Please note, these walk notes are intended to aid in your decision to undertake the South Coast Track and do not give a complete breakdown of the walk. For information on trip planning, pack lists and safety information, please see our Know Before You Go pages.
The South Coast Track allows walkers to experience a part of Tasmania that many locals never lay eyes on. This 6-8 day walk journeys between Melaleuca and Cockle Creek, and dips in and out of the rugged southern coastline. The remote location, river crossings and challenging geography make this a walk for experienced walkers, but the adventure is well worth it.
The major campsites along the track are well-sheltered and most have pit toilets.
The walk can be completed from either end, but these walk notes start from Melaleuca. Walkers will need to organise transportation into Melaleuca and out of Cockle Creek. More information can be found on the South Coast Track walk page.
Day 1 - Melaleuca to Cox Bight
The first day is an easy day of walking across buttongrass plains and sandy beaches. Walkers should expect sections of the walk to be very muddy, and some sections of the boardwalk can become submerged in wet conditions.
Walkers can choose to stop at the campsite at Cox Bight, or continue a little further (1.4km) to the campsite at Point Eric.
Day 2 - Cox Bight to Louisa River
The walk starts on the beach at Cox Bight, before turning inland to buttongrass plains and forested hills. There are many creek crossings today, take care, especially after heavy rains.
Day 3 - Louisa River to Little Deadmans Bay
A very challenging day sees you ascend 900 metres onto the Ironbound Range. After traversing the exposed top - where there are good views in fine weather but rain, wind and snow at other times - there is a long descent though rainforest to the campsite at Little Deadmans Bay.
Day 4 - Little Deadmans Bay to Prion Beach campsite
- 9 km, 3 - 4 hours; allow an extra hour for the boat crossing
Walkers will have some respite from the hills, but not the mud. The day consists of buttongrass, bush, and the spectacular stretch of Prion Beach. Walkers will need to row across the marked river crossing at New River Lagoon to reach the campsite.
You will need to make the crossing three times in order to leave a boat on either side of the river for the next group.
Day 5 - Prion Beach campsite to Granite Beach
This stretch of the track includes some short climbs, clambering and rock hopping. Once you reach Granite Beach, walkers should use careful footing to negotiate the mix of sand and large stones. The campsite is located at the far end of the beach.
Side Trip - Osmiridium Beach
- 1.2 kms, 30 minutes return
Many walkers choose to camp at Osmiridium Beach, a further 2 - 2.5 hours further along from the Prion Beach boat crossing, but a short detour from the main track.
Day 6 - Granite Beach to South Cape Rivulet
Reputedly the hardest day of the South Coast Track, walkers will need to cover a long ascent through forest to cross the South Cape Range. The track is often boggy and there are many tree roots. The campsite is tucked in at the end of South Cape Bay.
Day 7 - South Cape Rivulet to Cockle Creek
The last day involves beach walks and mud. After crossing the long headland and descending to the last beach, you see the spectacular Lion Rock jutting into the sea. A set of stairs leading from the beach is your final climb as you head inland across the buttongrass plains of Blowhole Valley towards Cockle Creek.