Category Archives: Mount Wellington

The question has been asked: when will I walk the New Norfolk leg?

The answer is that I don’t know because this year’s style of autumn weather is making decisions difficult.

Last year it was mid-May before I removed the summer cotton sheets from my bed and changed to the fleecy flannelette sheets for winter warmth. Until that time I wasn’t wearing thermal tops. But this year before the end of March, I am rugging up and friends are lighting warming fires.

With this drop in temperature, we have continued to have light or heavy rain, not for all the day but off and on unpredictably. The idea of walking with a raincoat on and off or an umbrella up and down all day does not thrill me.  I want an uninterrupted view of everything around me.  I want to be able to hear the sounds of the Derwent River and the birds without the distortion of pattering raindrops.

For my walks from the mouth to the mouth of the Derwent River via the Bridgewater Bridge, routinely I consulted the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) for their forecasts. Then, typically, I adjusted these predictions according to what I could see happening in the air over Mount Wellington.  Unfortunately, the leg from Bridgewater Bridge to New Norfolk is out of sight of the mountain and so I need to trust the BOM.  At this stage both next Monday and Tuesday look promising weather-wise in the New Norfolk area. Hopefully I will have fresh new stories of lived experience to post mid next week.

Theatre Royal, Hobart – proximity to the Derwent River

The Theatre Royal located on Campbell St Hobart was built in 1834 and is the earliest theatre built in Australia that is still fully operational today – each week the Theatre Royal stages various events: theatre, dance, musicals, opera, eisteddfods, music concerts or comedy. After a disastrous fire in 1984, the building was restored to its former glory and its delightful small but grand interior is now well worth a visit.  Guided tours are on offer during the day.

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But what does the Theatre Royal have to do with the Derwent River you may wonder.

Firstly, it is located only a stone’s throw from the Hobart Rivulet that flows into the Derwent River. The Hobart Rivulet was the source of fresh water to the first settlers in Sullivans Cove (a bay in the Derwent River) in the years after they established the colony in 1804. Picking up the crystal clear waters from flows on Mount Wellington, the Hobart Rivulet wound its way through the early ‘Hobarton’ and these days it continues to flow under much of the current city of Hobart.

Secondly, the early shores of the Derwent River were further inland in the early 19th century than today. Considerable land fill has been added over the past two centuries.  When the Theatre Royal was built, the Derwent River was a little closer than today.

I have entertained myself with searches for old maps of Hobart so that I could understand where the Theatre Royal was located in relation to the original foreshore.

The image of the foreshore at Sullivans Cove below was drawn in 1804 (this was the year of first settlement here). Hunter Island was on its own before it was connected to the mainland by a causeway. This island was located not far from where Campbell St (the street on which the Theatre Royal is built) was established much later. The drawing shows the extensive forests which were removed over subsequent years to make way for the streets, houses and public buildings (image from http://www.tasfamily.net.au/~schafferi/images/Ocean&LNHunterIs1804img141.jpg

Ocean&LNHunterIs1804img141  Hunter island 1804

The site http://www.tasfamily.net.au/~schafferi/index.php?file=kop15.php offers the opinion ‘It is hard to imagine what Hobart Town would have been like when Lt. Gov. Collins arrived in 1804.  The rivulet ran free, (except when it rained heavily sending logs that blocked the rivulet, sending water spilling across its banks) large gum trees stood on both sides of the rivulet, some of which had to be cut down to make room for the new settlement.‘  The drawing below, made by George P Harris in 1805 or 1806, seems to look across Hobarton from what today is referred to as the Domain.  I think Harris employed a great deal of creativity when making the picture because the Mount Nelson Signal Station looms large on the distant hill yet it could not realistically have been that height.  

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Below, the 1811 town layout has an overlay of our contemporary streetscape (from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-24/footsteps-towards-freedom-art-project-begins/6251596).  If you can locate the intersection of Campbell St and Collins St, then you can appreciated that the yet to be built Theatre Royal will be sited a few metres along Campbell St (on the block at the top side of the letter E of Street). You can appreciate how close this is to the Rivulet and to the Derwent River.

1811 -abc

George Evans lithograph of 1819 below shows how little progress had been made in terms of new buildings and street construction 15 years after settlement ( http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-22/1819-slnsw-south-west-view-of-hobart-town-1819-george-william-e/5689410)

George Evans South west view of Hobart town

By 1832 significant developments had been made to Hobarton .  The map below (from http://www.auspostalhistory.com/articles/180.php) was made two years before the Theatre Royal was built.  Can you locate Campbell St?  Once found, can you see the thick black line that crosses it – that line is the Hobart Rivulet? The future location for the new theatre was a couple of house blocks away from the intersection between the street and the rivulet.  Looking at the shoreline with the Derwent River, already it is clear land has been reclaimed along the edge; the shape is manmade and the landscape no longer flows naturally.

180_TN.IMAGE3 1832 hobart

On the Proeschel map below (with the hand writing at the top of the map indicating 1858), locate the intersection of Collins and Campbell Streets.  Nearby, the Theatre Royal is listed as Public Edifice number 23 (from http://catalogue.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/item/?id=879658)

Map_and_select_directory_of_Hobart_Town

In Jarman’s map of Hobart Town (http://catalogue.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/item/?id=573294 indicates the date for this is 1858, although if the Proeschel map’s date is correct then the differences are too marked for this to be correct. More research required.), the end of Collins St has been modified so that two streets are located one either side of the Rivulet (black rectangle above Collins St is the Theatre Royal).

Hobart Town

A woodcut map of 1879 by A C Cooke (from http://catalogue.statelibrary.tas.gov.au/item/?id=94421) gives a bird’s eye view of Hobart Town. On the lower right, the large watery dock can be seen intruding into the townscape. At the top end of this water is the large City Hall with Campbell St on its right hand side. Immediately behind the City Hall is Collins St.  Therefore the Theatre Royal is located on the right hand side of Campbell St a little above Collins St.

_Hobart_Town____A_C__Cooke__delt

The area around the Hobart Rivulet routinely flooded the streets after heavy rains in the 19th and early 20th centuries (substantial new drainage systems now prevents such occurrences). The photo below (from http://www.linc.tas.gov.au/tasmaniasheritage/browse/exhibitions/hobartrivulet/diversions-and-floods/image-3) was taken after a flood in the 1920s. We are looking back towards the centre of Hobart Town along the Hobart Rivulet. The large curved roof at the right of the photograph is the top of the Theatre Royal and, therefore, the first bridge in the distance which crosses over the Rivulet will distinguish Campbell Street.

Floods-NS869-1-497 1920s rivulet end of Collins

The photo below (http://www.linc.tas.gov.au/tasmaniasheritage/browse/exhibitions/hobartrivulet/diversions-and-floods/image-2) was taken during flooding in the 1930s.  The building on the right hand side is the City Hall which still functions as such today.  The road to the right of the flooding Rivulet is Collins St and people are standing on Campbell St above the Rivulet.  Therefore, the Theatre Royal is just out of shot to the left from where people are standing watching the torrent.

flood1 1930s flooding rivulet near theatre royal

Leo Schofield’s short-lived but internationally renowned Hobart Baroque festival lit up the Theatre Royal with spectacular performances.

Theatre-Royal-Hobart  seated people

Our Theatre Royal was located for easy public access 180 odd years ago, and the site continues to attract crowds easily. A new performing arts centre will be built next door over the next couple of years.  The Tasmanian Art School is located close by in Hunter St adjacent to the wharves and jetties jutting into the Derwent River. It fits with history to develop an artistic precinct near the water.

Reliving GASP and MONA with a new walk along the Derwent River

On Stages 9 and 10 of my walk along the Derwent River, I passed the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and the Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park (GASP).  Yesterday I had the opportunity to introduce two international visitors to these important arts structures.

Mid-morning I met with a follower of my blog, De from upstate New York and her Arizona cousin Ke as we were chauffeured thanks to Ma, from the centre of Hobart to our starting point near the Derwent Entertainment Centre.

Our excursion started from the Pavilion at the southern end of the Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park (GASP) near the Derwent Entertainment Centre.  Do you remember my photos of that surprise pink glass wall?

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From a distance and approaching this structure, it looks dull, industrial and disused. But just as I had felt during my walk, my two new international co-walkers were amazed once we arrived at the site. Quite delightful and I have no doubt De will be displaying her own photos on https://deescribesblog.wordpress.com/ when she has time.

Then we started strolling and rolling along the bike/pedestrian path towards the slatted walkways with their colourful striped edges.  Many photos were clicked every time we reached a new striped walkway with a different set of colours.

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De gets around in a motorised wheelchair so when she spotted a scooter with its dinghy trailer (see photo below) waiting for its owner to return from their boat out on the Derwent River, she stopped in amazement. We talked about how good security seemed to be locally.  The scooter owner had left his/her shoes, helmet and other personal items, and despite a security strap set up to prevent movement, we all knew that enterprising thieves seem to carry bolt cutters with them these days.  But all was well yesterday.

scooter

Gradually clouds disappeared, the mountain looked sharp and much of the sky was blue.

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Glorious.  After a very cold North American winter, De soaked up the sunshine as the day warmed and we did everything to stay outdoors that we could.

We continued along the foreshore and turned towards the highway when we reached the Montrose High School. Then we were onto the bike/pedestrian track past Rosetta and into Berriedale before advancing up the entrance incline to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).  Along the way we admired the new autumnal colours of the Moorilla grape vines beside the road.

Vineyards

A visit to the exhibitions at MONA requires descent into cavernous spaces below ground so we decided to enjoy a lunch break first.  Despite the busyiness of the café directly above the museum, De motored through gaps in the visitors and took us outside into the open air where tables and chairs are set on the lawn. We admired great views up, down and across the Derwent River.

Our sparkling Moorilla wines were crisp and delicious, and the food choices were expansive.  De and I settled on a soba noodle with spring peas and pickled ginger salad, and Ke tucked into an Italian summer salad which included a great variety of ingredients dressed with the best local olive oil. Ducks and peacocks were out and about, seemingly comfortable with the thousands of visitors that come to MONA each week.

Satisfied by lunch we returned inside and took the lift to the bottom floor of MONA. Over the next couple of hours we wandered through the three levels of exhibits before De and Ke found the upstairs bookshop. The wonderful conclusion to our visit came when De spotted a spectacle outside.  They left the building and, along with a throng of tourists, took photographs of a huge unblemished and bright rainbow crossing over the entire River.

It was a great pleasure to show non-Tasmanians a small part of where I have been along the Derwent River, and De and Ke’s enjoyment enhanced mine. Thanks for your company and best wishes De for your conference presentation in Burnie tomorrow encouraging people to understand there are few limits other than those we set ourselves.

Denise leaving MONA

Both De and Ke gave me permission to include their photos in this blog.

Kunanyi

Mount Wellington was a prominent feature in the lives of the Moomairremener people for thousands of years before white settlement of Van Diemens Land, later to be renamed Tasmania.  The indigenous names include Kunanyi, Unghbanyahletta and Poorawetter. I understand that the Palawa (which seems to be a collective term for all Tasmanian aborigines – perhaps a blog reader might be able to supply further information?) who are the surviving descendants of the original indigenous Tasmanians, tend to prefer the former name – Kunanyi.

A couple of years ago, the Tasmanian government introduced a dual naming approach to a number of geographical features around Tasmania, and these included the mountain which towers over the Greater Hobart Area and the Derwent River. The then Premier Lara Giddings remarked ‘Dual naming is about recognising the Aboriginal community’s rightful status as the first inhabitants of this land and celebrating their living culture, traditions and language’.

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Photo taken from Bellerive Bluff on Stage 4 of my walk along the Derwent River.

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Photo taken between Rose Bay and Lindisfarne on Stage 5 of my walk.

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Photo taken from Old Beach on Stage 7 of my walk.

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Photo taken from Green Point on Stage 8 of my walk.

I am including a posting specifically about ‘the mountain’ as locals refer to it, because it has been a significant marker on my trek from the mouth to the mouth of the Derwent River via the Bridgewater Bridge, and I am about to lose sight of it.  From Granton, as I walk west along the River and then northwards, the mountain will no longer be in view.

Current official information about walking tracks, facilities, weather related precautions and other details associated with the mountain can be read at http://www.wellingtonpark.org.au/  Note that you can download maps from this site.

My first walking story video

Thanks to Lara Van Raay, Producer with ABC Open for southern Tasmania, I completed a 3 hour workshop devoted to editing a series of brief video shots that I collected during the week. When long-term blog followers look at my final video story, they may recognise the location. I covered this area in stage 5 of my walk along the Derwent River, when I walked from Rosny Point to Geilston Bay.

This video can be seen at https://vimeo.com/122073284 or

https://open.abc.net.au/explore/14ov5vx

I used VideoPad by NCH Software (http://www.nchsoftware.com/videopad/) for sequencing and editing the video clips. This is freely downloadable. I found it easy to use initially and even easier after taking time to watch some of the excellent and simple online tutorials.

Once the video was complete I uploaded it onto Vimeo (which, unlike You Tube, isn’t a site with advertisements). From Vimeo, I have added the video story to ABC Open’s projects ‘where you will find me’ category (refer https://open.abc.net.au/explore/14ov5vx).  If you are Australian and write stories or make video stories, you can find a place to upload them onto the ABC Open site; it is one way of sharing experiences around our country.

This is my first attempt at story creation in video and I recognise both my filming and editing are very rough around the edges.  Nevertheless, everyone has to start somewhere. During the coming winter months when I cannot continue my walking in the centre of Tasmania because of miserable weather conditions, I may use the opportunity to work on story lines with locations closer to home.

Happy viewing!

Video stories and the Derwent River

Last week I bussed 20 odd kilometres down to Kingston and participated in a workshop, organised by ABC Open (go to https://open.abc.net.au for written and video stories from around Australia), about making video stories with tablets and IPads. Since then, using my Samsung tablet, I have taken a series of video shots beside one section of the Derwent River. To tell a story, different video shots are needed for linking together. At the end of this week I will return for a second workshop to help me edit different shots together into a coherent story.

I would like to share some of what I have learnt so far.

Firstly, we should always make videos using the ‘landscape’ rather than ‘portrait’ orientation. Once I was alerted to the fact that the landscape orientation typifies movie screens, televisions and computer monitors, I understood this was the preferred way for our brains to operate (our eyes ‘sweep horizontally across the landscape’ for survival more often than up and down).  This morning I looked at an online news story which included a short video presumably taken on a smart phone by a public bystander to the event. The film was oriented in the vertical portrait direction so that when screened on my computer monitor, two lumps of black either side of the tall narrow image made it difficult to ‘read’.  So I have learnt that lesson.

Other learnings included: the idea that I should not move the tablet to record the video, rather I should swivel my body from the waist. Doing so creates less shudder movement resulting in clearer videos. I should never use a zoom function when it is an option on a device, rather I should take a series of sequence shots then edit them together.  Not everything has to be in focus if a story is being narrated.  Aim to record a series of peak moments in order to compress time. Beware of recording with the device directly face down because devices can revert to the portrait orientation once in the position of being parallel to the ground – therefore, I must remember to keep an angle on my tablet in such a situation.

We were informed that the journalism standard is a 5 shot sequence where each video shot is taken from a different angle or distance.  Now I watch news broadcasts differently and can analyse the variety of shots. We were recommended to make each shot about 8-15 seconds in length to provide sufficient information for editing. In addition, we were counselled to be patient as we record, in case there is an unexpected (and interesting) change in what we are recording.

At the end of the workshop’s theory session, including watching a number of good and bad videos available on the internet, I started to plan my story.

I was urged to create a story associated with my project to walk along the Derwent River and, while this idea sounds like it should be easy for me to develop, it has not been.  In fact, I have found it quite difficult to determine a story line, create a story board of the shots which will be woven together and then get the best mini videos to demonstrate each part of the story.  When I recognised the hundreds of stories associated with my walks, I realised that it would not matter on which story I worked, all I needed to do was make any choice and then get on with it.

For the past couple of days, I have made a series of brief video shots involving the Tasman Bridge which spans the Derwent River. On my way home, I recorded the following 9 seconds of traffic streaming along and over the Bridge. This video doesn’t fit with my story so I have inserted it unedited.  The video shows traffic on the Tasman Bridge with Mount Wellington in the background, viewed from the Rose Bay High School overpass.    See the video at https://vimeo.com/121886583

I am now ready for the workshop on editing to create a visual story.

Before my walk along the Derwent River last Tuesday

As my bus from home into Hobart city passed over the Tasman Bridge before 7am, I looked down onto a dozen or so rowing boats slipping along the Derwent River. The wedges that their passing craft made were the only patterns on the still surface of the River.

The morning was suffused with golden light forewarning the rise of the sun over the hills.  The few wisps of cloud in an otherwise blue sky were coloured silvery pink.  The temperature was a brisk 8 degrees, but I felt clean and alive prompted by such a vital looking day.

Once in the city, I walked to Franklin Square ready to wait for the next bus to Blackmans Bay, my starting point for Stage 13. While waiting, I walked through the park and admired the grand symmetrical fountain splashes around a large bronze sculpture of the eminent 19th century Rear Admiral Sir John Franklin.  Overhead, I watched a squawk of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos, with their wings lit by the first rays of sunshine, flying as a family.  Street cleaners were clearing rubbish bins and pathway surfaces.  Very few other people were out and about in the centre of the city (people were being active in the suburbs before commuting to work in the city a while later).

The large public chess set had been set out and was ready for play.

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As the sun struck the Treasury buildings at one end of Franklin Square park, clusters of fat seagulls (Silver Gulls) were nipping at early rising insects across the grass lawns.

Metro bus number 84 departed at 7.17am. By 7.33am we had climbed up and travelled along the Southern Outlet and were passing through Kingston. This gave me a clear cut side view of majestic Mount Wellington.  Every rock was hard edge and clear. The air was so clean.

At 7.41am I stepped off the bus at Wells Parade in Blackmans Bay, the location where I had finished Stage 12 of my walk.  The final walk to the mouth of the Derwent River was about to begin.