Sunday, November 13, 2016


About 6 months ago, a friend of mine approached me with a proposition.  Carli is native Tasmanian and lover of all things in nature.  Due to her passion, she wanted to go on a bush walk (hike) that explored the southern Tasmanian coastline - her homeland.  The Australian National Parks Service had just finished building this path called the 3 Capes Track through the extreme bushland and rugged coastline as you discover Cape Raoul, Cape Pillar, and Cape Hauy --  It was 46 Kilometres in length, 4 days/3 nights, a 10 Kg pack filled with necessities like clothes and food, and elevations starting at sea level to 450 Metres at the peak.  Everything you packed in, you MUST pack out.  Carli was looking for 3 friends to take on this adventure and felt that I would be a great addition to the group!

I initially thought she was nuts and had me mixed up with some other tree-hugging friend.  I love the outdoors... if I am sitting beach or pool side with a cool drink in my hand but, I don't exactly love bush walking through forests in all sorts of weather conditions with all of my belongings strapped to my back.  I went home and chatted with my sweet hubby and children.  To my surprise, they thought I should go because whether it was good or bad, I would have stories to tell, it was character building and it would test my limits.

So I began preparing for the trip.  I bought all of the gear (hiking boots, a pack, a 700g sleeping bag, rain/wind pants, thermal underwear, etc.).  If you are going to enjoy something that is completely out of your comfort zone it is best to prepare yourself with everything that could make it more comfortable....or that is at least what I think.  I lived in my hiking boots.  I cooked in them, walked in them from sun up to sun down.  They became the perfect pairing with all my wardrobe - NOT.  But, I was determined that I would be ready.  I went out a few times with a full pack testing myself.  As our day of departure approach, I wondered why in the world I had decided to do this.  My family kept up the positive encouragement but, I was dying inside.  

The 3rd of November arrived and I was off to the airport.  I was nervous and excited. Mentally and physically, I can honestly say that it was the highs of highs and the lows of lows.  There were times when I was laughing my head off about some crazy conversation I was having with Carli, Maryanne and Rachel as we walked along. However, there were just as many times when I was overwhelmed from walking up what seemed like 1000's of steps to get to the peak of Mount Fortescue, The Blade or Arthur's Peak. 

I would pile on the clothes in the morning to deal with the cold temperatures and then shed them throughout the day because I was sweating to death from walking my day away.  I ate freeze dried food and drank many many hot cocos.  I took an ICE COLD shower and almost passed out from the brain freeze I was experiencing.  I learned so much about the flora, fauna and myself.  I learned that I can do really hard things.  There were times when I wanted to jump off the cliff because my pack was heavy and I wanted to have a rest but, I kept going.  I will always remember those days in the bush and the loving encouragement of my teammates/friends.  I could not have asked for more from these three ladies.  They were kind, insightful and pushed me.  They knew when I needed to rest and times when I needed to just push through the pain.  They shared with me how I can be a better mother, wife, woman and friend through their experiences.  

We started our adventure at Port Arthur and as we thought about the hardships that those early convicts endured at this historic site.  We were all smiles and looking forward to what was coming our way.  

We jumped on a boat that was taking us across the port to Denman's Cove.  As we left the pier, I asked the director of the track if all hikers had made it out alive.  She said that most do but, just last week two ladies had a few issues - LIFE FLIGHT TO THE RESCUE for heavy packs and being struck by lightening in the foot. YIKES!

The Adventure begins......

This is where we camped....huts like this along the route.

Rachel and Maryanne sporting their awesome looking gear!  

10,000 Humpback whales pass this point twice a year as they migrate to warmer waters to give birth.

Freezing blue waters below!

Last day and I was thrilled that I had made it this FAR!

The home stretch....yummy dinner and a hot shower were calling my name.

Our ending spot.
On a side note, Maryanne's hubby (lady above in the YELLOW pants) has wanted to be featured our blog for years.  He asks about every time we see him.  So this is Tim Baker....he is a Manning Family favorite and makes us laugh all of the time.  
Cameo DONE!


  1. W.O.W. !!! It must have been a very memorable experience. I would have done it in a minute... NO regrets, mate 👍 So glad you went and shared 💞

    1. Thanks so much! I am glad that I went! - Cheers

  2. So stinkin proud of you Steph! Clearly this was not easy for you, but you did it! Sometimes as we get older in life we don't challenge ourselves in ways like this (we only do it in our youth) but this has been a brilliant opportunity to prove that you can do hard things!! Love!!

    1. Thanks so much Kelli. I appreciate the positive thoughts. You are very sweet - xo

  3. Oh totally awesome that you took on this challenge. I wish so bad I could have been right along side of you. I love outdoor adventures like this. I bet Sid was so proud of you! I cant wait to hear more! Are you coming for Christmas?

    1. Thanks so much Shannon! Sid was really excited for me however, he reminded me many times to stay away from the edge of the cliffs. He wanted me to come back. We will not be there at Christmas but, sometime 2017 we will be back. Hopefully we will see you soon - xoxo - Steph