“The thing I love about it is after the plane drops you off, and it leaves,’ reflects Ash Werner, South Coast Track guide for almost a decade.

“Then you know you’re out there. And you know you have to walk to get yourself back out.”

It’s hands down the most sought after trip to lead in the Tasmanian Expeditions guide team. It’s remote. Wild. Often very wet. And you haul your own stuff. All of it. It’s the iconic South Coast Track in south-western Tasmania.


Unspoilt landscapes, remote untouched beaches, wild and rugged mountain ranges, pristine rivers, and towering rainforests – this is the sort of untamed wilderness real walkers dream of travelling through.

Originally an Aboriginal trade and migration route before being used as an escape route for shipwrecked sailors, Tasmania’s South Coast Track now serves as an escape route from the rapid pace of modern life.

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Only fit and experienced walkers should consider it. With its location in the deep south, at what seems like the very edge of the world (Antarctica to the south, west into the roaring 40’s wind and the next land mass, to the east, South America) inclement weather is all part of the adventure.

Access to the South Coast Track begins with a spectacular flight from Hobart to the remote, hand-made airstrip at the World Heritage listed hamlet of Melaleuca. Along with history, wildlife is also in abundance along the South Coast Track. A plethora of wildlife including wombats, pademelons, quolls and the rare orange-bellied parrot all call this place home.


Your backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 20kgs if you organise a trip that can cater for food drops, such as ours. You should also look for the luxury of good time, 9 days ideally, to complete the 80km trail. Time should also be allocated for inclement weather as well as rest days to swim or relax on the empty beaches, well, empty of people – not wildlife such as seals!  If you are likely only to ever treat yourself to this area just once in your lifetime, ensure you do it right.

Mud, river crossings and wet feet are a given on this trek. Even your gaiters won’t do their job on certain sections. As you head east from Melaleuca along your traverse of the Ironbound ranges you’ll encounter pristine beaches, rivers frequently swollen with torrential rainfall and ascend several mountain ranges which climb well above sea level into alpine conditions – complete with snow at certain times of the year.

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The fitter the whole group is the better to ensure a chance to try one of the many side trip opportunities.  The more you trained before a trip like this the more you’ll thank yourself later.

The South Coast Track is a challenging trek with long days, big packs and trying conditions. That’s what our guides love about it, and if you love the sound of it as well visit Tasmanian Expeditions to find a South Coast Track date to join us on this summer.

About The Author

Brad Atwal is an adventure travel junkie having worked for World Expeditions for over 15 years on three continents. His ambition to showcase the world’s wildest places was inspired by an early visit to his dad’s village in India and he counts himself as one of the lucky ones to be able to wax lyrical about destinations from the Arctic to the Outback. When he’s not seeking out inspirational places to share with others you’ll find him paddling up a creek, with a paddle, with his three young daughters near his home in Coffs Harbour.

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