Tasmania’s next iconic multi day walking experience
Cave to Coast Iconic Walk Proposal, a brief description:
This walk starts at Hastings Caves and ends at South Cape Bay. It adheres to the Tasmanian World Heritage Management Plan 2016 and takes existing trails and tracks; builds new where necessary and cleverly links them all to existing tourism highlights enhanced with commercially viable yet sensitively placed guiding and accommodation. Walkers will experience an unusual complex of ecologies including karst systems, beaches, button grass plains, dry to wet Sclerophyll Forest (including stands of old growth forests). They can ride on the historic tiny train to Southport Bay’s beautiful Deep Hole or cycle along the tracks as an option…tramp the splendid landscape encasing Southport Lagoon keeping one eye on those unreal mountains… sense the presence of the First Nations people…be guided by local Indigenous and other specialist rangers… learn of past explorers …safely boat across Recherche Bay toward Cockle Creek…then take the magnificent hike out to South Cape Bay. As a finale they will stand in the presence of Australia’s southernmost point. We are confident that this walk has sufficient unique hooks to accommodate an iconic status.
Each of the evenings can be spent in mid range accommodation designed to be contemporary, eco friendly and referencing past occupation. Or visitors may choose to camp at the low impact camp sites. This walk is designed to attract interstate and international visitors whilst enhancing the enjoyment by local people of their own ‘backyards’. Either group can choose to take a commercial ‘upgrade’.
The Far South consortia has been working with many community stakeholders to put forward our vision for the state’s next great multi-day walking experience. With Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife funding on the table for the right experience we believe that this route will provide well deserved and improved infrastructure for the benefit of all the community as well as training and employment opportunities.
MEDIA RELEASE/ADVISORY December 2018
CAVE TO COAST – TASSIE’S NEXT ICONIC WALK?
Emerge from Australia’s largest dolomite cave to ultimately stand in awe at the enormity of the waves of the nation’s southern-most point.
Breathe in the cleanest air in the world and blow those cobwebs away.
This is some journey. Tasmania’s stunning wild areas and waterways packed up into an incredible experience that cannot be anything but iconic.
Community group Far South Future, local tourism association Far South Tasmania, the Huon Valley Council and Destination Southern Tasmania have collaborated to curate a mystical expedition to our version of World’s End.
Far South Future President Rachael Truman said the promised sealing of the tourist road to Hastings Caves in 2019 will facilitate travel to the walk’s starting point.
“This will encourage development of this incredible area, and what better way to start the walk than to experience this amazingly diverse landscape above and below ground?” Ms Truman said.
Destination Southern Tasmania CEO Alex Heroys said DST was fully supportive of opportunities to create iconic experiences in southern Tasmania.
“The Cave to Coast Walk would increase regional dispersal and yield. This opportunity will stack up against other options around our state and whatever happens in the end, there is no doubt this is an exceptional idea in one of the most beautiful areas of the South,” Mr Heroys said.
The Cave to Coast will offer an unusual mix of complex and sometimes unique Tasmanian ecologies including karst systems, beaches, button grass plains and old growth forest.
Ms Trueman said in consultation with the South East Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation (SETAC), the trail will continue to evolve to ensure that it does not transgress culturally sensitive areas or leave an ill-considered footprint in our World Heritage areas.
“The Cave to Coast concept has been designed to make the most of the existing trails and iconic highlights of the Far South including Hastings Caves and the area’s beautiful lagoons and hot springs,” she said.
“Hikers will have the opportunity to learn about the area’s significance to, and past caretaking practices by the Tasmanian Aboriginal people from indigenous park rangers. ”
“We know that respectful story-telling is the key to connecting visitors with place and culture, and ultimately this connection is what takes a walking experience from spectacular to iconic.
“The indigenous story is at its heart in the spirit of reconciliation but this story cannot be properly told without recognising European first contact and settler ingenuity. On offer is the site of the first European scientific observation and the lost French garden amidst the landscape where the D’Entrecasteaux expedition first brought their explorers and scientists to Tasmanian shores.”
Ms Trueman said the Cave to Coast could be designed to be a four-day, three-night trail featuring a number of transport modes.
“Designed ultimately to immerse every walker in off-road simplicity and quiet, it still offers a variety of ways to diversify the journey including a boat trip in the bow waves of the French and British expeditions across timeless Recherché Bay, or the option to hop aboard a bike and maybe even board the most charming of small trains.
“Small mid-range eco accommodation will be designed to reflect the history and cultures of the walk and stargazing will feature as an evening activity with the chance to see the fabled Southern Aurora. With no ambient light to detract from the gaze, the Far South seems to serve up so many more stars with each being dazzlingly bright.”
Mr Heroys said the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service is looking to find the experience that best tells our story to visitors that will value and support our beliefs.
“What better way to do it than an authentic walking experience, shared by locals and visitors alike? Far South Future believes that this route is iconic and exceptional, and will benefit the community as well as creating training and employment opportunities.”