Tag Archives: Black Swans

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.

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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.

Around Windy Point on Stage 14 of my walk along the Derwent River

Despite having driven and been driven along this patch of the Lyell Highway many times, its shape and character were not well known to me. I guess I have always looked out at the Derwent River and more or less disregarded the land.

The area jutting into the River, causing it to curve from a north west to western orientation, has been labelled Windy Point. I reached the start of this about 8.20 and it was another 15 minutes of walking before I reached its western end. There was some wind and when blowing my dribbling nose, the icy breeze flattened my handkerchief across my face. I sought visual distractions against the cold. A magnificent old gum tree amidst a range of exotic plants was a grand surprise.

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On one hill to my left were half a dozen dappled sheep with twins on their teats.  Sometimes their heads were black or brown but most fascinating was the dinner plate sized brown woollen shapes across their otherwise beige woollen bodies. I was too cold to take a photo of this sight.

In parts, the flowing river was a distance from the road.  Between the highway and the clear water, marshy water plants grew profusely, and access to the River was impossible.  The photo below looks across the Derwent River to Mt Dromedary in the distance and Mt Terra in the left  foreground.

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During my walk around Windy Point, at 8.30am I passed the road turn-off leading to Stefano Lubiana wines and noted there was a Derwent Valley Link bus stop on the highway – which, if you are a tourist without transport, would allow you easy access to the winery and the odd glass or two of some special liquid. I didn’t stop and visit – drinking at such an early hour didn’t seem like a good idea.

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Ten minutes later at 8.40am I was passing the road turn-off to the Derwent Estate Wines.

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I was surprised as I passed the estate to see what seems like late 19th century buildings nestled into the hill.  While the website explains: ‘the historic Mt Nassau property has been in the current owner’s family since 1913, I can find no information about these buildings which appear to be an earlier architectural style.  More research required.

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Opposite, in the River and its edging long grasses, white faced herons, coots, ducks and black swans were at home.

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The day was offering truly magical sights aided by the intense blue of the sky and the water.

Crossing the Bridgewater Bridge during the 8th stage of my walk along the Derwent River

This stage of my walk along the Derwent from the mouth of the River on the eastern shore was the most exciting one so far, because I was reaching a significant milestone.  By my reckoning, it marked the end of the easiest part of the walk to the source of the Derwent River at Lake St Clair. Accordingly, and to continue a walk with relative ease for a while, I planned to cross the Bridgewater Bridge and walk south to the mouth of the River on the western shore, then to start tackling the challenging kilometres further north next year.

I was a little surprised how special the day seemed, and so it was an easy decision to cross the Bridge rather than waiting to do so on Stage 9.

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I stepped onto the path on the left of the Bridge at 1.14pm and was off the Bridge and onto the Bridgewater Causeway by 1.20pm. The terrifyingly large fast trucks threatened to suck me off the bridge with their speeding surges next to my shoulder (there was a metal fence separating us but the bridge noise and vehicle speed all combined to make the energy around me vibrate fiercely). I removed my sunhat and held on firmly.

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Except for a small layby, there was no formal walking track beside the Highway on the Causeway, and trying to walk on extremely unsafe and uneven ground beside railings (or none) required extra vigilance.

Looking ahead of the western shore, from the Bridgewater Causeway.

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The persistently noisy and fast traffic (on what must be one of Tasmania’s busiest roads – the Midlands Highway) and the wind pushing across the Causeway from one side of the Derwent River to the other were constants, and I was determined they would not distract me from getting to the western shore. I was not the only one walking across the causeway; two others were following me across.  So, on the sample of three people, I would say 100% of people experience danger walking across the Bridgewater Causeway.  I didn’t take photos of the really dreadful bits – too busy concentrating on where my feet might go.

I did enjoy watching the dozens and dozens of Black Swans, and looking back at part of the suburb of Bridgewater on the eastern shore.

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And towards the western shore:

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I reached Granton on the western shore at 1.35pm and negotiated myself along the road and across old train lines (this would all be easy if there was no or minimal traffic) all the time beginning to move southwards. Three minutes later I reached the sign indicating a left turn off the Brooker Highway towards Granton South and Austins Ferry.

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As I stepped in this direction I recognised a sign marking the start of the City of Glenorchy.

Occasionally I looked back towards the Bridgwater Bridge, across the railway line that was one a lively link between northern and southern Tasmania.

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I followed a rough non-path on the edge of the road until a new sign at 1.45pm indicated I needed to take another left turn towards Granton South and Austins Ferry.

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As I walked around the corner, on the right in the distance I could see a hotel; the York Hotel.

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I felt myself glow with delight in anticipation of making this my stopping point for the walk, enjoying a cold beer and meeting the locals. However, as I got closer, two locals were walking towards the bus stop Number 47 located opposite the Hotel.  They let me know that a bus was expected in the next few minutes. My feet hurt, it would be quite a while before another bus would pass this way, and so I decided to forego the pleasures of the pub and start my bus trip home. The locals led me to believe the publican ‘has done a really good job’ and ‘this is a good pub now’.  So, perhaps with friends in the future, I will venture back here for the missed cold one.

I was on the bus at 1.57pm, reached the Glenorchy Bus Mall at 2.15, and caught the Metro bus 694 via Risdon Vale to the Eastlands Shopping Centre at Rosny when it left around 2.30pm.  Most of all I was surprised how long it took the bus from the York Hotel to Glenorchy – almost 20 minutes. That represents a great deal of walking time so it is difficult for me to guess where I can reach on the next Stage 9 of my walk along the Derwent River. I am guessing that somewhere in the suburb of Claremont might be achievable, but who knows! Finding out is what gives me something to look forward to next week when I tackle Stage 9 of my walk.