On a weekend in November we headed up to the North West Coast to visit family, and managed to sneak in a coastal walk while we were there. The Rocky Cape National Park is small, but beautiful and has some of the best preserved Aboriginal cave art in Tasmania. Somewhere between Smithton and Burnie, the park is accessed from the highway and is home to a few rickety fisherman shacks, a lighthouse and features white sands and blue water surrounded by the hills. A one way walk from Rocky Cape to Sisters Beac, we got dropped off at Rocky in the morning and picked up from the Sisters Beach local store once we were done.
The walk we chose takes you from the first beaches you reach when you are driving through the park, along the coastline to Sisters Beach to the east. The beginning of the walk is accessed from the road and takes you straight up for a quick climb into the sandy, scrubby hills. This gives you excellent views of the rock formations the park is known for, as well as the North Cave; the largest Aboriginal cave in the area. The track continues on a ridgeline for a bit before ducking down into deeper scrub. We decided to take a quick detour down to the coastline to Cathedral Rock, a feature of the coastline that resembles a church.
After taking a few quick snaps we head back up to the ridge and continued along for another hour or so before we hit the beginning of the coastal part of the walk; Anniversary Bay. Here we had lunch before scouring the beach as we walked for shells-especially cowries (few and far between) and abalone (a dime a dozen). This part of the walk is much of the same, all white sand with a couple of parts along rocks that require some scrambling. An hour and a half later we were back at the base of the next section of the walk. We climbed up from the Bay quickly and found ourselves back on another ridge that curled around the hills and gave us more speccy views of the area. From here, we could see our destination between the hills and sea-Sisters Beach. We passed through a small banksia grove and considered taking a detour down to the Southern Caves-but decided to continue. The remainder of the walk is relatively flat, dipping up and down with ridge until you reach the descent down to sea level again into Sisters. We finished up with some chippies at the takeaway; not a very challenging walk and took us about 4 hours to complete.
Getting there: The Rocky Cape National Park is about an hour west of Burnie, following the Bass Highway. The turn off to the park is on the right, with the Rocky Cape General Store on the corner. Drive along the stretch of Rocky Cape Road for about 15 minutes, where the bitumen turns to gravel. Another 5 minutes, and you reach a junction where the road either goes right, down to the main boat ramp or continues on to the lighthouse and shacks. The beginning of the walk is just prior to this junction on the right. Cars can be parked on the left of the turn off to the boat ramp.
To be picked up from Sisters Beach, follow the Bass Highway west out of Burnie for approximately 40 minutes. Turn off at the sign for Boat Harbour on the right, not long after passing the school and a small store in an 80km zone. Continue along this road, bypassing the turn on the right down to Boat Harbour, for another 10 minutes. Eventually, you come down a series of S-bends to reach the local shacks. Follow the signage to the boat ramp to reach the end of the walk, which comes out adjacent.