It was 9.13 am when I got off the bus at Tranmere (that is, a 25 minute bus ride from the Hobart city centre) and I was ready to walk but unsure which route to take. My first idea was to walk up some side streets hoping their ends would be in open paddocks which I could walk across. I can now tell you not to walk up Norla St or Spinnaker Crescent to the locked gates and fences,
unless you want to appreciate the fabulous views of the River and beyond. At 9.45 am I was back down onto Oceana Drive near its southern end where the Crescent makes its connection.
The sealed bitumen road of Oceana Drive quickly changes into a gravel road. Then across my path a padlocked gate and a barbed wire fence that descends towards the River, effectively blocked my progress. The tiny yellow sign glowed in the sunlight: Keep out private property.
Ahead of me on the other side of the gate, a car track wound into the distance and then disappeared into a gully. On the crest of the distant hill sat a forest of casuarina trees. Before these trees, and across the hill, golden grasses rippled when the wind blew onshore. The sky was blue.
Sometimes there is a correct way and an incorrect way to go about doing things.
My intention has always been to provide directions for people who would like to follow in my footsteps and so if I was to describe a way that cannot be repeated, then I would mislead you. It is sufficient to say that I went the wrong way but returned the right way. Yes yes yes. You guessed it. I jumped that gate onto private property and continued on with plovers wheeling overhead all the while trying to protect their little bird that ran in terror into the tussocky grass.
In a later posting I will describe how to walk to Trywork Point without walking on private land.
It is clear that someone is currently subdividing this land and I guess that new blocks of land will be offered for sale at some time in the future. Once this happens, then the land will be opened up and become accessible. Well-worn single file cattle tracks, evidenced by hoof marks and weathered cow pats, ranged through this land. Everything was dry and disintegrating so that I didn’t believe a herd had passed along these tracks recently.
I reached a new fence with a prominent sign on the other side: This is NOT public land. Uphill the fence stopped in the middle of nowhere so I continued across the hill towards the forest of Casuarina trees. I was careful that the short tussocky grass and the occasional hidden rock didn’t roll and sprain my ankles.
Once into the trees, and dodging low branches, I followed meandering tracks all the while making sure the Derwent River remained clearly on my right. Throughout today’s walk occasionally and unexpectedly rusty pieces of fencing wire wanted to trip me up and harm me, so constant vigilance was required to avoid these dangers.
Before long and once out of the trees, a wonderful vision of The Spit and Gellibrand Point on the South Arm peninsula greeted me. Between me and Trywork Point was an ocean of moving grasses. Golden. Shimmering. Glorious. Winds sweeping. Isolation. Silver Gulls floated overhead.
In the photo above, the two small green trees at the bottom of the hill mark Trywork Point. Gellibrand Point is on the left across the water. The dark blue represents the huge expanse of the Derwent River’s grand harbour.
The cattle hadn’t made tracks down to Trywork Point so I thumped my own path down through the tussocks and occasional scrawny remnants of rose bushes. Eventually I arrived and unfortunately disturbed a pair of Dominican Gulls who seemed to ‘own’ the rocky point. I couldn’t see evidence that people had been here in a long while.
The photo above is the rocky edge of Trywork Point, with Gellibrand Point on the South Arm peninsula in the distance.
When I looked eastward towards Droughty Point, a headland at some distance inside Ralph’s Bay, I was surprised to see before the point was reached, a small secluded sandy beach.
Between the beach and Droughty Point, a healthy herd of red brown cattle rested and munched comfortably on an area of luscious looking green grass. I guess they are the beef steaks of the future.