The South Coast Track is ideally suited for experienced and self-sufficient adventurers or at least a graduation for those who have experience in multi-day hiking and have learned navigational skills. This is the bigger sister to the Three Capes Track, with less of the trimmings but more of what you really want from Tasmanian hiking: beaches, adventure and isolation. Connecting nine beaches, the South Coast Track starts at Melaleuca airstrip and follows the coast for much of the hike (apart from Days 2 and 3) until finishing at Cockle Creek, where you can leave your car.
Accessible only by a small prop plane, this is a great hike to take on once you have completed other multiday hikes in Tasmania, such as the Overland Track, as it will challenge both your ankles and your navigational skills.
The first day itself, from Melaleuca to Point Eric, will provide you with stunning views of the south coast of Tasmania, while the track itself remains mostly easy to follow. Occasional beach walks across the 7-8 days can make it hard to find where the track rejoins, so be sure to have adequate maps and navigational experience.
Day Three is known as one of the most challenging hiking days in Tasmania, with a deceptive boardwalk climb across the foot of the Ironbound Ranges which will challenge your lungs and quads regardless of the fact that the ranges, at 900m high, aren't Tasmania's highest peaks. But don't let your summit lull you into a false sense of security. The second half of the day will have you juggling your pack as you perform a range of maneuvers to get over and under various obstacles seemingly placed in your way by a malevolent team of rangers. Pack your gaiters and try to keep your feet dry in the thick wet rainforest, the path strewn with ropey root systems hidden within the mud like boobytraps. Of course, a little bit of harmless mud is to be expected on any Tasmanian hike, yes?
Expect stunning still lagoons, towering cliffs and thick forest on this epic Tasmanian adventure. Also expect wind, and plenty of it. But there is nothing like being dropped off by a small plane in the middle of nowhere, hitching up your bag, clipping in your sternum strap, giving your companions that unambiguous hike of the eyebrows that says What are we doing here? and making your way across the wide expanse of a chartreuse valley towards the waiting waves of the Southern Ocean.