Tag Archives: Claremont Golf Course

Brilliant bird’s eye view

Thankyou blog follower Ju.  Recently Ju connected me with a woman with a husband who has a Private Pilot’s Licence.  Once I made contact, Michelle and Dave were delighted to fly me in their four seater plane, a Cirrus SR20 which Michelle referred to as the BMW of the skies.

Today we flew.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Clean blue sky. Hardly a breeze.  The landscape rich and varied.  The Derwent River sparkled from start to finish.

The experience was stunningly magnificent.  I love words but I find it difficult to express my excitement, my pleasure, and the sheer joy of the flight in the depth which I felt.  There below me was the river I have come to love and know a little more. There below me were the tracks, paths, roads and landscape over which I have walked – and I laughed occasionally remembering certain experiences during my walks. There below me were logging tracks, dam roads, and fading vehicular pathways.  And then we were flying over impenetrable sections which may not be walkable.

We left Hobart airport and flew to Storm Bay by rounding the Iron Pot, then we followed the river upstream to the source. Dave flew on until we reached the northern most point of Lake St Clair. The return journey was equally as beautiful and engaging. The light had changed presenting us with a ‘new’ landscape.

Of the hundreds of photos taken by Michelle, friend Chantale and myself, I include a tiny selection here.


The photo above taken by Michelle caught me totally preoccupied by the view.


MIchelle’s photo above shows the Derwent River snaking around the Claremont Golf course with Cadbury’s Chocolate Manufacturing buildings in white to the left.


The photo above shows a straight section of the Derwent River before the township of New Norfolk on the upper left.


The photo above shows the Derwent River circling part of Reid’s cherry orchards.


Chantale’s photo of the Pumphouse Point accommodation projecting into Lake St Clair, also shows the dam across the Derwent Basin where the water enters St Clair Lagoon.  The source of the Derwent River starts to the right of the photo.


Michelle’s photo above shows part of sprawling Hobart set against the Derwent Harbour.

Those photos taken while flying over the river westwards of Gretna will be incorporated into the stories of my walks from Gretna onwards, in future posts.  From now on, you can expect both ground-based and aerial photos to enrich the stories.
I feel like the luckiest person in the world for the opportunity to travel in a smooth flying small plane, to see the Derwent River winding through the landscape in glorious blueness, and to be reminded Tasmania is a superb place. A truly wonderful and memorable day. Thankyou to all concerned.

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.


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


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


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


My enjoyment of any family’s black sheep.


Heading into Old Beach and gradually leaving Mount Wellington behind.


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.

Green Point from new Old Beach

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.


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


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


Arriving at the Bridgewater Bridge.


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


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


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


Reaching Cadbury’s chocolate manufacturing factory in Claremont.


The hand-hewn rustic style seat near Connewarre Bay.

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


The mosaics along the foreshore.


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

Hoon tyre marks

Road mark making in Lutana.


Cornelian Bay’s oil tanks up close.


The Tasman Bridge.


The circus had come to town.


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


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

Claremont House, Tasmania

At the time of my walk along the Derwent River through the suburb of Claremont, I explained Claremont House was not close enough for me to deviate from the tracks near the shores of the River – so I did not visit.  However, yesterday I was delighted to be able to explore the historic property of Claremont House, tour its premises and enjoy High Tea with friends over three wonderful hours.  What a great experience!  A big thanks to one of my blog followers Me for organising this.

In my earlier posting History of our Claremont by the Derwent River, I referred to Claremont House (alternatively known as Lady Clark House), gave the street address, and explained it was built in the early 19th century by Henry Bilton who lived there for some time. If you revisit that posting you can click on many websites giving photographs and further information.

I now know that the property once extended to the edge of the Derwent River and included the entire peninsula on which the Cadbury chocolate factory and the Claremont Golf Course sit currently.  On this basis, and because Claremont House’s current view looks across the River, it seemed appropriate to include the story of my visit into this blog.

After turning off the main road through Claremont into Lady Clark Avenue, ornate wrought iron gates signalled arrival at the current boundary of the Claremont House property.

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I learnt these were not original gate structures and that the originals, excepting one, were removed and dumped into the Derwent River at some stage.  The one remaining original post, looking rather worse for wear, is currently located on Claremont’s main road around the corner from Lady Clark Avenue.

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We drove up a winding driveway then immediately enjoyed the moist summer air as we and other visitors strolled past a couple of horses towards the house.

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Looking along the bottom balcony it was clear the wisteria was doing its best to take over.  Tranquillity reigned.

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The 33 room house, with its ‘widows walk’ topping the structure, has suffered from a chequered history of public and private ownership, but the current owner Joel Van Sanden is passionate about restoring the property in alignment with a specialist conservation plan, and the changes are proceeding.  It has been a painstaking and slow process enlisting the involvement of the few remaining tradesmen who specialise in heritage work of the type needed for this House.

I was especially impressed by the ceiling ‘rose’ in the original ballroom for the fine quality of the tree fern fronds. It was the highlight of my visit.

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The full size pool table weighing over 4 tonnes, is a magnificent piece of furniture. I noted its feet rested on stone foundations.

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The generous and freshly made High Tea (scones jam and cream, mini quiches, egg sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, and much more) was served in a beautifully restored ballroom.  The photo below shows only a small portion of the space.

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We listened to the owner explain the history of ownership and the effects on the shape and state of the building. In small groups he led us on a series of interesting staircases up to the ‘widows walk’ from where we had a 360 degree view covering the Derwent River, Mount Wellington and much much more.

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Later we strolled through the grounds and learnt about past extensions and outer buildings, extensive gardens and glass houses.

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Finally I ambled down the hill to see the House from another angle, and found myself at a fountain below a walkway sided with apple trees.

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If I had been told in advance that the tour and tea visit would take 3 hours, I might have baulked. I am glad I did not know this because my time at Claremont House offered me a rich and varied experience.  The owner was energetic, well informed, and experienced with the process of turning Claremont House from what it had become, a sow’s ear, into a silk purse. The restoration process continues and I will look forward to revisiting from time to time, to see new developments. The price is $30 full adult and $25 concession.  This has to be the best value around.

History of our Claremont by the Derwent River

It is one thing to muse on who my readers are but now I am focussing on our suburb of Claremont and its history. During my last walk I passed along the Derwent River foreshore of Claremont, discovered the Claremont Plaza, walked around the Claremont Golf course and spent some time in the Cadbury chocolate manufacturing factory.

Wikipedia informs me that “Claremont is a suburb of the City of Glenorchy, part of the greater Hobart area, Tasmania, Australia. It is named after Claremont House (at 12 Lady Clark Avenue, Claremont) which was built in the 1830s by local settler Henry Bilton, who named it after one of the royal homes of England.” When you read http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/claremont-landscape-garden/, which provides some information about Claremont House in Surrey England, you will learn that it was “Once a Dukes’ retreat and a playground for princesses…” I could find no information about whether any of England’s royal family ever visited our Tasmanian Claremont House. Probably not.

Information about the original owner of the House, Henry Bilton can be read at http://claremonthouse.com.au/history/history-private-ownership-1825-1940/. He first settled in Van Diemen’s Land in 1825 and in the following year he acquired the property on which Claremont House was built. Apparently Bilton’s occupation was a General Merchant and Importer.  The site http://www.watersideaccommodation.com/downloads/HistoricalSummarytheClaremontAustinsFerryArea04May07.pdf declares: “Claremont, or Lady Clark House as it has come to be known as, was built by the early pioneer Henry Bilton. Henry came to Tasmania on medical advice in 1825. He became a merchant and later a gentleman farmer. As the first importer of Leicester sheep to Tasmania he gained significant wealth and turned his attention to politics.”

The following photo of Henry Bilton comes from http://www.glenorchy150.com.au/gallery/.

Henry-Bilton-re Claremont

Detailed information about Tasmania’s 1839 (decades before the Californian settlement) Claremont House can be read at http://claremonthouse.com.au/history/.  Right now, the house is up for sale: see photographs and details at http://www.domain.com.au/property/for-sale/house/tas/claremont/?adid=2009725372.  Perhaps you might want to buy it!  There is no range of prices given, so the sale is ‘by offer’.

Claremont House, in the Greater Hobart Area, is located away from the Derwent River foreshore so I did not go near this during my last walk.

The sweet reward – Cadbury during the 9th stage of my walk along the Derwent River

After walking around the Claremont Golf Course for an hour, the option to enter a building rather than continue being battered in the windy environment seemed like a good idea. Five minutes later I arrived at the Visitor Entrance of Cadbury, paid $4, and wandered into the Visitor Centre at 12.30pm.

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Once upon a time, behind-the-scenes tours of the plant and equipment were possible. People have told me that bins of chocolates were placed around the manufacturing premises and visitors were encouraged to help themselves. These days, presumably for hygiene and safety reasons, tours of the factory are no longer offered. Instead, on offer is the play of a short DVD and a guide who talks to the images on the film and then answers questions from visitors.  In addition, the guide offers a taste of pure Cocoa Mass and the Crumble – one being bitter and the other more palatable. I was pleasantly surprised that Cadbury supports the international Fairtrade movement in relation to their purchase of cocoa beans.

The public section of the premises includes a café for coffee and cake, a shop offering merchandise ranging from T shirts to mugs and much more, and another large room stocked with all Cadbury, Fry and Pascall branded confectionary at discounted prices.

My visit allowed me to sit for a while and simply stop, relax and watch people salivating and stocking up with kilos of chocolate.

At 1.30pm I stepped outside, unfurled my umbrella to catch the rain spots, and started again on my walk southwards.