Tag Archives: Cape Direction

Has the river of blogs dried up? Is my write up of the walks along the Derwent River over?

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 This wonderful image of ‘Hobart from Mt Wellington’ is the work of Tourism Tasmania and Garry Moore. This free photo has unrestricted copyright.

Has the river of blogs dried up?  Is my write up of the walks along the Derwent River over? The answer to both questions is no.

For a long time, blog followers have received a daily post covering my experiences after I have walked sections of the terrain from the mouth to the source of Tasmania’s Derwent River, plus my additional writings about various aspects of the social and natural history of the Derwent River.  Yesterday and this morning were a rude shock for some Australians – no blog post to absorb over the breakfast cuppas– and for my overseas followers spread across many countries, their regular daily dose arrived at many different times depending on the time zone in which they live.

Have I run out of stories to tell, descriptions to give and photos to show? The answer is a resounding no. I have much more to expose. Please be assured that you have not seen the sights of all the kilometres of the Derwent River, nor heard about all its challenges, in my blog yet.  So why the absence of new posts?

I have committed to another major project which cannot wait any longer for my sustained action. I like huge projects.

Last year I discovered that the first Tyzack in my line (3 different lines came to Australia from England in the 19th century) arrived at Port Melbourne 150 years ago this coming December.  Impulsively I decided (without research or planning just as I conceived the idea to walk the length of the Derwent River) to organise a family gathering later this year for all my great great grandfather’s descendants spread across Australia. Two family members agreed to support me –thankfully one has prepared a family tree. The Tyzack 150th anniversary organisation is now my priority, because there is a book to be put together and published, field trip guides to be developed, and much more – I still haven’t received responses to my introductory letters from most of the over 100 living descendants (almost all whom I have never heard of leave alone know) so I have a big job ahead tracking them down and getting them onside and involved.

This family event is scheduled early in October – so, if not before then, from mid-October onwards I expect to continue writing up the Derwent River walking blog stories.  Probably I won’t be able to restrain myself so that, from time to time, a post may appear.

The photo below taken by Michelle shows the eastern shore mouth of the Derwent River, Cape Direction (on the right) and the Iron Pot islet sits out within Storm Bay.

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Internet records of measurements may be dodgy

Since my last post, some readers found Google has revealed the length of the Derwent River.  It gives the number of 249km without any indication of where that number was found or how it was calculated. Immediately below this information box are two listings both giving alternative conflicting distances.

My measurement of 214kms was from an arbitrary line between Cape Direction and Pearsons Point to mark the mouth of the Derwent River, and I stopped at the point where the river starts from the southern end of the Lake St Clair Lagoon.

I have noticed that one source indicates the measurement ought to be taken from the point where Lake St Clair meets the Lake St Clair Lagoon.  I have found another source which seems to indicate the mouth might be where Storm Bay meets the sea.  Even if the length of the Lagoon and the width of Storm Bay were added to my 214km, the Google number would not be reached.  I have asked Google to identify its sources because I cannot believe their number can be accurate. Unfortunately, I have not received any feedback.

STOP PRESS – JUST DISCOVERED THE AUTHORITATIVE LENGTH IS 215KMS.  Read my new November 2015 post.

Starting out from Blackmans Bay on Stage 13

Once I was off the bus at Blackmans Bay, the Kookaburras started laughing at me  (again like at the beginning of Stage 12). Ha. Ha. Ha. H.H.H. Ha. Ha. Haa. Was this an omen that I was about to do something foolish? My goal for Stage 13 was to walk to Fossil Cove, and then walk another day for a final stage to the mouth of the Derwent River at Pearson’s Point. If you have already read my posting on the 25 February then you know I reached Pearson’s Point.  Future postings will give more details about this change of mind and destination.

As I turned left from Wells Parade into Hazell St towards the Blackmans Bay Beach, a screech of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos circled overhead. I was on the beach at 7.45am. The water was calm and I looked over the Derwent River towards South Arm beach on the eastern shore.  The Iron Pot lighthouse on the rocky outcrop just offshore from Cape Direction, on the southern tip of the South Arm peninsula, seemed to stand up from the water like a fat thumb.  Back at Blackmans Bay Beach, the fresh sunny morning was complete with power walkers and dogs leading their owners on a walk. Public toilets are located half way along the Blackmans Bay Beach.  These are the last public toilets for anyone walking further south.

How fortunate Tasmanians are to have morning views along beaches such as that at Blackmans Bay.

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I turned southwards and at 7.51am had reached a tiny yellow sign on a post indicating the Suncoast Headlands Walking Track was ahead. A few minutes later I reached the main sign.

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This sign was accompanied by another nearby.

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I followed the good wide dirt track and initially thought how easy it would be for Mums with prams or people in wheelchairs to follow this path. But not so. Not much further along, I needed to climb rough dirt and log stairs and I encountered such interruptions to a smooth walk a number of times.  There were occasional splits in the track without signage, so it is possible to walk a little way off the main track before you realise what is happening.

How gorgeous the morning was.  For example, the photo below is looking back to Blackmans Bay Beach.

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In the photo below, the rocky outcrop at the far end of the beach is where the Blackmans Bay Blowhole is located (my Stage 12 walk there was described in Nudging my way into Blackmans Bay on Stage 12 of my walk along the Derwent River).

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A new milestone marking the 13th stage of my walk along the Derwent River: I reached the mouth on the western shore. Whoppee Doo!!

Yesterday, I completed the first part of my walk along the Derwent River: an exciting achievement.

Last August I started walking from the mouth of the River at Cape Direction on the tip of the South Arm peninsula and now, at the end of February, I have completed the distance from that mouth to the Bridgewater Bridge and back on the western shore to Pearson’s Point near the settlement of Tinderbox.

On the 8th stage mid-November, I had the first major milestone when I finished the walk from Cape Direction to the Bridgewater Bridge. This 13th stage was the culmination of walks from the Bridge back to the mouth on the western side of the River.

During yesterday’s walk, I covered about 5km of the length of the Derwent River.  By my reckoning, the total distance of the Derwent River on the western shore from the Bridgewater Bridge to the mouth is 38 3/4 km.

For Stage 13 yesterday, I needed to walk to Pearson’s Point from the bus stop where I finished on Stage 12 and then, on reaching my goal, I needed to retrace my steps back to Blackmans Bay to connect with a bus that could return me to Hobart.  This distance was approximately 17 kms. I have now walked at least 171km not counting getting to and from buses.  But when the walks are staggered over time, this number does not mean much.

The highlights of the walk to Pearson’s Point were mostly small and natural: rosehips, green rosellas, hum of bees, resting sheep, and the taste of delicious ripe blackberries along the way.

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I was surprised how close the northern part of Bruny Island was to the mainland of Tasmania (almost felt like I could swim across the D’entrecasteaux Channel) and I felt overwhelmed by the staggeringly expansive and grand views across and up and down the Derwent River.

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The fun part was singing (including mixing up the words in my excitement) Handel’s Hallelujah chorus (from The Messiah) at the top of my voice when I passed a large sign with the words SING. You can listen to a superb version performed in 2012 by the Royal Choral Society at the Royal Albert Hall in London England at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUZEtVbJT5c

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Over the next few days I will write up the journey and the discoveries of Stage 13’s walk.  Then I will be looking towards a long main road walk from the Bridgewater Bridge at Granton to New Norfolk which I expect to undertake in the next couple of weeks.  Once I have reached New Norfolk I will be on the way to Lake St Clair, the source of the Derwent River.

Major milestone achieved on 8th stage of my walk along the Derwent River

Originally, I decided to walk the length of Tasmania’s Derwent River without research, foreknowledge of the challenges, and without determining the possible milestones.

With hindsight, actually starting the walk and reaching the Bridgewater Bridge were my two main milestones held subconsciously and not recognised at the time.

In late August this year I started at the southern tip of the South Arm peninsula (Cape Direction) and today I have not only reached the Bridgewater Bridge but crossed it and started the walk back towards the mouth of the Derwent River on the western shore.

I am rather amazed that such a thing is possible; to walk such a distance in this day and age and to do so for pleasure doesn’t seem quite real. And yet it is truly possible, even when my feet feel permanently crippled and I want to crawl. Just one foot after the other and it doesn’t matter how long it takes me to put one foot in front of the other. It only matters that I keep doing it. And then and only then can such milestones as today’s be achieved.  And celebrated, which I am about to do.

I was also mindful that today Australia marked the ANZAC soldiers killed and injured in the World Wars and others more recently with Remembrance ceremonies and a minute’s silence across the nation at 11am (on the 11th day of the 11th month). I have nothing to complain about and only much for which to be grateful. The photo below was taken close to the Bridgewater Bridge on the eastern shore.

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Over the coming days, I will write detailed postings of today’s walks through the suburbs of Old Beach, Herdsmans Cove, Bridgewater and starting into Granton South; the areas that I have passed and the trails that I have followed. For now it is enough to know that I have walked yet again, and the countryside and cityside has simply rolled along beside me.

Today I was away from home for almost 9 hours partly because the walking area was relatively difficult to access and leave from by public transport. Some waiting and bus changes were required. Of these hours, just under 5 hours were involved with walking from the starting point in Old Beach to the start of the Bridge, and 1/2 hour was involved from the Granton end of the Bridgewater causeway until I jumped on a bus somewhere in Granton South. Including crossing the Bridge, I walked approximately 16 kms.  Approximately 14 and1/4 kms on the eastern shore, and 3/4 km on the western shore by the Derwent River. So far I have walked 93 kilometres.

At the end of the 7th stage of my walk I had covered 34kms of the length of the Derwent River. Add another 4.5kms for today’s 8th stage and the total distance from the mouth of the Derwent River to the Bridge on the eastern shore is 38.5 kms as ‘a crow might fly’ more or less straight down the centre of the River (by my reckoning – perhaps others will argue). The length covered today of the Derwent River from the Bridge southwards on the western shore is about 1/2km.

Before each stage of my walks along the Derwent River, I have been somewhat nervous about how everything will go and how my body will hold up, yet there has never been any event or location that has turned out to be a problem. My walks have been ‘smooth sailing’. This morning I was particularly anxious because of the less savoury activities of some of the people who live in Herdsmans Cove and Bridgewater. I was also thinking about Tasmania’s ‘ice’ epidemic and remembering that some addicts can go for 7 or more days without sleep and therefore can be totally irrational. I was hoping not to encounter any unpleasantness and I didn’t. So I am delighted to report that today’s walk was safe, beautiful and calm. Quite marvellous in its simplicity.

The photo below is a close up of wattle blossom. The seductive heady perfume surrounded me most of the day.

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Preparing for the next stage of my walk along the Derwent River

The image featured directly above is of the watery inlet from the Derwent River on the left into Ralph’s Bay on the right. The low hill in the distance is north of and opposite from Gellibrand Point (which is at the northern end of South Arm peninsula). The low hill is Droughty Hill: Trywork Point will be to the lower left of the hill.

Previously, I walked from the mouth of the Derwent River and covered the length of the South Arm peninsula which amounts to approximately 11 km of the River. Stage 1 took me from Cape Direction to the Opossum Bay shop. Stage 2 took me from the Opossum Bay shop to Gellibrand Point. Only 238 Kms to go!

Continuing on from the last walk will require me to leap-frog over approximately 2kms of water for the next starting point Trywork Point which is south of the Rokeby Hills. The reason for my ‘jumping over’ is that I am guessing that the Derwent River was measured as a ‘straight’ length and did not count the many extra kilometres going in and out of every bay and crevice. The water between Gellibrand Point on the South Arm peninsula and Trywork Point is the entrance to the large Ralph’s Bay which feeds off the Derwent River.

So my initial destination for Stage 3 is Trywork Point – that will mark the start of the walk. To reach this starting point I will need to walk south from a bus stop and then later be prepared to retrace my steps or find a more suitable alternative route before continuing northwards through as many Hobart’s eastern shore suburbs as my feet will carry me.  The suburban area has frequent bus services (by comparison with the Opossum Bay bus service) so that timing the duration of Stage 3 is dependent on my health and inclination rather than on bus timetables.

Unfortunately, TasMAP Taroona 5224 is not a great deal of help for reaching Trywork Point. It clearly shows the acres of land between the bus stop and Trywork Point but offers no roads or tracks. I am clear that I will walk from the last Camelot Park bus stop (Metro Bus number 615) south to the Point – somehow. The Hobart and Surrounds Street Directory is only of marginally more use than the TasMAP. However this Directory will be especially useful with the names of streets as I return northwards and walk in and through the suburbs in the later part of this Stage 3 walk.

The most useful mapping and tracking information comes from the Google earth map of the area (which was also useful to see tracks on Gellibrand Point in Stage 2) – although the name Trywork Point is not recorded and does not appear on their map (Note that Trywork Point and some other landmarks are indicated on the TasMAP).  The best that Google can offer is Droughty Point Road. From there I moved the map westward until I found the T junction with Tranmere Rd and Oceana Drive – this intersection is the bus stop from where I will start walking.

Walking south, the bitumen road peters out and the tracks across the land are variously strong and faint on the Google earth map. With this limited information, finding my way will be an experimental process.

Years ago friend Je and I walked from the end of Tranmere Road across some of this land. However, I remember that we encountered stout almost impassable fences. This memory makes me wonder what I will find now, and how easy the access to Trywork Point will be. I look forward to my ongoing discovery of the land besides this wonderful Derwent River.

 

 

Preparing for Stage 2 of the walk along the Derwent

Last week, I used TasMAP 5223 Blackmans Bay to help me navigate the South Arm / Cape Direction start of the walk. Stage 2, taking me northwards along the South Arm peninsula, will require a tiny portion of the same map. However, most of the Stage 2 walk will require TasMAP 5224 Taroona. Having said that, I believe it would be possible to walk  in the two ends of the South Arm peninsula without either map simply by asking locals to point them in useful directions.