Set foot on the edge of the earth.
What is it?
When a site has the unofficial name of ‘The Scariest Cliff in the Known Universe’, you know they mean business. At Cape Pillar in the Tasman National Park you will find the tallest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere. They rise straight up from the dark blue waters of the Southern Ocean, soaring to a stomach-lurching 300 metres. The views are incredible, stretching out over an endless ocean, across to Bruny Island and back northwest towards Hobart. Tiptoe up to the edge – if you dare.
Where is it?
Cape Pillar is at the southeastern tip of the Tasman Peninsula, which is in the southeast of the main island of Tasmania. The drive from Hobart takes around one hour. It is the most southeasterly point of Australia and there is essentially nothing beyond it until you reach Antarctica.
How can I visit?
Get ready for a considerable hike. The sea cliffs at Cape Pillar are a two-day roundtrip walk from Fortescue Bay, around 30 kilometres to the north. You will need to cover 22 kilometres on the first day and eight kilometres on the second day, camping overnight at Wughalee Falls. Cape Pillar is also part of the newly developed Three Capes Track, a three-night, 46-kilometre route that opened in 2015. It starts in Port Arthur with a boat ride across the bay and then hugs (very close) to the coastline. You’ll need to be able to carry your own pack and provisions, and have a reasonable level of fitness.
You can also see the cliffs from the water. Short cruises sail between Eaglehawk Neck (a narrow isthmus that joins the Forestier and Tasman peninsulas) and Port Arthur. Small boats will pass close to the base of the cliffs, giving an incredible perspective straight up the face.
Have you ever visited Cape Pillar?
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