My Top 10 Travel Memories of 2016: #8

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Number 8: Listening to music atop The Blade

At the end of April, my friend and I travelled to Tasmania to try out the Three Capes Track, a new hiking trail stretching 46km across the state’s south east coast. I had visited this region exactly a year before and loved it- the coastal cliffs were some of the most majestic I’ve ever seen- so I was very excited to revisit this beautiful corner of the earth.

Over four days of walking, the Track brings you right to the very rim of two of the three famous capes in the Tasman Peninsula- Cape Pillar on Day 3 and Cape Hauy on Day 4.(The third, Cape Raoul, is visible on the horizon on Day 2, but is not yet encompassed by the Track.)

The guide book that you receive on the first day is entitled ‘Encounters on the Edge’ and let me tell you, the experience of hiking the capes certainly lives up to that name. Especially when you make it to the top of The Blade, which is the premier viewpoint of the Cape Pillar region.

The steps leading up to the summit are, surprisingly, not as strenuous as they seem but make no mistake, climbing this pinnacle of dolerite rock is not for the fainthearted. There are no barriers to protect hikers from the cliff edge, making it a 262m free fall to the depths of the Tasman Sea below. Now, I’m not afraid of heights but being mere metres away from such a sheer drop, I certainly felt a cautionary sense of respect for my surrounds.

And what surrounds they were. From atop The Blade, you have unobstructed views of an ancient host of sea cliffs that march along one of the most rugged coastlines in the world. It’s also an unsurpassed look-out point for viewing Tasman Island, a giant plateau rising 300m above the sea and the site of one of the most isolated lighthouses in Australia.

We were lucky that the weather was as perfect as can be: clear skies, warm sunshine and not even the slightest whisper of wind- quite remarkable in a region famous for the Roaring Forties. This meant that we could sit back and enjoy the magnificent landscape around us.

So naturally, I pulled out my iPod and put on some tunes because nothing makes me feel more zen than a pretty view and some chilled melodies. I looked out towards the horizon and my mind became a reflection of the calm and still waters shimmering like glass around me. In a world that is constantly go-go-go, I treasure any experience that wipes my mind of everything except the feeling of contentment of living in the present moment.