Location: Three Thumbs State Reserve near Orford
Length: 4 kilometres
Grade: 3 (suitable for most with short steep sections)
Distance from: Hobart - 85 km, Launceston - 201 km, Devonport - 282 km
The Three Thumbs are undulating hills just southwest of the summer town of Orford. And this walk is a bit odd as you don't have to earn any stunning views. Instead, the best views of the hike are from the carpark at the Three Thumbs Lookout over Maria Island, Orford, Prosser Bay and its river. The view fills you with delight as you can see why Tasmania makes Orford one of its top holiday destinations. Crystal clear blue waters, rugged islands, flowing rivers and white sand beaches cover the landscape.
The loop walk takes you along the ridges of all three thumbs and each thumb gives you a unique view, though none quite as spectacular as the one witnessed at the outset. You'll undulate through dry eucalyptus forest and small portions of temperate rainforest before returning to the carpark. This short, medium-difficulty hike is simply a great way to get some excercise after enjoying the Three Thumbs Lookout and its picnic area.
Take Charles Street (C320) south out of Orford to take a right onto Wielangta Road, locally known as W Road. Follow W Road for 4 kilometres to a fork in the road and then bear right to follow the signs for the Three Thumbs Day Use Area. The trailhead sits just before the carpark at the big bend in the dirt road.
Hobart is an hour and 14 minutes away. The drive from Launceston takes a little more than 2.5 hours as the inland city sits 201 kilometres to the northwest. Devonport is 282 kilometres away and that drive should take about 3.5 hours.
After being gobsmacked by the view from the Three Thumbs Picnis Area, it's time to make the sharp climb to the first thumb's ridge and the loop trail. This first bit lasts for about 50 metres and is the most diificult part of the walk.
You'll undulate along the ridges of the thumbs and each will present different views of Orford and the Prosser River. The track is well-maintained and marked by cairns so there's little worry of getting lost. The final thumb presents some rock scrambling to the 549-metre summit. If you can see through the treeline, the third thumb's summit presents the second best views. Return to the carpark on the same track.
Wear sturdy shoes as there is some rock scrambling and steep sections.
Weather can change abruptly at elevation. Pack snacks, water and something to protect yourself from precipitation.