Sandy Cape Track - A Guide to 4x4 Driving
This article has been written and provided by Trekking Downunder.
We are a young family of 5 currently overlanding around Australia full-time. Our experience includes Outback remote travel, road/homeschooling, blogs, budgets, reviews, radio and digital magazines. We hit the road in early 2018 and have never looked back! We share our knowledge of travelling with kids and hope to inspire other's to take the plunge and live a more meaningful and intentional life! -Ryan and Amy
For any adventure seeking 4wd enthusiast with a capable vehicle this track is a must when on the West coast of Tasmania.
We started our trip from the quaint little town of Arthur River. We stayed at the Manuka campground up the road from the info centre which was very well priced at $13.00 per/night or $50.00 p/week. We love just how many freedom camps there are located through Tasmania. We were expecting plenty of rain in the coming days so we decided to purchase our permit to travel through the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area and travel to the Sandy Cape lighthouse the following day. The permit cost was $30.00 and includes free camping within the Conservation Area at the nominated campgrounds.
We headed off around 10am as the weather was quite overcast but as we have learnt Tassie's weather is quite unpredictable. It turned out to be a perfect day for our adventure south.
First stop was the entrance to the Temma - Greenes Creek Track in Temma where we let our tyres down to a more comfortable pressure for the rocky/Sandy terrain.
It is worth noting that this track really is for capable 4wd's only and is rated medium to hard depending on the conditions. If there has been plenty of rainfall it is advisable to speak to the local rangers in the Arthur River Visitor's centre to get an update on the conditions prior to tackling this coastal 4wd treasure.
There had been some rainfall the previous day which provided plenty of water crossings but these were all very shallow. We continued our way along the Temma - Greenes Creek Track until we made our way out onto a secluded little beach. We were confused at first on where to go as we were the first and only people on the track after the rain and their were no tyre marks in any direction which made navigation that little bit more interesting. We found a narrow track leading up and out from the beach behind a small water crossing which after following for some time proved to be the right path.
The track continued for some time with a mixture of very sandy conditions to rocky/water conditions. It is very narrow in sections so be prepared for some bush pin striping.
Eventually we made our way out of the tight narrow passages and met the beginning of the Sandy Cape Track.
We then stopped to air down even further as we had been warned of the quicksand like sections and surfaces along this stretch of beach. This section claims many unsuspecting explorers each year.
The soft patches of sand were very noticeable as the vehicle would quickly bog down and then pick back up again as we drove. We stuck to the darker wet patches of sand slightly closer to the water as this is generally the harder of the surfaces. This optioned worked well for us with no issues and a very exciting relaxing drive along the beach towards the lighthouse.
As we were nearing the end of the beach track we spotted the red marker that indicated the exit point from the beach to head up towards the lighthouse. There are many tracks between the beach and the lighthouse which are unmarked so be prepared for some exploring.
After we found our way to the lighthouse we chose to drive the rocky track to the tip which required some handy navigational skills and correct tyre placement. The views from the lighthouse are nothing short of amazing and we felt a deep spiritual connection to the land and the ocean at this location.
We had planned to stay overnight but due to time constraints, we decided to complete this trip in one day which was very doable and enjoyable. We had lunch at the lighthouse with plenty of stops along the way and returned to our Arthur River camp around 5pm.
This is definitely a trip worth doing for those who enjoy getting off the beaten track.