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9 extremely challenging but worthwhile hikes

By: Josh Lew on June 25, 2013, 12:22 p.m.
South Coast Track rainbow

Photo: thedanphotos/Flickr

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South Coast Track

Tasmania has some great long distance hiking trails.  One of the most challenging, the South Coast Track, is also the most beautiful. Hikers on this track between the town of Melaleuca and Cockle Creek, a settlement near Hobart, the territorial capitol, get to see isolated beaches, towering mountain ranges, lush forest and scenic rivers. This is a wet place, so hikers have to contend with mud at many times of year. Swollen rivers and streams, which become rushing rapids after the frequent rainfall, must be crossed regularly, making this a very challenging journey (and one that all but requires a guide). The hike is only 52 miles, but the conditions are so variable that making 10 miles per day might be ambitious and hikers may find themselves traveling no distance at all if rivers are flooded or if they are unable to time their hike right to avoid high-tide in the seaside areas of the trail.