WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

Dis­cover ad­ven­ture and rugged beauty on the Tas­ma­nian coast

Northern Rivers Style - - TRAVEL - BY LETEA CAVANDER

My first ten­ta­tive steps on to a cliff ledge were more of a shuf­fle of feet, re­ally, as I imag­ined how many times my heart could beat dur­ing a plunge of 200m to the rocks and crash­ing sea be­low.

The park ranger had warned our group of hik­ers the night be­fore not to be­come the lat­est vic­tims of death by selfie, and her words re­ver­ber­ated in my head as I took a peek over the cliff edge.

I was on a track on the Three Capes walk in Tas­ma­nia’s south-east.

My best friend and I had reached the end of the road on day three of a four-day, 46km hike through the Tas­ma­nian wilder­ness.

The morn­ing hike of about 12km had led us through coastal wood­land and dunes on to the sheer cliffs of one of the most southerly points of Tas­ma­nia.

We had climbed The Blade: a sheer and wind-swept rocky outcrop 262m above sea level.

At that height, the boats be­low us car­ry­ing tourists and com­mer­cial fish­ers looked like wa­ter-borne ants.

In front of us was Tas­man Is­land, its white light­house dwarfed by the dark do­lerite cliffs of the is­land and our own perch.

Do­lerite is an an­cient vol­canic rock found in many parts of the Ap­ple Isle.

The ver­ti­cal for­ma­tions often look like a gi­ant has snapped the darker keys off a pi­ano and bun­dled them to­gether and I did not tire of their hulk­ing beauty.

Un­like many hikes of mod­ern times, the Tas­ma­nian Gov­ern­ment gave the okay for the track to be built with­out

PHOTO: LETEA CAVANDER

A view from The Blade across to Tas­man Is­land, in Tas­ma­nia's south-east, on the four-day Three Capes hike.

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