Tag Archives: Claremont

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.

Arriving in Granton for Stage 14 of the walk along the Derwent River

Since walking along the Derwent River in the northern suburbs on the western shore earlier this year, I have revisited MONA at Berriedale on a number of occasions but I have not been further north. So it was a great delight when my X1 Metro bus, which departed from Hobart city at 7.17am, used the old main road after the Glenorchy bus mall to travel through Berriedale, Claremont and Austins Ferry before reaching Granton.  I was able to see the acres of majestic gold and red leafed vines of Moorilla Wines, to observe Cadbury’s chocolate factory puffing plumes of white steam into the crisp blue sky morning, to identify a range of native birds that were using Goulds Lagoon as a safe resting place, and to recognise various bays and other features that I had passed previously.  Everything seemed edged with the early sunlight which glowed strongly through rain washed, impeccably clean air.

I was off the bus at stop 49 on the last of the Brooker Highway at 7.50am.  Looking northwards, the sign made it clear the direction to take was straight ahead. An earlier post introduced the history of the old Granton watch house (search Historic Granton, Tasmania) – that’s the low yellow building on the left in the first photo below, and then the second photo shows the sun-struck front of the building.

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I was aware New Norfolk, over last weekend, had been celebrating the glories of its autumn foliage as indicated by the sign below. The sign served to increase my anticipation of those colourful delights.

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The unmemorable architecture of the Granton Memorial Hall solidly facing the morning sun, seemed very out of place in this beautiful area.

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Equally solid and immediately serviceable was the public toilet block at the edge of the carpark used by many city bus commuters.

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In front of the carpark a sign reminded me of the importance of grape growing in Tasmania – not the least because the wine from our vineyards is very drinkable (as agreed by wine judges from around the world).

Vineyards ahead

My eyes swung across to the roundabout for vehicles travelling north on the Midlands Highway to Launceston via many rural towns. In the distance, the vertical towers of the Bridgewater Bridge marked the Derwent River crossing.  The calmness of the day, and the quality of the light was sublime.

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I hadn’t walked far along the Lyell Highway when I saw the sign below which indicated that 16 kilometres further along the highway I would reach New Norfolk.  But could I trust the sign? Two or so kilometres further back, when I was still bussing on the Brooker Highway, I had seen a sign indicating the distance was 16 kilometres.

Leaving Granton

Not far away another roadside sign alerted motorists (and the occasional pedestrian): Welcome to The Rivers Run Touring Route.

The Rivers Run

Walking on the right hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic and with the Derwent River on my right, I continued into the icy breeze heading towards New Norfolk.  It wasn’t much after 8am when I left the (comparatively) built up area of Granton on the first leg of Stage 14.

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.

Pushing on to the Tasman Bridge

Leaving the delightful Cornelian Bay boatsheds behind, I followed the gravel track almost until I reached the Botanical Gardens at which time I walked up a slight rise and joined the concreted bike and pedestrian track that extends from Hobart to Claremont.  I could have walked from Cornelian Bay entirely on that pathway but it is not located as close to the waters of the Derwent River as the very smooth and wide gravel track.

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I enjoyed looking back to see markers of where I had walked such as the white oil tanks at Selfs Point

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and across the Derwent River to Lindisfarne and Rose Bay which were tramped in an earlier stage of my walk along the Derwent River.

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The atmosphere on the track was gentle with the breeze softening through the casuarina trees. The sound of road traffic somewhere above me was audible but did not intrude in such a way that the sound of the water lapping onto the shore could not be appreciated.

Gradually, the Tasman Bridge seemed to be growing larger the closer that I walked towards it.

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The photos below show the bottom entrance to the Botanical Gardens.

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The bike path crossed to the left over the disused railway line opposite the entry to the Botanical Gardens at Pavilion Point. I followed that way at 3.15pm in order not to stay on the main road with mainstream vehicular traffic and no footpath.

I could have followed the tracks of fishermen through the grasses and scrubby trees to the foreshore and then walked through a weedy parkland and past the Mercantile Collegiate Rowing Club building. I did not take this route because it looked like the length of it was fenced off and I doubted I would be able to get back onto the road or path near the Bridge. My feet were sore and I was aiming to reach Hobart – I did not want to retrace my steps, and therefore I took the easy way out and stayed on the road.  However, once I reached the Rowing Club building I could see that an exit would have been easy because there was no fence or gate on the other side of the building.  It seems that the foreshore would have been easily walkable.

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Until I reached the Tasman Bridge I walked on the edge of a road and shared this with cyclists, a jogger and the occasional van and car.  At 3.30pm I reached the Tasman Bridge and rejoined the bike path.

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Getting started on Stage 10 along the Derwent River.

From the eastern shore I caught a bus to Hobart City and then transferred to a 7am bus destined for Bridgewater. At the Glenorchy Bus Mall we waited until it was time to continue … and until more passengers arrived.

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This bus travels along the main road via Berriedale, Claremont and Granton suburbs. At 7.32am I was off the bus outside the Grenada Tavern at Berriedale.

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Opposite the bus stop I glanced at the vineyards of Moorilla and thought of the Museum of New and Old Art (MONA) nearby.

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The view, down the road in the southerly direction I needed to follow, is blandly suburban.  At that hour, the road was very quiet.  I guess with school holidays and many adults taking a holiday away from work, there were lots of sleeping bodies in the vicinity.

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I crossed the road and headed south on the footpath looking to see how I could get past the houses edging Berriedale Bay and walk closer to the water.  Firstly I reached a parking area with a tall mesh fence partly blocking an area of profusely flowering weeds and Berriedale Bay water from me.

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I continued on the main road and turned left away from the highway overpass.

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When I reached a service station I spotted a gap to the water and deviated to see whether further access was possible. Looking north over a bramble of free sown blackberry bushes, I could see the vineyards of Moorilla, and the concrete and rusting building of MONA.

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Looking south, Frying Pan Island could be seen joined to the land by a tiny isthmus.

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It was clear there would be no continual walking access directly along the River’s edge.  I returned to the main road and continued along until I reached the Strathaven Home for senior citizens and Riverfront Motel villas, arriving there about 20 minutes after I had stepped off the bus. I walked through these properties and continued along the foreshore until stalled by a high fence topped with barbed wire – this continued out into the water as a definite deterrent for further progress. Fat rabbits, and gangs of wild hens scattered across the mown grasses. Frying Plan Island can be accessed via the Strathaven Home  and Motel site. In the photo below, the tiny islet in the foreground and southern side of the Bay, almost blocks the rusting verticals which form part of MONA in the distance at the northern side of Berriedale Bay. It is rather difficult to separate these visually.

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So I retraced my steps back to the main road and joined the ‘bike path’ established for both cyclists and pedestrians by the joint efforts of the Cities of Hobart and Glenorchy. It was 8am.

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.

Claremont beside the Derwent River

I have wondered why there has been so much interest from USA readers for my posting about the Claremont Bowling Club.  The Club is an ordinary lawn bowling club the like of which is found in every town and city across Australia.  My blog site statistics do not indicate which part of the USA my readers come from, so more research was required.

The name Claremont derives from the French for clear mountain, and was introduced into England by refugee French Hugenots in the early 18th century.  The concept of clear mountain works here in Hobart because our town of Claremont sits comfortably at the feet of Mount Wellington.

There a city named Claremont in Sullivan County, New Hampshire, USA. It was named after Claremont, also known historically as ‘Clermont’, an 18th-century Palladian mansion of Thomas Pelham-Holles, Earl of Clare less than a mile south of the centre of Esher in Surrey, England.  This New Hampshire city is located between the Ascutney State Park and the Hawks Mountain area to the west and Mount Sunapee to the east.  Presumably offering clear mountains.

In addition, Wikipedia informs me that “Claremont is a college town on the eastern border of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Claremont is known for its many educational institutions, its tree-lined streets, and its historic buildings. In July 2007, it was rated by CNN/Money magazine as the fifth best place to live in the United States. Due to its large number of trees and residents with doctoral degrees, it is sometimes referred to as “The City of Trees and PhDs.”

Our Claremont in the City of Glenorchy within the Greater Hobart Area is very different than the Californian town with the same name.

In America, the Gold Rush of 1849 opened up California so I suspect the name Claremont was probably given by someone remembering their English heritage when the town was created in the 1880s, or by someone who had travelled west from the New Hampshire town of the same name.  I understand that the peaks of Mount Baldy, Mount San Antonio, Timber Mountain and others in the distance overlook the Californian city.

So now I have either or both California readers on the west coast of USA and New Hampshire readers on the east coast of the USA.  Will the real reader/s stand up!