After a thoroughly enjoyable adventure hiking the Overland Track one year previous, we decided to take it to the next level and attempt the more challenging South Coast Track in Tasmania.
Careful planning, self-sufficiency, orientation, good fitness and mental stamina are the name of the game for this one. There are no huts or resident rangers on the trail and for most of the day you walk in complete isolation in this wild and remote part of the world (deep joy). The weather is very unpredictable so it's wise to pack your bag for almost any eventuality ranging from streaming sunshine to sideways hailstones! Most importantly, make sure you have a good set of broken-in waterproof boots. Absolutely essential!
You'd be forgiven for thinking that the track takes you on a day-by-day amble along the wild coastal beaches, but the reality is that you'll spend much of the daytime fighting through bushes and bogs inland. There's no track charge for this one, but we'd be willing to shell out a few notes to sponsor a chainsaw and a big machete to hack back some of the fallen trees and overgrown bushes.
I sit here writing the trip report six months after making the journey. The aches and pains have gone, but there's still mixed emotions about this track. I thought that moving up a level in the adventure stakes and wildness would push the enjoyment to a new high, but the result was unexpectedly lower. The camaraderie in our group, the challenges and good weather made it a trip to remember, but would we recommend it to others? Try the Overland first and then decide if an extra helping of pain is your thing.