Crescent Bay & Mount Brown walk | Tasman Peninsula
The Tasman Peninsular is such an impressive, rugged place to adventure. The wilderness is beautiful, punctured by isolated beaches, and signs of early settlement and convict ruins.
Approximately 1.5 hours from Hobart, in the vicinity of Tasmania's significant convict historic site, Port Arthur is a coastal walk that takes you to Mount Brown and Crescent Bay. It's a fairly easy hike over dunes covered in coastal scrub. The start of the walk is about 40 meters back up the road from the Remarkable Cave Lookout car park.
On this walk you can expect to see some amazing geological features, rough swell, waves dramatically crashing against cliffs, and plenty of wildlife. At the fork in the track I decided to do the scramble up Mount Brown before continuing down to the beach. While most of the track is pretty easy going, Mount Brown can be treacherous and slippery. A lot of its surface is smooth rock with loose stones and rock shards all over it. On a good day I imagine you'd have an incredible view across to Cape Raoul, Cape Pillar, Tasman Island and the waters surrounding Port Arthur. On the day I hiked there was too much sea mist hanging around (waaaah!).
The track is within the Tasmanian National Park, so bear that in mind. You'll need a valid Parks Pass. I would also caution people to stay alert around the many steep cliffs and the edges of the Maingon Blowhole.
I loved this walk, there were so many features you don't often see. There were little freshwater streams running through the heath amidst the dunes. I could hear frog calls (there must have been thousands of them close to the cliffs enjoying all those streams!). There is a blowhole called Maingon Blowhole, which happens to look a little falic. I even saw a penguin tucked in his little burrow.
One of my favourite parts of the walk, other than Crescent Bay itself, was where the path dipped quite suddenly. Once down there the world turned silent. I could still see the ocean but I couldn't hear it anymore. It was a little bit eerie but so peaceful.
This walk would be even more magical in the summer, and would probably feel quite different. It would be easily manageable on a hot day. It's not too long (approx 4 hours return) and not too steep, if you cut out the Mount Brown scramble. Going for a swim in Crescent Bay at the end of the hike would, in my opinion, be the bees knees.
While you're in the areayou could take the steps down into a collapsed gully to the Remarkable Cave (your car is literally going to be parked in front of it). It's a tunnel, carved out of a cliff, created by waves over thousands of years. The waves dramatically crash through it making a racket. It looks a bit like a smugglers' access to the sheer coastline.
After you've feasted your eyes on that geological marvel you get to climb back up all the stairs you came down. A good opportunity to get some expletives out of your system...
Fun Fact: I didn't actually make it the summit of Mount Brown. There's a giant cairn (pyramid of rocks) at the Crescent Bay lookout. I thought it was the summit marker but apparently there's a trig point at the top. What a fool!
More information on the walk can be found here