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Coastal Cliffs on the South Coast Track

South Cape Rivulet to Cockle Creek

South Coast Track

The Hike - After six memorable and challenging days on the South Coast Track, it was time for the final day into Cockle Creek to complete what was an amazing trip. Continuing the trend for the last few mornings, we were greeted with overcast conditions as we got out of our tents to start the process of breakfast, packing up and getting onto the trail. With only 13km to get through today across some of the easiest terrain of the whole track, we weren't in a hurry to get going. Donovan had booked us a transfer with Tasmanian Wilderness Experiences to pick us up from Cockle Creek at 3pm and take us back to Hobart.

I love how well Tassie is setup for hikers to come out and be able to easily organise logistics for remote walks. Talking to a few people around camp, it was going to be a full bus back to Hobart, so we were all in the same situation with regards to not being in a rush. While we enjoyed breakfast and slowly packed things away, the local Pademelons from last night joined us. Donovan carefully guarded his breakfast this time but they were interested in the human food. Considering we weren't in a hurry to get going, we ended up being ready for take-off just after 8am, so decided it was better to rest at the finish than dawdle around here for no reason. Leaving camp for the last time, the first part of the morning would be a relaxed walk along the expansive beach at South Cape Rivulet. With the temperatures being on the cooler side, this was first time I left camp wearing my jacket. 


The mood was good as we walked along the edge of the creek, admiring the Kelp Gulls as we made our way to the harder sand close to the water. It's an easy start to the day and with the grey lighting, the photos weren't popping as much as when we arrived the previous afternoon. Hoping the conditions would clear, Bronwyn and I posed for Donovan's filming as we walked along the beach. After about 800m we reached the end and a really cool section of coastal cliffs (that we wouldn't be walking along). Exploring the rocks and the washed up Bull Kelp while everyone had a look around, it's always nice to do a bit of beach combing. Leaving the beach via the easily spotted exit point, we would be crossing the first of two headlands, with this one being the smallest hill of them. Walking through the coastal mallee, it was a brief time away from the beach before we were once again staring at the wilds of the Southern Ocean. 

Stepping out onto the second of three beaches for the morning, it's only a short 400m walk to the end. Bronwyn had decided to leave her shoes off for the little headland section and so continued on bare foot along the beach. Not wanting to faff about to take off my boots for such a short beach walk, I kept away from the crashing waves and concentrated on photographing the moody conditions. A little different to the first beach, this one was a good reminder of Day Five thanks to the granite pebbles closer to the coastal scrub. Thanks to the low tide, we didn't have to negotiate the shifting stones that while fun, take a bit of concentration to get through without a rolled ankle. The end of the beach is where all the action is, with the dark and gothic looking cliffs providing some excellent photographic opportunities. Before that, I was enamoured with the rocky shelves poking out from the sand. Getting closer, the deep green of the plants that cover them was looking a treat as the waves poured over them before retreating.

With Bronwyn putting her shoes back on, I had some time to explore this area, and spent a good amount of time watching the water drip down the spires of green hanging off the rocks. When I was done with that, my focus turned to the waves crashing against the rocky columns at the tip of the headland. When the sun isn't shining, these kinds of dramatic scenes go a long way to providing some more interesting photos. With the others still faffing around, I decided to climb the stairs that lead you off the beach and into the undergrowth. Spotting a couple of rocks with a unique pattern, I wondered what caused the circular markings on them. Eventually I was joined by a Bronwyn and Donovan and we started the biggest climb of the day that sees you ascend about 100m to near the top of Coal Bluff. We joked that certain Liberal politicians would love this spot as we waled through thickets of ferns and the occasional muddy patch. Compared to previous days, this was a small hill, so it didn't take much effort to reach the first of the excellent lookout spots.