More adventurous walkers are tackling the Derwent

Last January artist Justy Phillips and writer Margaret Woodward walked along sections of the Derwent finishing at Lake St Clair using the support of friends.  On some days they were accompanied by others.

This week  I discovered that a group of children are currently engaged in a ‘Derwent River catchment school program’. They started their supported walk further inland in the upper catchment areas of the Derwent River, north west of Lake St Clair, and are yet to commence their trek towards the sea. In winter!  What a strange choice of season to walk with inexperienced young bushwalkers in central Tasmania.

You can read more about their walk in the news story 

Details of the program are available on the Expedition Class website.  The site includes ‘Live reports’ which record the extreme weather rather than their progress.  They are yet to walk around Lake St Clair before tackling some of the most challenging sections of the Derwent River.  I wish them all the best.

Since starting my walk from the mouth to the source of the Derwent River late in 2014, I have met people and heard of others who are considering walking the Derwent.  Currently there are no walking paths for most of the 215 kilometres, and the dense almost impenetrable bush along the river edges in the upper reaches, makes this a dangerous activity for inexperienced bush walkers.  Readers of my blog will recall that permission to walk on private land is not always given making some river sections inaccessible – this means that future walkers might not be able to accomplish their goal.  If the numbers of people who seek to walk on private agricultural land increases, then even the most positive and supportive of landowners may decline to allow access to protect their livestock and property.

With the growing interest in undertaking such a journey, the time has come for Tourism Tasmania and the Department of Parks and Wildlife Service to examine the obstacles which need surmounting, to make a walk along the Derwent River possible and safe.

6 thoughts on “More adventurous walkers are tackling the Derwent

  1. Canuck Carl

    In reading the news article I can understand your concern with this school program trip. With the flooding in the catchment areas, temperatures dipping to -6C at night which could cause some serious issues.

    Have always appreciated your common sense knowledge that comes from experience.

    It is interesting to hear of the growing interest in hiking the Derwent River.

    Thank you for sharing! 🙂

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    1. Tasmanian traveller Post author

      There were no reports of injuries or ill health to any of the children so I am glad, and I feel sure their whole experience will be remembered for the rest of their lives. Hopefully it will create more bush lovers for the future.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Tasmanian traveller Post author

      Hi True Nomad I haven’t been writing up my blog for months except for a couple of posts – other commitments have got in the way such as I have compiled a book and published it and have almost finished the same for a second book. Once they are complete I will return to my much loved ‘Derwent’ because I have not completed writing up all the stories of all the walks – and of course I want the blog to be complete.

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