FATMAP difficulty grade
In a country that prides itself on remote challenges, having a reputation for being the wildest, remotest trail in Australia is quite a feat.
In this case, it is deserved.
The South Coast Track is an 85km / circa 8-day trail that runs through the heart of Tasmania's remote Southwest National Park.
Everything about South Coast Track is challenge.
Simply getting to the trailhead at Melaleuca is difficult: with no roads it is a case of flying or hiking in when the weather permits.
There is a basic hut, but hikers should expect to be entirely self-sufficient. It is a taste of things to come.
Although relatively well-marked for such an isolated trail, the South Coast Track is far from a simple stroll.
Rocky and muddy in many parts, and there are significant changes in elevation as the trail crosses the Ironbound Range and South Cape Range.
There are a number of river crossings (boats are available at New River Lagoon), but plenty of time needs to be taken due to the often inclement weather. The weather represents, in fact, one of the real challenges on the trail.
With storms coming in from the South, bitter winds and heavy rainfall are not uncommon - even in the summer months.
And with huts along the track, hikers can be confined to their tents for days as these storms blow through.
Because of the weather, it is only advisable to attempt the South Coast Track in the Summer months.
Some hikers do tackle it in Winter, but it needs experience and a high level of preparedness. Given the warnings, one might wonder why anyone would want to tackle this trail.
Put simply, the South Coast Track is a true chance to disconnect.
Wild, remote, and stunning in equal measure, it is a chance to see a part of Tasmania that few people ever experience.
And while a typical itinerary will be 6-8 days, many take longer to enjoy the beautiful beaches and stunning surrounds. There is no permit or booking system for the South Coast Track, but hikers are required to get a permit to enter the national park (passes are available online or at park centres).
There is a logbook at either end of the trail (Melaleuca and Cockle Creek), and it is highly recommended that anyone attempting the trail fills out their intentions at both ends so rangers can monitor who is on the trail.
Needless to say, these logbooks are not checked regularly, so be sure to leave an itinerary with someone.
And, finally, make sure you download a map of the area - cell reception is sparse at best.
A true adventure in the Australian wilderness, the South Coast Track is a fantastic challenge for experienced hikers looking to disconnect and see a part of the world few ever lay eyes on.