VIEWED from the air, the Tasman Peninsula's dramatic sea cliffs are spectacular, but from the ground, the four-day trek is designed to deliver visitors the ultimate experience.
Both Federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson and Coalition counterpart Bob Baldwin took to the air yesterday to survey work on the Three Capes Track.
Bags of gravel dropped by helicopters dot one section of the second stage of the track roughly carved out by workmen on the ground. The track rarely strays further than 30 metres from the cliffs, the highest in the Australasia.
It's an expensive operation but project manager Colin Shepherd believes it will be worth every dollar. The first stage to Cape Hauy was finished in June last year, and Mr Shepherd said the results were clear.
Since then, about 6000 people have walked the new track, compared to less than 5000 on average for a whole year before that.
``I have done quite a bit of bushwalking around Australia and the world and I'd contend this is as good as anywhere,'' he said.
The 36-kilometre eastern section, including huts with mattresses and cooking facilities, is expected to be completed by Christmas 2015, allowing visitors to spend four days and three nights in the wilderness.
Mr Baldwin and Mr Ferguson were both impressed by what they saw.
``In such a competitive environment, you have to provide something different and that looks like an absolutely unique experience,'' Mr Baldwin said.
There remains some doubt over the third and final stage to extend the track to Cape Raoul with the cost of the project blowing out to $40 million _ $7 million more than estimated.
The federal government has committed $12.5 million and the state government has promised $12.8 million. It's unclear where the rest of the money will come from.
Mr Baldwin refused to commit to spending whatever it took to finish the project.
But he said projects with a clear economic return would be looked at favourably. ``There's nothing worse than having a project that's half-completed,'' he said.