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Sunday, March 31, 2013

About South Coast Track, Tasmania

Posted by Jana Kubíčková On 03:51 No comments

     Since I can remember Tasmania has been well ciphered in the deepest core of my sleeping hunger for wilderness. After living in Australia for almost 2 years, I had no choice but to finally answer her desperate calling flowing through my veins for too long. Surprisingly the iconic South Coast Track ticked all criteria for us to want to hike it: no road access to the start of the track, no huts, no camp facilities, no guided tours, no ranger stations, no radios, no food supplies, no bridges to cross the flooded rivers... The track was promising satisfying amount of unpredictable stream crossings, introduction to Tasmanian mud in all its elemental qualities and quantities, and last but not least an exposure to viciousness of southern winds and notorious Tasmanian weather which is normally terrible. We could not have asked for more.

     The South Coast Track, originally an escape route for shipwrecked sailors, is a spectacular 84km walking track in the Southwest National Park, one of the most inaccessible wilderness areas in the world lying in the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
     November to March are the best months to walk the track during which about 3-4 hikers start the walk each day. It follows the wild southern coastline of Tasmania and crosses two mountain ranges where the coastline is impassable or too exposed to the unpredictable Southern Ocean. It will carry you through an amazing variety of wilderness environments: from some of the roughest exposed coastlines in the world to the unspoilt alpine peaks, from pristine streams and rivers to remote beaches and hidden lagoons, from the magic moss rainforests to the raw beauty of dry coastal scrubs. It will almost guarantee spotting of the unique indigenous wildlife including wombats, wallabies, pademelons, quolls and the rare orange-bellied parrot. 
      


     
     In Tasmanian concept of wilderness the South Coast Track is regarded as an “easy” track and after a few recent repairs not even considered to be muddy. Fair enough. If you’re planning this track only as a warm-up to access some of the unmarked routes further north-west from the coast about hundred miles long and with average number of walkers approaching zero, then so be it. The South Coast Track isn’t the hardest track we’ve ever done (or plan to do), but it still remains  one of the toughest "on-track" walks in Tasmania and as such it certainly can be challenging and it certainly is muddy.

     Despite, or due to that, the South Coast Track remains one of the most inspiring tracks we've ever experienced. It will transfer you to a faraway place, one of a few left, where the ocean is still unpoisoned and the elemental nature forces belong only to themselves. Where the wilderness still breathes and lets you breathe with her.

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