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Point Eric to Louisa River Campsite

Point Eric to Louisa River

South Coast Track

The Hike - After what had been an unbelievably amazing Day One on the South Coast Track, I set my alarm early on day two to capture what I hoped would be a nice sunrise. My aim for this trip was to maximise the experience and I'd be trying to watch as many of the sunrises and sunsets as possible. This is made a little more difficult in Tasmania during the summer as first light is around 4:30am and it's still light until about 10pm. With the need for rest taking priority in the latter half of the trip, this was the only proper sunrise I saw and with a cloudless morning, it wasn't an epic display of colour but more a subtle glow. After taking a few shots and going for a bit of a wander along the beach, I retired back to my tent for some more sleep. 

It had been a warm night but with the outer shell of my tent open to allow a breeze through, and my sleeping bag unzipped to form a quilt, I was super comfortable. Awaking after an hour or so of extra sleep, I found Donovan already up and about in the golden glow of the morning. He had been wandering around, doing some filming and talking to other hikers, something we didn't really do the previous night. All three of us aren't exactly social people and it took a few days to really start engaging with the other groups that were on the same schedule. When we were planning the trip I did not expect it to be this busy and Tim, a solo hiker from Queensland said the last time he did it two years ago, he saw maybe four people the whole week. We consistently had a group of eleven of us at each campsite, plus others heading the other way or on faster/slower schedules so numbers ranged between 12 to 30+ people at each campsite. Today would be our longest day on the track, distance wise, and Donovan was keen to get going early.


I'm never the best at packing up my gear, so start to finish including breakfast is usually well over an hour in total. My levels of faffing were nothing compared to Bronwyn, so it was a little before 8am when we were ready to go and I could feel Donovan's frustration bubbling away as he's typically an early departer from camp. The forecast for today was the warmest day we were going to have with temperatures in the late 20s. To start the day we had about three kilometres of beach walking, broken up with a scoot around the Black Cliffs. This may be the first hike where I've started the day with the boots firmly tied to my pack and walked in thongs. There seemed to be less Bluebottles on this side of Point Eric, so I decided to start the day in comfort. Walking in an easterly direction to begin with wasn't ideal as for the first half of the day, we would be facing the sun but the photos didn't turn out too bad in the end. There are several creeks that flow into the ocean along here and we stopped at the larger one so Donovan and Bronwyn could fill up for the morning. 

The beach walking was a pleasant way to start the day's walking and going at our own pace, we all eventually arrived at the Black Cliffs. I settled down in the shade of the rock wall to take some photos of the Tea Trees and shell collection that had washed up over time, along with putting on my boots to deal with the rocky shuffle around the cliffs. Being closer to high tide than low tide, the water was washing up against the rocks and it became clear early on that this would involve getting wet feet. With slippery rocks below or potentially sharp pieces, I didn't feel comfortable going without shoes or in my thongs, so after trying to keep dry by waiting for gaps in the waves, I eventually picked the easiest line around the rocks. This for not the last time today resulted in flooded boots and wet socks but I wasn't expecting the South Coast Track to be a dry boot affair. Watching the others negotiate the rocks, we were soon back on dry beach and walking along the last beach section until Day Four. As we approached the Buoy Creek crossing and the exit off the beach, I spotted the source of a flashing light we could see from camp last night, a boat anchored in the bay. 


The beach exits are pretty easy to find along the SCT and this one was no different thanks to the marine rubbish that is pulled off the beach and arranged in trees. Another pile of fishing nets and buoys is located in the bushes off the beach and I enjoy that hikers are doing the right thing and removing it from the beach. Hopefully when the pile gets big enough it might be airlifted out by Tas Parks but that's some expensive rubbish removal. Taking one last look at Cox Bight from the beach, we headed into the dense coastal scrub that based on the previous day and the photos in the John Chapman guidebook, would be the dominant vegetation type for the rest of the day. This didn't turn out to be the case and after maybe 50 metres, the track exited the shade and onto boardwalk that takes you into the exposed buttongrass plains leading to the only significant hill of the day. It was still early morning and the temperatures weren't too bad, so we ventured along a mix of old boardwalk, crushed rock paths and the new grid style boardwalk that is is preferred these days over traditional wood decking.