Tag Archives: Bellerive Bluff

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’.

20140926_123103

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

20141010_103145

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

20141031_132509

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

20141111_104035

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.

The end of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2014 yacht race

This afternoon I needed to walk to Bellerive’s Village for basic shopping. Once there (20 minute walk) it seemed a waste to be so close to the Derwent River and not to walk around Kangaroo Bay to Bellerive Bluff and see if any more yachts were sailing up to the finish line.

Today has been exceptionally blustery and Mount Wellington keeps disappearing from view as rain squalls and clouds move across in waves.

2014-12-30 13.37.39  2014-12-30 13.39.41

It was clear to me that a major storm was passing and could reasonably be expected to travel across the Derwent River and saturate me. Nevertheless, knowing its only water and that my umbrella could be expected to be blown inside out with the wind, I walked on.  And it was worth it.

The wild water of the River showed peaks and troughs and there in the blurry distance, trying to keep close to protection of the land on the western shore close to Wrest Point Hotel Casino, two of the last yachts were fighting it out to see who would cross the line first.

2014-12-30 13.40.23  2014-12-30 13.41.19

At home I have checked and learned that the two were Maluka of Kermandie and Charlie’s Dream.  As I stood on that windswept shore, I could see it was a battle between the two but I was surprised to discover their finish time had only 3 seconds between them. Can you imagine?  After hundreds of miles/kilometres in some very testing weather, three seconds separated these two at the line. Inspirational!  The message for me was that one must never give up; I must keep pushing onwards.

Only two yachts are yet to cross the line. One is charging up the Derwent as I type and has almost reached the finish line (Southern Myth) and the other seems almost to be stalled in Great Oyster Bay slightly south of Freycinet peninsula on Tasmania’s east coast.  I can only imagine that yacht is taking it slow and easy to cope with the weather and arrive in one piece.  Many yachts have withdrawn from the race with expensive rigging, sail, rudder, lost masts, and other boat damage. Perhaps the last yacht, Landfall, is considering making landfall earlier than the Hobart docks.

If you don’t mind thickly padded appearances and wind-blown hair, then today is a wonderful day to be wearing your winter woollies and outside walking and filling the lungs with fresh (and it is fresh) air.

In the right place at the right time watching the Derwent River

From my front windows I can look down the Derwent River, and when I am lucky, over the curve of Bellerive Bluff sloping into the water I can see tall masts suddenly appearing.  If I wait a few moments, the sails become visible and then the entire yacht sails into view, trying to fly to the finish line of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

Last night, my mind was full of stories and ideas. Earlier in the day I had relaxed in the large chairs within the Gold Class at the cinema courtesy of a friend, and been moved strongly by Russell Crowe’s new movie The Water Diviner.  We were both very impressed by the movie and were thrown into thinking and talking about World Wars, and the futility of lost lives and the consequences for families. Then later, once back at home, I finished reading our Tasmania’s Richard Flanagan’s Booker Prize winning novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Until then I had never truly felt the situation for our Prisoner of War soldiers forced by the Japanese army to build the Thai-Burma railway.  It is an extraordinary story, which made me feel quite breathless with despair about how different cultural values and beliefs can neutralise or destroy the natural talents of men.

So with two war stories swirling in my head, I dozed. When I woke from a half sleep at 2.20am I thought not of mud and death rather of water and the achievement of goals.

I ambled to my front windows and was brought wide awake. As I stood looking onto the dark Derwent River with the lights of streets, buildings and Wrest Point Hotel marking the western shore line, I realised something tall was slipping along behind Bellerive Bluff.  Within seconds the tall mast was momentarily blocking my view of bits of light on the other shore.  Before long the supermaxi was entirely in view and charging towards the finish line. I was surprised at its speed. Majestic. This morning, after checking the race standings, I now know I watched the third boat to arrive, Ragamuffin100.

Today’s arriving yachts have not been so lucky with the wind once they have come into my view. It’s almost as if once they pass Bellerive Bluff, the wind stalls.  I have watched yachts tacking across trying to make the most of a fickle breeze. Sometimes one almost passes another which had been way ahead.  It’s a beautiful clear morning in Hobart, and the surface of the Derwent River seems to be without a ruffle, but I doubt if any of the crew are thinking about that as they try to cover the last kilometre or so and improve their race standing and time.

What did I see on the walk along the Derwent River from Rosny to the Tasman Bridge last Friday?

Previous posts have explained the route I walked and the bus services that supported my walk from Rosny Point to Geilston Bay last Friday. This and a further couple of posts will provide colour and texture to those bones.

Once off the bus around 9.20am, I walked through a light open forest of wattle, gum, casuarina and other trees and could see snippets of calm Kangaroo Bay to my left. The photo below looks across the Bay to Bellerive Bluff which was the official finish point of Stage 4 of the walk. The suburb of Tranmere with Droughty Hill above, appears in the misty distance (the location of Stage 3 of my walk).

20141010_093831

The beautiful Bay seemed like murmuring silk. Almost no breeze. The whoosh of cars on distant roads seemed oddly out of time and place.

The Clarence Foreshore Trail passes the inaccessible Rosny Wastewater Treatment Plant on the left.  From the Trail, occasionally rough gravel tracks led down making it possible to reach the water’s edge and I could see Dominican Gulls on the rocks and the occasional Pied Cormorant. Around 15 minutes after leaving the bus I reached the Rosny Point curve where the land left Kangaroo Bay and moved around to edge the Derwent River.  A few minutes later, a Trail sign indicated the Tasman Bridge was 1.7 kilometres further on. I was thankful for the Trail because the narrow rocky shore was strewn with sharp broken oyster shells; later on I watched a family of Pied Oyster Catchers preening and resting – obviously they had eaten their fill.

A few days ago I posted the story that the ‘navy had come to town’. The photo below looks across the River from a place between Rosny Point and Montagu Bay and shows the grey green HMAS Arunta to the left of the orange Aurora Australis Antarctic icebreaker. Oh, and by the way, I discovered the Commander of this naval ship was once responsible for the HMAS Derwent.

20141010_094333

Close to 10am, I reached the Derwent River corner of Montagu Bay.  Harsh sounds filled the air; very vocal wattle birds and the growling of power brakes used by large trucks on the Tasman Bridge. From here, I had the choice to walk 200 metres up to the Rosny Hill Lookout. However, I continued on towards the heart of Montagu Bay past a clutter of upturned dinghies partly hidden in the bushes by the shore. By 10.05am, I was out of the forest and soon passing Langdon’s Welding shop on the left with workers out repairing some boats. By the Trail, I noted a large nectarine tree filled with the start of new fruit and made a mental note to walk this way in December when the fruit should be ripe.

At Montagu Bay I was stopped by an elegant contemporary public sculpture (unknown artist) which I did not know existed.  Well worth a visit. This was the Memorial to those who lost their lives when the Tasman Bridge crashed in 1975. Have a look at the photo below.

20141010_100906

The idea is that you look through these circles to pin point the part of the bridge which collapsed.  An information board provided additional information on this tragedy.

20141010_100832

The view across the Derwent from Montagu Bay was magnificent.

20141010_100852

Public Toilets are located near the Montagu Bay Reserve parkland area. This area is one of many that are child friendly with kids play equipment for free use.

20141010_100923

300 metres along the Clarence Foreshore Trail after passing huge old pine trees, massive gums with fanciful ‘painted’ bark trunks, then the Montagu Bay Primary School on the right, I reached the Tasman Bridge which I walked beneath to continue towards Rose Bay. The time was 10.20am.

Memories of the Bellerive Fort and Bellerive Bluff

A few days ago, I added a new post to this blog about the Bellerive Fort on the Kangaroo Bluff Historic Reserve. In response, friend Ma tells me she loves the Fort. “I played there as a child when I visited Mattie and Connie, Dad’s cousins in the Queen Anne house opposite the entrance to the Fort. My grand-kids have also made a few movies there with me.”

An earlier email from Ma told me: “Well I have wasted or not wasted four days searching family history re Kangaroo Bluff.  There are streets (including Buchanan Street) named after family members such as my Pa and Grandmas’ families and my fathers’ aunt. The cousins built at least 3 if not 4 mansions on that Bluff, including Bluff House and Wyvenhoe (29 Queen St) both of which I visited as a kid. They only passed out of the family in the late 60s or early 70s. And my grandfather, for some years, ran the pub where it is now plus another one that has been demolished, and the Rokeby Inn, a heritage building which was destroyed in the 1967 bushfires. I always thought I should buy a house in Buchanan St but felt that was a bit much even for me!!!”

Kangaroo Bluff Historic Reserve and Bellerive Fort

Near the end of my Stage 4 walk from Tranmere to Bellerive Bluff along the Derwent River, I saw a sign pointing to the Kangaroo Bluff Historic Reserve which I chose not to visit. However, my curiosity was aroused. So the next day, last Saturday, I made a special trip and walked to the Reserve to find out more.

20140927_091124

As I walked toward the entrance, I was puzzled. I could see a narrow road passing between two raised hills. On closer inspection when I discovered a massive deep and long ditch from the left to the right outside the stone edged wall of earth, clearly this site was the remains of a fortification.

20140927_091051

The site was a battery complex with underground tunnels and chambers for magazines, stores, the lamp room, a well and loading galleries. The public do not have access to the underground since these parts were bricked up in the 1920s: I would have been very interested to see the speaking tubes set into the walls used for communication purposes.

However there are many metres of well-preserved channels which can be walked in and around.

20140927_090522

20140927_090924

Signage provided useful information. I now understand that the idea of a protective Fort was first discussed in the 1830s as a means to protect the merchant ships travelling up the Derwent River, although I am unclear who might have attacked from the sea because Van Diemen’s Land (now named Tasmania) was very isolated from the rest of New Holland (now named Australia). However, it was not until difficulties were being felt between England and Russia in the 1870s that a renewed push for a Fort was made.

20140927_085957

By 1885 the defensive Fort was built – although I cannot imagine why anyone would think that Russia would believe it useful to send a war ship to the tiny colonial and penal colony in Hobart. It does not surprise me that the two canons were never used as war weapon.

20140927_090533

 

Kangaroo and Bellerive Bluffs on Stage 4 of my walk along the Derwent River

After lunch, I walked up to the road (Victoria Esplanade), turned left and proceeded to walk around a new headland, Kangaroo Bluff. The photo below looks south along Bellerive Beach to Second Bluff.

20140926_121521

Continuing the walk and a little way ahead at Gunning St, on the right hand side of the road, a sign indicated the Kangaroo Bluff Historic Site could be reached uphill in a couple of hundred metres. I didn’t take this route rather I continued on the Trail around the Bluff until I reached Bellerive Bluff, the official finishing point for my walk on Stage 4 along the Derwent River. Before reaching Bellerive Bluff, I watched the tomato red coloured Aurora Australis, the Australian Antarctic Division’s research and resupply flagship, manoeuvring around the Derwent Harbour.

Once I arrived at Bellerive Bluff, an information sign reminded me that Charles Darwin, the eminent English naturalist, visited when the Beagle sailed into Hobart in 1836. The sign is particularly informative because it includes a map showing exactly the path Darwin walked on the eastern shore, some of which I have walked during Stage 4. Apparently some of the geological research and findings he made here on the eastern shore of the Derwent River, laid the grounds for the development of the significant theory of continental drifts. This information reminded me that it does not matter in which little pocket of the world you live, some important global story will come from it.

The next, 5th leg of the walk will start opposite Bellerive Bluff at Rosny Point, on a day yet to be determined.  The dark treed headland in the photo below is Rosny Point at the foot of the low Rosny Hill (the ever present Mount Wellington is visible in the distance).

20140926_113324

From Bellerive Bluff further walking is required to access bus routes and return to the Hobart city centre (although I walked home nearby). The Clarence Foreshore Trail continues along the edge of Kangaroo Bay from Bellerive Bluff. This pleasant walk leads to the Bellerive Ferry dock, a Fish and Chip Bar, and the Waterfront Hotel all overlooking the calm Kangaroo Bay with its marina full of yachts.

20140926_130133

Continuing past the Hotel onto the Boardwalk (which stages wonderful open-air festivals throughout the year such as the Seafarers Festival, the Jazz Festival, and the Fruit Wine Festival) there are two choices: to continue along the edge of Kangaroo Bay and past the Bellerive Yacht Club, or to walk up to the street and access the shops and restaurants of Bellerive Village. On the road (Cambridge Road) after the Yacht Club, after the shops finish and not far from the intersection lights, the sign for bus stop number 8 is planted on the edge. From here a bus can be hailed (please do not expect a bus to stop if you do not hold out your arm and indicate, even though you may be standing at the bus stop).  A timetable of bus services is posted on the bus stand.

Once on the bus, you should feel satisfied (and so lucky) that you exercised your body, cleansed your mind, and experienced the beauty of a portion of the Derwent River and its immediate environment. At the end of every walk I treasure where I have been during the day, and I am always excited thinking about the unknowns of the next stage, and looking forward to it.