Tag Archives: Fossil Cove

Fossil Cove posting 4 of 4

I relaxed with the sounds of the wash of the water onto the shore.

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After one last look around this deserted Cove and across the glorious Derwent Harbour, I turned toward the path and walked back uphill. Slowly.  Very slowly.  I swear the incline on that hill had steepened. I found each blade of grass and each leaf on the path infinitely interesting and worthy of stopping for closer inspection. Often.

For blog readers who live in Hobart, give yourself a treat, take a picnic with you and enjoy a visit to this wonderful Cove.

Fossil Cove posting 3 of 4

 

I delighted in the multitude of fossils everywhere around Fossil Cove.

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And seeing the blue shells of tiny new mussels clustering in rock crevices, and the deep purple shells of sea urchins cast up on the rocky beach, reminded me of the way water continues to bring life to our shores.

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Most particularly I loved the water views.  The Derwent River presented a stunning vista during my visit.

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14/2/17

Fossil Cove posting 2 of 4

I admired the rock formations around Fossil Cove and wished I had walked with a geological expert.

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The rock formation in the photos below could variously be described as a ‘hole in the wall’ or an arch.

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I just had to explore what was through that ‘hole in the wall’.

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Seeing these photos again reminds me that the day of my visit to Fossil Cove was so gloriously sunny, that the sea and the sky were shades of heavenly blue, and that the gentle on shore breeze was so soft and pleasant. So many mainland Australians who have never visited Tasmania have the idea this is a cold miserable place, so I am glad that my experiences walking the Derwent have been able to show this is a wonderfully beautiful place.  And it is a place very much worth a visit (or even a relocation to live here!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13/2/17

Fossil Cove posting 1 of 4

On the day when I walked from Blackman’s Bay to Point Pearson near Tinderbox, then retraced my steps to catch a return bus from Blackman’s Bay, I omitted to walk via Fossil Cove. The pathway to this secluded rock strewn cove required a detour of over 2 kilometres. Since my day’s walk to the mouth of the Derwent River on the western shore and return was expected to be over 20 kms, I resolved at the time to return on another occasion to walk this section.

I was delighted when I finally ‘discovered’ what locals and others have known for a long while.

A couple of kilometres along Tinderbox Road after leaving suburban Blackmans Bay, Fossil Cove Drive is clearly marked.  Around a kilometre down that road, a sign indicates the way to the beach.

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A further sign declares this area to be a public reserve and a site of national geological significance.

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The steep descent to the Cove was controlled by steps and dirt pathways.

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I was dazzled by views across to Opossum Bay and Gellibrand Point on the eastern shore of the Derwent River.

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Finally I arrived at sea/river level.

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Through the trees the Derwent River was ever present on my left then later on my right

The Derwent River flowed on my left when I headed southwards to Pearsons Point, and on my right when I returned northwards to Blackmans Bay.

On occasion I could look down the slippery gravel drop offs:

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From time to time, surprised wallabies crashed away through the bush.  I never knew whether I was more surprised than the wallaby.  I watched wild hens roaming cleared paddocks.  I listened to all manner of froggy sounds emanating from dammed creeks. The occasional cyclist, with tyres whispering along the gravelled bitumen, passed me unexpectedly. These road bikes were always ridden by women and we exchanged brief hellos.

A few vineyards under netting were located on hill sides without afternoon sun – what does that do to the flavour of wine?  Okay – all the sommeliers and expert wine tasters out there.  What sort of wine would you expect to be produced in a cool winter and warm summer climate with the grapes mostly only seeing the morning sun in the summer? Google maps show the ‘street view’ of one vineyard at Bellendena: https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Bellendena/@-43.037425,147.335291,3a,75y,13.59h,90t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sGy5X1ubwdRkyt-93Gur9Sw!2e0!4m7!1m4!3m3!1s0xaa6dd119e082ab39:0x68f8df55775fb029!2sTinderbox+Rd+W,+Tinderbox+TAS+7054!3b1!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0xce060676af8374e9!6m1!1e1?hl=en I hope you look at this street view and swivel around so you can see the terrain and can appreciate the beautiful country through which I walked.

By ten to ten in the morning I reached “Hidden Cove”, a property which promotes itself as providing a Day Spa and Retreat service: appointments are essential. For a split second I thought I should make a booking for my walk back to Blackmans Bay from Pearsons Point. The idea of a foot massage later in the day was very appealing although I had no idea whether such a service was on offer.  I did take note of the phone number 03 6229 6050 in case I wish to try it out when I return for my walk to Fossil Cove.  Their website makes the business look attractive: http://www.hiddencovedayspa.com.au/

One of the highlights of my walk was seeing casuarina trees ‘weeping’ with the weight of their strands of blooms.  Seemingly so delicate.

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Fossil Cove Road T junction with the Tinderbox Road

Close to 9.30am I reached the left hand turn of Fossil Cove Road.

My final decision to proceed to Pearsons Point was made at that juncture.  My reason for wanting to walk to Fossil Cove is that it is on the Derwent River and I would be able to appreciate another part of the River’s western shoreline.  By my reckoning, and never having been down the road to check the situation, I believed the return walk would cover 3-4 kilometres and include steep hills. I thought that if my feet were holding up after I reached Pearsons Point and had returned back to this road then I could finish off the day’s Stage with a walk to see the fossils.  Alas … my feet were not ready for this on the return trip (I still had the walk from there back to a Blackmans Bay bus stop to consider) so I will visit another day to make this deviation from Tinderbox Road.

Including this future walk, I count three additional walks I have promised to do, in order to cover a little more of the Derwent River shoreline. I will return to the area between GASP (Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park) and Goodwood on the other side of the Bowen Bridge.  I will find out if I can make special arrangements to visit the industrial property of Nystar which sits against a significant length of the Derwent River.  And finally I will return to walk to the fossils at the end of a track at the end of a road off Tinderbox Road.  Most likely these walks will be undertaken on good weather days in winter when walking inland towards Lake St Clair is impossible because of extreme weather conditions.

The Suncoast Headlands Walking Track south from Blackmans Bay

A few minutes before 8am on Stage 13, I started walking on the Suncoast Headlands Walking Track.  Initially, the track ran directly next to the Blackmans Bay Beach and then began to rise up onto the headland and continue between fenced private houses and the Derwent River. The early part of the track was directly west and so I had strong sunlight straight into my eyes, temporarily blinding me from looking at the surrounding vegetation as I walked.

Just after 8am the track turned right and I looked down into a rock edged bay.

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At this point the track was fenced on the River side to prevent walkers slipping over the edge of the cliff. Later on the track was fenced intermittently. I walked up and up higher onto the headland.

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Occasionally I passed tracks leading back into suburban streets.

At 8.13 am I caught a view of some curvy hills in the Tinderbox area headlands way in the far distance.

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At 8.21 am I reached a second Suncoast Headlands Walking Track sign which indicated where the path lay.

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However there were no clearly discernible paths across large expanses of mown grass.  I did the best I could and soon found myself at the Sewage Treatment Plant on the edge of the Derwent.  For a short while I followed a track down to the rocky shore, but at a certain point it was clear that if I reached the water level (and the descent didn’t look anything but potentially dangerous), there would be no way up on the other side of the Treatment Plant.  I retraced my steps. Then I tried to walk along the fence line in front of the Plant, but I soon found this way was impassable.  Wily blackberry canes thwarted further progress. The steep drop to the shore was frightening. And more Kookaburras were laughing. Ha. Ha. Ha. H. H. H. H. Ha. Ha.  So, again I retraced my steps and decided to walk inland along and around the Sewage Treatment Plant’s fence line. There was a semblance of a track on my new route, but obviously I had missed the main ‘thoroughfare’.

I was glad to have walked this way because, for a part of it, I enjoyed moist mosses softly cushioning each footstep.  These mosses were bright lime green in colour.  Soon afterwards, I walked across an area where tall grasses had recently been slashed making it easy to continue.  Of course I did not know where I was going track-wise so, with the sun as my guide, I simply made sure I continued southwards. Once I reached a cleared open meadow with barely visible tracks, I had warmed up, my jacket was off, and I was standing opposite the South Arm township on the eastern shore.  I walked onwards and spotted a tiny yellow sign 50 metres away. From there, at 8.40am, I crossed over the bitumen road that leads to the Sewage Treatment Plant, signed as the Blackmans Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Over the road was a delightful short zig zag track down to an unnamed creek, with a small foot bridge to ensure easy access to the other side.

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I walked through a peaceful grove of gum and wattle trees and found, on the other side, a sign indicating I could walk left or right on a bush loop. I turned left towards the River.  When the loop turned inland away from the River I rechecked my maps and could see the track would never be near the River. I made the decision to retrace my steps and began to continue inland with the intention of reaching Tinderbox Road.

I walked on a gravel track next to the creek until I reached a most unexpected site: a very large area fenced in and designated as a Dog Exercise Area. This is set up with tyres for dogs to jump through, and rows of poles that dogs can practice some sort of slalom around. As I walked past, a massive mowing tractor-like piece of equipment rumbled up and down the large paddock shaving the grass.

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Blackberries galore, waiting to be picked for the pies, lined the creek side of the track next to the Dog Exercise Area.

A few minutes before 9am, I turned left onto the bitumen road that went downhill to the Sewage Treatment Plant and uphill to Tinderbox Road. On the uphill trek I walked between the dense bush and flitting bush birds while listening to their bush songs: Tweets, Chirps, Squeaks and Warbles.

The day was perfect for walking so I began to wonder whether I should aim for the mouth of the Derwent River at Pearsons Point, rather than Fossil Cove many kilometres before the final headland.  As I continued up Treatment Plant Road, and past the Blackmans Bay Scouting Camp buildings (for Joeys, Cubs, Scouts and Venturers) the temptation to head to the mouth strengthened. I reasoned that the day was young, the weather wasn’t too hot or cold and it wasn’t raining, and my feet hadn’t failed me.

At Tinderbox Road I turned left a few minutes after 9am, with the resolve to reach Pearsons Point.