wait. Everyone wants to charge their phone/watch/headlamp etc and the charging can be quite slow. It just means more time to chat to your new friends.

Sleep tight to the sound of croaking frogs…and the odd snorer!


  • Three Capes Track – Read more about it – HERE
  • Parks Tasmania – Read more about it – HERE
  • Port Arthur – Read more about it – HERE
  • Overview of the whole Track – Read more about it – HERE

#travelinspo #threecapestrack #discovertasmania #adventurebeforedementia #longdistancewalks #australianbush #portarthur #bushwalks #greatoutdoors #birdlife #boatrides #coastalwalks #nationalparks  

27 thoughts on “Three Capes Track, Tasmania – Day 1

  1. Wonderful walk and I hope the frogs drowned out the snorers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice theory, but I think the final score card was Snorers = 1, Frogs = 0! 🙂


  2. I didn’t realise you could stay on these islands from Port Arthur. Hope you had a cozy night. We visited Tasmania two years ago and loved it. Although the history of Port Arthur is pretty horrific.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The start of the walk is actually on the peninsula behind the two Port Arthur islands. The boat putters past them and we are deposited on the other side of the bay. All glorious scenery of course. And Yes, Port Arthur’s history is grim – both ancient and more recently.


      1. It’s good to find out these things

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Maybe it’s a good business opportunity for Port Arthur?? To pop a few cabins on those islands would be popular, I imagine.


  3. This seems so incredibly organized. Much more than I was thinking anyway, curious to see the next part, Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, possibly a little too organised for some people, but I certainly enjoyed the opportunity to turn the brain off and just walk through the beautiful landscape.


  4. Gosh, that looks civilised! It’s going to have to go on the list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Go on – reward yourself after the hard yakka of the Great North Walk.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A “brain off” walk might be a good way to refill the cup that’s pretty depleted.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Absolutely! Maybe you could get a cancellation booking in the short term…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. There are some spots later this month but the flights are a killer. And probably a bit too soon to be swanning off again just yet. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Understandable. It will wait for when you are ready…

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Ok … so it’s boots on, go for a boat ride and then boots off again to step into the cold water … that’s a first for a hiking trail (for me anyway)! I saw those boot cleaning stations in the forests of New Zealand as well (something we don’t have here). And even on this short stretch, you had great views!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a very tactile path! 🙂 You get to immerse your whole body in it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh wow, I’ve never done a hike before with a boat ride in the middle – it looks great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love boats and boat rides, and particularly enjoyed this one as it gave us a good view of the coast we would be walking along over the first couple of days.


  7. Somehow, it looks both chilly and warm at the same time, but beautiful either way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Warm enough during the day and when you are walking up a sweat, but as soon as you stop – all the warm gear goes on and every layer at night time.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So well organised, looks like a really good walk too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a stunner. I am so tempted to return and do it all again, but there are so many other paths calling my name.


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