Reconnaissance trip to and from New Norfolk

Last Sunday, friend Me took me on a discovery drive from Bellerive to New Norfolk along the eastern shore of the Derwent River.

We were curious to see how closely I would be able to walk along the edge of the River, and the extent to which I would need to deviate or stay on main roads.  It was an eye opener giving me advance warning of the walking challenges ahead.

The main handicap will be the limited opportunities to walk directly beside the River up on banks and not be required to jump along the often rocky shoreline or get lost in tall watery grasses. Even accessing the rocky or soft shores will be problematic. For example in one area, where maps indicate public roads branch off main roads, landowners with 5 acre blocks have fenced their properties and the roads down to their houses are blocked by gates. I believe that some of these roads are those mapped for public access and as such the landowners do not have the right to restrict access for the public to connect with the River beyond.  More research required.

Clearly public bus routes travel from Hobart through eastern shore suburbs on the way to Bridgewater, however bus stops are widely dispersed and the timetables indicate less frequent services, all of which will constrain me in the length and timing of my walks between these two suburban areas.

The future walking stage between the Bridgewater Bridge and New Norfolk has been concerning me.  I doubted whether bus stops existed along the way. We found there were no public bus stops on either side of the River, and the distance whether walking the road on the eastern or western shores amounts to a day walk rather than a morning or afternoon walk to cover that length. New Norfolk is 35 kilometres from Hobart. The distance from the Bridgewater Bridge to New Norfolk along the road on the western shore is the shortest at 17 kilometres compared to around 20 kms on the eastern side.

As a result of Sunday’s research, I plan to continue on the eastern shore of the Derwent River and walk to the Bridgewater Bridge, cross it, then walk back towards Hobart and ultimately finish at the mouth of the Derwent River in the Tinderbox area. Once those stages are complete, then I will return to the Bridgewater Bridge and proceed towards New Norfolk and beyond.

Thanks Me for all the laughs we had during our discoveries. It was a fun excursion.

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