This seems an appropriate time to add in the stories of my walk along the water edge of one of Greater Hobart Area’s iconic industrial estates in its 100th year of operation. This series of postings records the morning when I was privileged to be given permission to walk on some of Nyrstar’s property. But first – a reminder of what the site looks like from a distance; from other vantage points during my walk along the Derwent.
For example, my blog posting Either side of Bowen bridge – posting 5 of 9 included a photo looking at Nyrstar from Dowsing Point and across Prince of Wales Bay. Refer also to my postings On through the East Risdon State Reserve along the Derwent River and Along the northern side of Shag Bay and onwards along the Derwent River for additional photos of Nyrstar. These latter two postings were made after my walk through the East Risdon State Reserve on the eastern shore across the Derwent River from Nyrstar on the western shore.
Colloquially known as ‘the zinc works’ or the ‘Risdon works’, Nyrstar’s operation centres around converting raw materials into zinc metal. More can be read here.
Special permission was required to walk on this land and I needed to agree to particular conditions before I could proceed. The extensive site holds many dangers of physical, chemical, electrical, mechanical and liquid kinds and legislation and internal procedures regulate entry and access. This is not a public access walk. After arrival at the Reception office on-site, I submitted to a health and safety induction process, donned a high-vis vest and other safety gear (including designated boots), and accepted that I must be accompanied by a staff member at all times. My host and guide was a senior manager whose understanding, knowledge and passion for the environment had to be second to none. I could not have been more fortunate. And he also loved the Derwent River and told me how he jumped into his kayak to explore the river whenever he could find a moment (no – not while he is at work!).
The day of our walk was gloriously sunny with hardly a puff of white marking the sky; exceptional walking weather where every detail is clear.
A considerable portion of the Nyrstar industrial buildings edge the Derwent River as shown in the Google map excerpt below.
Nyrstar’s property extends into New Town Bay. I expected only to walk on and next to the rocky shore along the lines I marked on the Google map below. Future postings will reveal whether I actually walked further.
I am so very grateful for the support and interest and assistance which Nyrstar provided to ensure that my walk along the Derwent River was complete. Staff all over the site could not have been more pleasant.
The line you have drawn on the Google map is not the original shoreline – the southern part in particular is infill – it used to be the site of the jarosite dump until they shipped it out and dumped it in Storm Bay. Have a look at survey plans Buckingham 17 [AF396_1_19] and Buckingham 62 [AF396_1_66] under County Maps at LINC for the original shoreline. It is difficult to relate these maps to the current situation because so much of the shoreline has changed. The Zinc Works are built on the grants to Robert Jillett, James Barns and GW Evans. My interest in this area is because Robert Jillett and his family were my first Tasmanian immigrant ancestors (1807).
Thanks Mike. Your information is extremely interesting. Yes that shoreline is not the original. As much as I like nature to make changes rather than mankind, in this instance the infill has been designed to prevent further pollutants entering the Derwent River and for that I am grateful. Interestingly some of the reclaimed section has become a seagull colony. And so nature claims the new.
How fantastic of Nystar to allow you to walk this stretch of land. Looking forward to reading the next posts to see how far you go!
Since you wrote your comment, the days have unfolded (and I have been out of internet and mobile reception range in the glorious southern Tarkine) -you can see I was even more fortunate than I ever expected.