Tag Archives: cemetery

The last metres into Gretna

Footsore and weary but exhilarated, I walked the final metres into the tiny township of Gretna by passing the exotic bright yellow flowering weed, which when a child I knew as, ‘Broom’.

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I took my second last look at the Derwent River, and across to the land known as Triffitts Neck.

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With slumped shoulders I passed the two locked gates which signalled a barrier to my starting the next stage of my walk.

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But up above me on the immediate hill sat something remarkable.

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You can see the Derwent curving around the bottom of the hill, in the distance. An earlier posting included a professional photographer’s shot of this cemetery cross taken from a different angle.

Finally, step after step I reached the town sign and gave myself a mental pat on the back.

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New Norfolk

New Norfolk is a Tasmanian inland town which sells itself as the Capital of the Derwent Valley. The undulating countryside around and the more majestic peaks in the distance make this town one of the most beautifully set in the region. The town’s social and cultural history is rich and the architectural remnants are everywhere to be seen.

The website at http://www.newnorfolk.org/ contains much interesting information and I particularly like one of the image pages where an early photo of a building or location sits next to a more recent photo in the same spot.  From this website you learn that ‘New Norfolk was the third planned settlement to be undertaken in Tasmania, after Hobart and Launceston.’ 

On the history page, you will learn about the connection between the Norfolk Island penal colony and the settlement of New Norfolk.

‘New Norfolk was at first known as “The Hills” because of its setting among hills, valleys and gentle streams.   In 1811 Governor Macquarie came to visit Van Diemen’s Land.   He mapped out a town site and named the town “Elizabeth Town” (after his wife) in the District of New Norfolk.  The name did not catch on although it was used on and off from 1811 to 1825, but the local settlers, wanting to preserve a link with their old island home, won the day and the town was officially known as “New” Norfolk. The stream called the Thames by the locals, was renamed the “Lachlan” (pronounced Locklon) by Governor Macquarie (in honour of his son). However, although it retains the name to this very day, it is pronounced as “Lacklan” by the locals, much to the confusion of newcomers.’

I strongly recommend this site for its extensive information and superb historical photographs, drawings and reproductions of lithographs.

A second site at http://www.discovertasmania.com.au/about/regions-of-tasmania/hobart-and-south/new-norfolk offers additional information and recommendations for things to look for. when visiting the area. In particular, a convict Betty King/Mrs Elizabeth Thackeray was mentioned as being the first European woman to step onto Australian soil.  You can read more about her at http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/people/settlement/display/70623-betty-king and it seems she was buried in a Methodist Church cemetery on Back River Road in New Norfolk (as per the map below). Unfortunately my Stage 15 of the walk, when the weather begins to warm next Spring, will not deviate from the Derwent River to look at this – but if you are visiting, maybe the site will be worth a look.

Map of Betty Kings memorial New Norfolk

My favourite time of the year to visit New Norfolk is autumn when the leaves turn red and gold so that the town almost seems to be on fire in places. Quite wonderful. Notwithstanding this, the other seasons of the year offer their own special characteristics, making the town always interesting to visit. And when the weather fails, you can immerse yourself in the many antique shops.

Sorell Creek sign post: Stage 14 of walk along the Derwent River

Around 11.35 am, directional signs at the Sorell Creek T junction with the Lyell Highway gave me useful information for me to gauge the distance I had walked from Granton and what was left to cover if I continued ‘straight’ to New Norfolk. As I crossed the actual creek flowing with a lot of water, I was made aware by a slightly mangled small blue sign, of a cemetery to my left; usually old cemeteries contain interesting stories but visiting it seemed like a deviation which would take me too far from the Derwent River so I continued on the Highway making a mental note to return another day to have a look at the Malbina cemetery.

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The main signs indicated New Norfolk was a mere 5 kilometres further north, if I stayed walking on the Highway – but I expected to be finding tracks off the highway taking me closer to river in the next half an hour.

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and the golden view when looking back south was also worth a photo.

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I wondered how many people commuted to New Norfolk daily by foot.  Probably zero numbers.

Visiting Cornelian Bay

With Selfs Point behind me, I could see the Cornelian Bay cemetery through the locked gate and up above the crumbling cliffs to my right.

On closer inspection, I was happy to discover part of the fence near the gate had been peeled back for pedestrians like me.  Through I went.

Twenty or so metres below, over mown grass, I reached a walking track at 2.20pm. This gravel pathway, with its strong views of the Tasman Bridge, wound around the hill and down to Cornelian Bay and its narrow beach, with a view of Mount Wellington in the distance. Exceptionally pleasant and other walkers were also enjoying the experience.

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Walking along the shore of Cornelian Bay is a calming experience.

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By 2.36pm I was sitting outside the Boathouse Restaurant not far from the public toilets, a free gas BBQ area and a kid’s playground. I stopped to eat some more of my preprepared lunch. The day was cooling and so I did not take the opportunity to buy an icecream like some of the other many visitors to this lovely area. They were feeding ducks, walking their dogs, playing, meandering, and eating. A very comfortable existence.

At 2.44pm I continued walking around Cornelian Bay by choosing leftward tracks that passed empty oyster shells bleaching on the shore, and moved toward a row of attractive boathouses.

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These are the most expensive boathouses in Tasmania and I noted one was up for sale (if you have a large pocket full of money and are interested, go to http://charlottepeterswald.com.au/property/36-cornelian-bay-new-town-00161878).  Another website shows a boathouse which sold recently: http://www.realestateview.com.au/Real-Estate/boatshed-cornelian-bay-new-town/Property-Details-sold-residential-6528149.html.

I reached the end of the row of boathouses at 2.55pm, and walked across a tiny beach to meet with the continuation of the track southward. This spot was idyllic and secluded. A couple of locals were cleaning the barnacles off the bottom of their dinghy.  Everything was peaceful.

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