Hiking during winter in Tasmania is a totally different proposition than in the warmer summer months. Short days, ferocious winds and cold temperatures can all be expected, and places take on a different character during this season.
Seeking a much needed dose of fresh air, I set out with my dad to South Cape Bay on a wild July afternoon recently. Facing rain, hail and strong winds was an enriching experience, and a reminder of the unforgiving, and at times unrelenting forces of nature.
The South Cape Bay track is located within the vast Southwest National Park, and begins at the end of Australia's southernmost road at Cockle Creek. From here, it is a further eight kilometres walk one way. The trail itself is easy to follow and relatively flat for most of the walk, meandering between eucalypt forest and open valleys along the way.
After around two hours we arrived at the moon-like cliffs overlooking the bay, which offer spectacular views toward the wild southern coastline. The southwesterly winds were blowing right into the bay, generating huge surf that blocked access to the beach below.
In finer weather, Lion Rock at the opposite end of the beach offers a wonderful picnic spot, while South Coast Track campsites are located further around the headland for those who are looking to spend more than a day on this wild and remote coastline.