Sand Surfing on the Peninsula
by Sarah Aitken
The half-day walk to Crescent Beach in the Tasman National Park offers so much- including epic sand dunes for surfing and incredible views.
I love a good value walk. I don’t mean a cheap one (though I do love that too), I mean a walk that offers you a lot for relatively little effort. This is one of those walks.
For starters, there are the incredible views. The picture-perfect- postcard-shots-of-Tasmania views. We were lucky to have a clear and sunny first half of the walk and could see the crisp outline of Cape Raoul’s jagged dolerite pipes almost immediately. The track winds over sandy dunes and rocky crops, with the expansive deep blue of the ocean always in sight. We saw heaps of birds, including a soaring pair of Sea Eagles, and I imagine at the right time of year it would be a great area for whale-spotting. About a third of the way along the track comes to Maingon Blowhole, where a solid bridge lets you stand, suspended, above the vertiginous chasm as seawater sloshes in and out many, many metres below. The blowhole was formed when a sea cave collapsed leaving behind a deep, narrow sink hole. It’s fenced, but not for long – one ridiculous child of mine did immediately attempt to go around the fence onto the dangerous side – keep them close at this point.
A little further along there is the option to climb Mt Brown, which I gazed at longingly but which we didn’t reach, as little legs were eager to hit the dunes. As we rounded the final big bend and we got our first food look at Crescent Beach the waters looked almost tropical, with white sand and an aqua-turquoise blend in the sunny shallows. Across the bay the iconic cliffs of the Tasman Peninsula continue off into the distance, with Tasman Island standing out, front and centre. Here you can catch the essence of the Three Capes Track, for free.
The walk and views would be enough for a lot of people, but the real icing on the cake – especially for the kids – are the sand dunes here. Ranging in size and steepness, there’s something for everyone to have a go at. You can bring your own boogie – or even a piece of cardboard – to ride, but others have helpfully stashed a variety of boards in the bushes at the start of the beach. Watching the kids careen down the dunes with increasing speed and decreasing control was hilarious and totally joyful. All in all this walk is perfect for kids – our pack of little walkers ranged in age from 4 to 10 and whilst the littlest legs did get piggybacked on the return trip, overall they all absolutely loved it, as did their parents. Add it to the list!
The full walk is 7.5km, 4 hours return. Taking out Mt Brown reduces that by about an hour but you’ll want that hour – and then some – at the dunes. There are plenty of cliffs in the area so keep little ones close and stay on the track. The track doesn’t ever veer too close to the edge, apart from the blowhole crossing. The walk starts and ends at the Remarkable Cave car park in the Tasman National Park. There are toilets here but no water – bring everything you need with you.