Saturday 4 March: Cape Raoul – M/M. Walk to Cape Raoul for the views. If time allows, some of the Tunnel Bay Track towards Shipstern Bluff.
Distance: 15.8km | Time: 1 day | Grading: M/M; M(10)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slideshow.
Waypoint and Track Files
Download the .gpx file. (Right click, Save Link As…, Save – if you want to use it.)
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The Three Capes Track walk only took us to two capes, so since we were in the area, we did Cape Raoul as an extra day walk. It’s obvious that it will be included some way, as there is significant track upgrade work going on.
We drove from Port Arthur towards Nubeena, turning south down Thorntons Rd, then to the car park at the end of Stormlea Rd. Camping facilities at a nearby farm.
Started walking at 8.40am from the car park (which, I understand, is to be upgraded). Lucky it was not a Tuesday, as the track is currently closed each Tuesday for helicopter flights supporting the upgrade. Initially some sections of new track, then the track became a little more natural looking as it climbed to the junction with the Shipstern Bluff Track. Another 10 minutes saw us at the edge of the cliffs, with fine views to the SSE over Raoul Bay all the way down to the flat area behind the Cape. The trees went right to the top of the cliffs and we went a few tens of metres to the NW off the track to gain views to Shipstern Bluff.
Heading to the SE, the track wound through wooded areas, hugging the cliff top. Occasional view points over Raoul Bay. Tall timber in the dry woodland.
From SH433, the track descended through damper rain forest, then out into a patch of heathland along the cliff-top edge. Wonderful views. A section of Sheoak forest came next, then alternating heath and Sheoak.
By 10.30am we were looping east, then SE, by the ephemeral lagoon. Some stretches of stony path which would no doubt be handy in the wet. The lagoon was dry. Continued huge views.
Near the end of the track was a Y-junction. We went right first and came to the end, overlooking the milder side of Cape Raoul. Morning tea with other walkers.
Back and round to the other track end provided stupendous views down onto the dolerite columns of the rugged side of Cape Raoul. Like a crenellated castle wall. And, to top it off, coloured helmets and rock climbers, tiny dots until magnified my the camera’s telephoto lens. Far below them, sealsbasked on black and white rocks. We were spell bound and spent 30 minutes taking it all in. Do have a look at the video clips.
Around 12.05pm we dragged ourselves away and headed for home. We went off the side of the track for lunch to enjoy more gentle views over Raoul Bay.
Back at the track junction, Max and I headed along the Shipstern Bluff track for a bit. Much track rejuvination here, bringing it up to the hardened, all-weather, 3 Capes standard. In fact, on a 100m section of the track I counted 73 bags of rock and gravel – that’s 73 helicopter trips. Went to Shipstern Bluff lookout and chatted with some young people there. They said the Bluff was a surfing venue – quite a board carry in and especially out, as we could see the track climbing up from the waterline.
Back to the car. Max kindly gave a lift to Port Arthur to the partner of the guy who has the camping property, so we had a punnet of blueberries for supper that night.
A little washing (of clothes and body), beer on the deck with a friendly parrot. Dinner at the Port Arthur Motel, located in the Port Arthur historical precinct. Great tucker and beer/wine.
A spectacular cape! Do have a look through the photos.
The map segments come from a digital map purchased from TasMap and calibrated, not very well, in OziExplorer. That’s why the recorded walked track is a little offset from that on the map.
3 walkers – Eric G, Max S (leader), me.