Cape Pillar

12 h, 2 days to 3 days

33.3 km
return

↑ 1345 m
↓ -1345 m

Hard track
Starting near the Fortescue Bay Campground on Fortescue Bay Road, Fortescue, this walk leads to Cape Pillar and back via the Old Cape Pillar and Cape Pillar tracks. Enjoy this unforgettable journey to the island’s south-eastern tip, along a narrow track that winds through forest and moorland. Cape Pillar is the crown jewel of the Tasman Peninsula’s colossal coastline, with cliffs rising up to 300m above the raging seas. Climb up to the summit of the Blade to enjoy the most outstanding views of anywhere on the cape. From the top there are sweeping views of the dolomite coast, including Cape Hauy and Maria Island. About halfway there, at Bare Knoll, there's a camping area with camping platforms, toilet facilities and water tanks. Be advised that the trail skirts close to cliff edges at certain points, and the winds at Cape Pillar can be extremely strong and gusty. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2020.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-43.1433673,147.9625916)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Arthur Highway, A9
  • Turn on to Fortescue Bay Road, C344 then drive for 11.9 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the Day Use Car Park of Fortescue Bay, head along the dirt path towards Fortescue Bay Road. Veer right and head along the said road gently downhill and pass by the camping area to your right. After about 250 metres, take a perpendicular left turn and join the Tasman Coastal Trail marked by the green/blue signpost. Follow the said track as it veers right and takes you deeper into the woodland to continue along the Cape Pillar Track.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start heading along Fortescue Bay Road.
Day Use Carpark (about 25 m back from the start).
After 70 m come to the "Fortescue Bay Campground - Tasman NP" (15 m on your right).
After another 25 m continue straight, to head along Fortescue Bay Road.
After another 175 m (at the intersection of Fortescue Bay Road & Old Cape Pillar Track) turn left, to head along Old Cape Pillar Track (a walking track).
After another 6.7 km (at the intersection of Three Capes Track & Old Cape Pillar Track) veer left, to head along Cape Pillar Track.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This optional side trip takes you to the Wughalee Falls Campground. Wooden platforms, rainwater tanks(needs to be filtered) and a drop toilet is provided. Keep in mind that this side trip features a quite steep descent/ascent. To start this optional side trip continue straight here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 410 m turn right, to head along Cape Pillar Track.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This little side trip takes you to the Bare Knoll Campground. The site has wooden platforms for tents, a non-flush toilet and a rainwater tank. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 540 m continue straight, to head along Cape Pillar Track.
After another 1.7 km pass the toilet (25 m on your left).
After another 95 m come to the "Munro Cabin" (on your left).
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This side trip takes you to the Cape Pillar Lodge, which gives you a premium experience with exceptional views. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 440 m continue straight, to head along Cape Pillar Track.
After another 3.3 km veer left, to head along Cape Pillar Track.
After another 20 m come to the viewpoint (30 m on your right).
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This side trip takes you to the summit of The Blade. Expect unimpeded coastal views. To start this optional side trip continue straight here. On returning from this side trip turn right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 2.5 km turn left, to head along Cape Pillar Track.
After another 120 m veer left, to head along Cape Pillar Track.
After another 50 m come to the viewpoint (35 m on your right).
After another 490 m come to the viewpoint (15 m on your right).
Continue another 125 m to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 16.7 km to get back to the start.
About 15 m past the end is "Chasm Lookout".

This side trip takes you to the Cape Pillar Lodge, which gives you a premium experience with exceptional views.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 325 m come to the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 325 m to the main route.

This little side trip takes you to the Bare Knoll Campground. The site has wooden platforms for tents, a non-flush toilet and a rainwater tank.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 75 m come to a toilet.
About 10 m past the end is "Bare Knoll Campground".
Campsite managed byTasmania Parks and Wildlife Service.
The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 75 m to the main route.

This side trip takes you to the summit of The Blade. Expect unimpeded coastal views.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 100 m come to "The Blade".
The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 100 m to the main route.

This optional side trip takes you to the Wughalee Falls Campground. Wooden platforms, rainwater tanks(needs to be filtered) and a drop toilet is provided. Keep in mind that this side trip features a quite steep descent/ascent.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 840 m turn left.
After another 35 m come to a toilet.
About 15 m past the end is "Wughalee Falls Campground".
Campsite managed byTasmania Parks and Wildlife Service.
The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 870 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Cape Pillar


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 33.3 km
Time 12 h, 2 days to 3 days
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (2/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)

Some facilities on route
Camp site: There are 3 on route, on average they are 8.9 km apart with the largest gap of 25.6 km.

Hut: There is one 9.6 km from the start.

Toilet: There are 3 on route, on average they are 8.9 km apart with the largest gap of 23.8 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Camp site
65 mFortescue Bay Campground - Tasman NP
Toilet
7.3 km[toilet]
Camp site
7.3 kmWughalee Falls Campground
Toilet
7.9 km[toilet]
Camp site
7.9 kmBare Knoll Campground
Toilet
9.5 km[toilet]
Hut
9.6 kmMunro Cabin
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Articles
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