Tag Archives: Austins Ferry

Award winning buildings edging or overlooking the Derwent River 2015

Recently the Master Builders of Tasmania Association announced Housing and Construction Excellence Award winners.  Here are a selection.

  • The winner of the Unique Achievement in Construction was project MONA Turrell Amarna. This massive sculptural structure was designed by artist James Turrell and titled Amarna. Its construction needed extraordinary creativity and engineering nous to build.
  • The winner of the Excellence in Heritage Listed or Period Home Restoration/Renovation – Open Value was the ‘Colonial Cottage’, Sorell Creek, New Norfolk. The original building was constructed around 1870.
  • The winner of Heritage Listed or Period Building Restoration / Renovation – Open Value was ‘Pumphouse Point’  which overlooks both Lake St Clair and Derwent Basin.
  • The winner of New Construction – $5 million to $10 million was ‘Brooke Street Pier’. This innovative floating structure almost next to Salamanca, replaced a series of tiny old ferry offices, and is now the gateway for ferrying visitors to MONA, supplying interesting locally produced Tasmanian souvenirs of quality, and providing a welcome drink or two.

Another revision: naturally therapeutic images from stages 7-10

I can’t help myself. Having reviewed my favourite images from the first half a dozen stages of my walk along the Derwent River, I felt compelled to continue looking through my collection from the subsequent walks.  I have chosen photos showing aspects of both the natural and man-made world and I believe all will prompt thinking about the Derwent River, Hobart and its suburbs, and the natural environment. My selection of the images with the most memorable impact for me, from stages 7-10, are given below.

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From the eastern shore looking northwards towards the Bowen Bridge, with a couple of black swans on the river.

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Two plaques ‘opened’ by two great Australian prime ministers near the Bowen Bridge.

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The rusting raw-edged remains of a ship, the Otago, at Otago Bay.

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My enjoyment of any family’s black sheep.

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Heading into Old Beach and gradually leaving Mount Wellington behind.

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The gloominess of the approaching storm when I reached Old Beach.

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The pleasures of well-made pathways, thanks to local government.

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Looking northward across the Jordon River to Greens Point.

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The glories of native flora. In these instances, it was blooming wattle and a spectacular stand of eucalyptus/gum trees which attracted my attention.

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The remains and the signs of a burnt out car on a back track.

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Knowing that it is still possible to have a laugh when walking.

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Arriving at the Bridgewater Bridge.

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Walking on the western shore of the Derwent River for the first time during this project.

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The house of one of first European settlers, James Austin, at Austins Ferry.

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At Dogshear Point, walking around the Claremont golf course, with the thwacking sound of hit balls crossing the greens.

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Reaching Cadbury’s chocolate manufacturing factory in Claremont.

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The hand-hewn rustic style seat near Connewarre Bay.

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Passing MONA somewhat camouflaged as it nestles into a tiny hill against the Derwent River.

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The mosaics along the foreshore.

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The jumble of boats and boat houses at Prince of Wales Bay.

Hoon tyre marks

Road mark making in Lutana.

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Cornelian Bay’s oil tanks up close.

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The Tasman Bridge.

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The circus had come to town.

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The emptiness of an arena of stands waiting to be filled during wood chopping competitions.

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Reaching the ‘end of the line’ on arrival in Hobart city.

Arriving in Granton for Stage 14 of the walk along the Derwent River

Since walking along the Derwent River in the northern suburbs on the western shore earlier this year, I have revisited MONA at Berriedale on a number of occasions but I have not been further north. So it was a great delight when my X1 Metro bus, which departed from Hobart city at 7.17am, used the old main road after the Glenorchy bus mall to travel through Berriedale, Claremont and Austins Ferry before reaching Granton.  I was able to see the acres of majestic gold and red leafed vines of Moorilla Wines, to observe Cadbury’s chocolate factory puffing plumes of white steam into the crisp blue sky morning, to identify a range of native birds that were using Goulds Lagoon as a safe resting place, and to recognise various bays and other features that I had passed previously.  Everything seemed edged with the early sunlight which glowed strongly through rain washed, impeccably clean air.

I was off the bus at stop 49 on the last of the Brooker Highway at 7.50am.  Looking northwards, the sign made it clear the direction to take was straight ahead. An earlier post introduced the history of the old Granton watch house (search Historic Granton, Tasmania) – that’s the low yellow building on the left in the first photo below, and then the second photo shows the sun-struck front of the building.

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I was aware New Norfolk, over last weekend, had been celebrating the glories of its autumn foliage as indicated by the sign below. The sign served to increase my anticipation of those colourful delights.

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The unmemorable architecture of the Granton Memorial Hall solidly facing the morning sun, seemed very out of place in this beautiful area.

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Equally solid and immediately serviceable was the public toilet block at the edge of the carpark used by many city bus commuters.

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In front of the carpark a sign reminded me of the importance of grape growing in Tasmania – not the least because the wine from our vineyards is very drinkable (as agreed by wine judges from around the world).

Vineyards ahead

My eyes swung across to the roundabout for vehicles travelling north on the Midlands Highway to Launceston via many rural towns. In the distance, the vertical towers of the Bridgewater Bridge marked the Derwent River crossing.  The calmness of the day, and the quality of the light was sublime.

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I hadn’t walked far along the Lyell Highway when I saw the sign below which indicated that 16 kilometres further along the highway I would reach New Norfolk.  But could I trust the sign? Two or so kilometres further back, when I was still bussing on the Brooker Highway, I had seen a sign indicating the distance was 16 kilometres.

Leaving Granton

Not far away another roadside sign alerted motorists (and the occasional pedestrian): Welcome to The Rivers Run Touring Route.

The Rivers Run

Walking on the right hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic and with the Derwent River on my right, I continued into the icy breeze heading towards New Norfolk.  It wasn’t much after 8am when I left the (comparatively) built up area of Granton on the first leg of Stage 14.

From Wrest Point to New Norfolk on the Derwent River

‘Have you got a red hat?’ friend An asked me. Recently she became Princess Pollyanna, an esteemed member of Hobart’s Scarlatt O’Hatters (http://www.hobartredhats.com/), and urged me to join particular excursions that have a connection with my walking project.  The delicious carrot being wriggled before my eyes was a ferry trip from Hobart to New Norfolk on the Derwent River.  I paid my membership fee to Queen Poppi and then found a common red beach hat (although others were wearing all manner of superb creations on their heads – are these the modern day ‘mad hatters’, I wondered). I donned a range of purple clothes and, as the newly appointed Lady Walkabout, jumped on the tiny water taxi ferry with 20 colourful new friends to be.

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The wind was strong and some swell across the River kept us bobbing.  However, the ride was comfortable and no one needed to bark at the fish over the side.  Sprays of salt water marked the windows and there were few opportunities to move outside into the clear moist air.  But the day was beautiful, the wind chopped waves dramatic and the panoramic scenery majestic.

What a thrill the journey was. After we left the jetty at Wrest Point Casino in Sandy Bay, a southern suburb of Hobart, we motored with commentary from our driver.  He pointed out environmental and historical features. This was a wonderful reminder of research and findings I made while walking the edges of the Derwent between the mouth of the River and Bridgewater Bridge, and I learned a few new details.

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The surprise sighting of a white sea eagle perched in a high tree against the cliffs in Shag Bay (an inlet between the Bedlam Walls – refer to my Stage 6 report) inspired the driver to stop and allow us outside to get a privileged view of this large bird.

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One of the great treats of the day was motoring underneath the very low Bridgewater Bridge (reminded me of travelling on some flat top boats in Paris where you feel sure the boat will become wedged against the bridge metal) and passing through without a bump or grind.

During our trip, at one stage hundreds of coots flew up from the water, we were accompanied for part of the journey by a small flock of sleek long necked swans, and in a small inlet a large family of pelicans were flying around.  Our eyes focused on all these birds.

As we continued on the Derwent River against landscape which I am yet to see on foot, it was clear my earlier belief that marshlands will prevent me from walking directly next to the River for most of the way from the Bridgewater Bridge to New Norfolk, is correct.  Occasionally it will be possible to walk on paths and grass, but mostly I will be tramping the hard road verges.  I was not aware the remains of a historic Lime Kiln sits beside the water, and it was good to see that I should be able to walk pass this on my way northwards.

As a result of this one-day excursion and from many car trips up and back to New Norfolk, I have a good understanding of the route. However, I realise that at foot level the world looks completely different and I look forward to finding out more in the near future.

understanding of the route. However, I realise that at foot level the world looks completely different and I look forward to finding out more in the near future.

The highlights of the 9th stage of my walk along the Derwent River

The 9th walk took place on 25th November. I loved every part of the day but a number of highlights stand out.

  • The tranquillity of Goulds Lagoon
  • Being at the Austins Ferry point and looking across to the Old Beach jetty
  • Finding James Austins House
  • Being surprised how long it took to walk around the water edge of Claremont Golf Course
  • Arriving at and walking around Dogshear Point
  • The down time at the Cadbury chocolate factory
  • Being followed by a duck
  • Pied Oyster Catchers on the golf course and parks
  • The rough-hewn bench seat near Lowestoft Bay
  • The memorial to defence force dogs
  • Discovering the Worm Mound at MONA

Earlier postings provide more information on these highlights or you can email me for further information

Please note; anyone choosing to walk this stage needs to be aware there are no public toilets. However, a number of businesses have toilet facilities to which you may be able to gain access.

My 10th walking stage will start at bus stop 33 in Berriedale and then will continue south towards Lutana.

Walking south and into the suburb of Claremont on the 9th stage along the Derwent River

The intersection of Harbinger Lane and Ferry Road at Austins Ferry marks one corner of Weston Park. At 9.56am I turned left and walked across the Park parallel to Rusts Bay, crossed a single lane wooden bridge and rounded the Shoobridge sporting fields all the while enjoying the pleasures of dogs walking their owners along the edge of the Derwent River.

The photo below shows Shoobridge Park on the northern side of Beedhams Bay.

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I was amused and somewhat puzzled watching a Pied Oyster Catcher picking for worms on the sports oval, and not bothered by an interested German Shepherd. What happened to a little fear? What’s wrong with oysters?

I had an easy walk on mowed grasses to Beedhams Bay and was delighted when a White Faced Heron flew onto the path ahead of me. Slender. Petite. Soft grey.

At 10.10am I crossed the railway line following the tracks of others but there are no official paths. The Main Road was again to my right with the railway line to my left. Native Hens were feeding ahead and noisy plovers let them know I was coming.  Black swans floated on the Bay. I noticed bus stop 40, and realised 1 ¾ hours had passed since I started today’s trek from bus stop 47 in Granton South.

While at Beedhams Bay I was in full view of three mountains: Mount Direction on the eastern shore, and Mount Faulkner and Mount Wellington on the western shore.

I stopped for a morning tea break at 10.18 in a gazebo at the southern end of Beedhams Reserve.  Despite some protection from the elements, the food was blown off my spoon before I could transfer it to my mouth. My hair thwacked back and forwards at every angle across my head creating an interlocking mesh.

The photo below shows Beedhams Bay looking northwards across it.

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My maps indicated that the nearby building sunk low in the earth was a scout hall but I couldn’t see  signs of identification and the building looked locked up and unused. Foot tracks emerged from the area and crossed the railway line that cut through between packs of houses on either side. There was no evidence of being able to continue to walk close to the Derwent River so I walked up above but beside the railway line until I reached a road crossing at Bilton Street in Claremont.

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A local government bike and pedestrian path from Hobart reached its conclusion next to the railway line on the other side of the road. To my surprise Claremont Plaza, a multifaceted shopping village and other organisations, was located in the block diagonally opposite. This was a sensible location to make a toilet stop since there are no public toilets available during my 9th stage of the walk along the Derwent River.

By 10.46am I had returned to the rail/road crossing ready to continue the walk. I followed Bilton Street around the curve until its T junction with Cadbury Road and turned left. On the other side of the road, the lovely red brick unused old Claremont School stood boarded up.

The road turned uphill and passed the Bilton Bay Reserve (10.49am) and the entrance to the Derwent Waters Residential Club – an estate signed as private property thereby denying my access to the River’s edge (10.56am).  I continued walking on Cadbury Road flanked by tall pine trees thrashing in the wind, past the Cadbury Sports Grounds (11.05am), past the Cadbury Visitors Car Park (11.08) and turned left onto Bournville Road.  I knew I would be returning to have a closer look at the Cadbury chocolate confectionery manufacturing factory so I proposed to walk to Dogshear Point first and then be rewarded sweetly later.

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James Austin’s Cottage at Austins Ferry

Leaving the Austins Ferry jetty I passed two metallic standing fish which supported an information panel about local fishes.

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Past this sign and amidst trees in the distance the sandstone blocks of James Austin’s Cottage were visible. The interpretative panel indicated that James Austin died on Christmas Day in 1831 (did he choke on something like a threepence from the pudding I wonder?), and is buried in St David’s Park in the centre of Hobart – as I walk through the wharf and Salamanca area of Hobart’s CBD in a few weeks’ time, I will make a detour to see if I can locate his gravestone.

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I walked away from James Austin’s tiny cottage at 9.55am and continued my journey southwards.