Tag Archives: Glenora Road

Possible locations where the Derwent River can be ‘touched’

I have compiled a list of those locations where I believe, with a vehicle, it will be possible to ‘touch’ the Derwent River occasionally along its length between Gretna and Lake St Clair.  Please let me know if any section listed below takes your fancy and if you would be interested to try it out.

Almost all sections include driving on bitumen highway, gravel roads and poor tracks. Some of these may be forestry roads.  If you wish to volunteer to take me to one of these sections (let me know on walkingthederwent@gmail.com), please feel comfortable that your car can handle the different conditions.  Of course, common sense will prevail and we will never push on if a road is too rough for your vehicle and your peace of mind.

If you are happy to help me reach my goal, albeit differently than originally expected, I would like to fill up your tank with petrol as some compensation.  You know my ‘walking the Derwent’ is a non-commercial project, but since I do not own a car nor drive, I need transport – and therefore, I am happy to cover the cost.

  1. On eastern shore – From New Norfolk drive along the Lyell Highway and then, not far past Gretna’s Sports ground, take a left turn into Clarendon Road and drive to farmstead buildings about 250 metres from the river on a hill. Perhaps 140km return trip.
  2. On western shore – From New Norfolk drive along Glenora Road, and turn left at Bushy Park then right onto Meadowbank Road over the Tyenna River then next to Derwent, then on over Meadowbank Creek to a hill top with buildings. It may be possible to continue quite a way on this road. Minimum 130 and maybe up to 160kms return trip
  3. On eastern shore – From New Norfolk drive along the Lyell Highway and turn left off the Highway onto Meadowbank Dam Road. Continue to dam and southern end of Meadowbank Lake. At least 170 kms for round trip.
  4. On western shore – Travel from New Norfolk and turn left into Gordon River Road at Bushy Park, then turn right off Gordon River Rd into Ellendale Rd and then right onto Rockmount Road before you reach the township of Ellendale. There seem to be many dirt forestry tracks to Meadowbank Lake. At least 170kms return trip and maybe 200kms return or more depending on roads.
  5. On western shore – Travel from New Norfolk and turn left into Gordon River Road at Bushy Park, then turn right off Gordon River Rd into Ellendale Rd and drive on through the township of Ellendale until you reach Dawson Rd / Dunrobin bridge over Meadowbank Lake. Turn left before bridge and it seems we can drive 2kms further up along the Lake edge. Return to Ellendale Road, cross bridge and connect with the Lyell Highway. At least 170kms return trip and maybe 200kms return or more depending on roads.
  6. On eastern shore – From New Norfolk drive up Lyell Highway and continue past the left turn off to Dunrobin bridge and afterwards and to the left there are a number of dirt tracks seemingly without gates. After a while these tracks/roads only extend to the Ouse River and not the Derwent River so map consultation is crucial. At least 180kms return and maybe over 200kms return depending on how many side roads/tracks can be driven along.
  7. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway past Ouse then turn left at Lake Repulse Road. Continue to intersection with Cluny Lagoon Road and turn left and go to Cluny Dam. Return to intersection and continue on Lake Repulse Road to the Repulse Dam. Can cross a bridge and continue back south around Cluny Lagoon to a ‘settlement’ named Cluny.  Perhaps could access this road from the Ellendale Rd on the western shore? By driving north from Repulse Dam along Dawson Road/then renamed Thunderbolt Road it seems we can take right hand detours to Lake Repulse. Over 200kms maybe 250kms or more minimum round trip.
  8. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway past Ouse, over the Dee River until the sign appears for a left turn at Catagunya Road. Drive down to Catagunya Dam. 200kms minimum return trip
  9. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway past Ouse, over the Dee River, past Black Bobs and turn left at Long Spur Road. This runs around Wayatinah Lagoon. Go past the intersection to Wayatinah Dam, turn left and travel to Wayatinah Power Station on Lake Catagunya. Return to intersection and turn left and travel to Wayatinah Dam. Cross bridge and continue on to Wayatinah township. Access dirt tracks in the vicinity of all. Drive south from the Wayatinah Dam on the western shore along the Florentine Road but don’t bother crossing the Florentine River because the road goes inland away from the river. Minimum of 230kms but most likely  at least 300kms round trip.
  10. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway and when you reach a canal passing under the road, and where the road turns right to go to Tarraleah, go straight ahead on Butlers Gorge Road. Note there are limited roads off and around going closer to the river near that intersection. Continue along Butlers Gorge Road for 10-15 kms heading for Lake King William. Reach Clark Dam and Power Station. Continue onto Switchback Track along side of Lake King William. This track stops and you have to return the same way – swamp separates you from the track north about 500 metres away. This would be a big day and I suggest take overnight accommodation at Tarraleah before setting out. PERHAPS it is possible to walk across the swamp and then walk about 7 kms to Derwent Bridge. Unknown over 300 kms return trip.
  11. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway to Derwent Bridge and continue past to left hand turn off on the western side of Lake King William and drive the track to the lake. 360 kms return trip minimum.
  12. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway to Derwent Bridge. Walk from the bridge over the Derwent River near the township of Derwent Bridge to St Clair Dam at the bottom of Lake St Clair Lagoon where the Derwent River starts. Walk to Pump House Point and St Clair Weir at the southern end of the Derwent Basin. 350kms return trip minimum.

 

Bushy Park’s Sports Oval

Bushy Park’s sports arena was a typical rural affair; a large expanse of featureless green, a toilet block, a tiny visitor building (‘geez mate it’s starting to rain let’s go and stand under the verandah’), a track, and not much more.  No football goal sticks in sight.

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Barbed wire fences prevented me entering this area and therefore I could not walk to and then walk by the river. I continued along the road, and turned right at the T-junction. A left turn would have taken me away from the Derwent River to Glenora, Mount Field National Park and further afield to Strathgordon and Lake Gordon.  By turning right I was on the way to the day’s destination of Gretna.

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The local hops growing association seems to own the Bushy Park sports oval and offers ‘day use’ only from this entrance point on the road to Gretna.

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Looking back along the road:

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Looking forward along the road:

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This glorious afternoon was improved by the sensational golden blossoms of this wattle tree:

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Watch out! Cows crossing

After Rayners Corner, I walked back along Glenora Road because I could not access the property separating me from the Derwent River. The tall dry teasels made a barrier on the left of the road.

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When I registered the sound of a motor cycle and a quad bike on the hill, I watched two farmers sweeping down as they herded cattle towards the fence next to the road.

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Within moments the bike was on the road ready to halt traffic.

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And then the cows were out.  Their job was simply to walk from one paddock to another across the road.

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But along the road barrelled a speeding car which skittered the cattle so they began to run towards Bushy Park.  The car stopped short. The farmers glared. I stood still knowing if I kept walking in that direction the cows would be spooked further.

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Eventually the cattle found their paddock.

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I continued walking along. Then I turned and talked with Mrs farmer while Mr farmer locked gates.  When he joined the conversation he assured me that while the cattle had a mind of their own, sheep were the particular challenge he particularly did not like when it was time to take them over a busy road.  His sheep could never be trusted to know they should not run off.

Unpredictable water levels

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This sign is located near Rayners Corner beside Glenora Road on route to Bushy Park.

Years ago a friend and I drove up along the Lyell Highway, and then took a track down to the river somewhere between New Norfolk and Gretna.

We walked across a gravel bed to a rocky scrubby clump edging the water.  For a couple of hours we sat on the river side with our feet swinging above the glossy glassy black racing water of the Derwent River, lulled by the sun. I remember the clear reflections of the dense vegetation on the other side of the river. It was a joy to see fish rising to grab an insect that had been flitting near the water surface. Clouds began to pile up in the distance and around that time I looked down and realised the water was nearly touching my feet. The river’s water level was rising. We clambered back to the other side of this outcrop and discovered, to our horror, a swirling and dramatic pour of water separated us from the river bank. In recent blog postings I have mentioned the speed with which the Derwent River travels towards the sea. That day was my first experience of its dangerous fast moving flows.

The river was rising as we watched. We were stranded on an island and we didn’t know how much water had been released upstream. This meant we didn’t know whether the island would become submerged. Within seconds we knew we had to try our luck and get back to land.

Quickly we cast our eyes around for a couple of suitable branches that could act as walking sticks, as balancing poles, so we could cross the raging torrent.  Each of us started the crossing with a balancing stick. I remember stepping into that cold water and finding how uneven the ground was. It was not a simple gravel bed rather I was trying to walk on irregular sized rocks that rolled when I was pushed onto them by the force of the water. I remember that it was important to tread slowly and to lean my body at an angle towards upstream to counteract the pressure to send me downstream.

When I started the crossing the water level was at the top of my thighs. The distance wasn’t far but the water reached around my waist and splashed higher as I approached the safety of the river bank.  Once out of the water, we felt exhilarated.  But we both knew the danger we had been in.  And similar signs to the one in the photograph above were not around.  Situations like this remind me of the powerful importance of local knowledge.

Near the edge of the Derwent River again

Having farewelled the walking cyclist, I spotted a style built giving anglers access over a fence and at the same time I appreciated a grand curve in the Derwent River down below.

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The views of the river, the paddocks and the sheep were magnificent.

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As usual, continual direct access to the river was impossible.  This time, the very steep and slippery river banks were the greatest impediment.

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I continued along Glenora Road until I was able to follow a vehicular track to the water.  On the river edge, a large irrigation pump took pride of place. The water was clear. The sun sparkled across the surface. But access to the water was denied me because a steep slippery mudbank, which I did not believe I could climb back up if I slipped down, separated me from that elusive fluid.

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Heading westwards

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Back on Glenora Road, I loved the landscape in every direction. I am curious- have any city people slotted a green landscape view as background on their computers? When I open my computer and see green vistas it lifts my spirits particularly when I look out of my house window at bricks and mortar everywhere.

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Before long I was passing the expanses of Kinvarra Estate wines. My photos are quite tame compared to those taken by Alphaluma and presented on their website. His are sweeping and dramatic.

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A kilometre or so later I was surprised to see a lycra-clad man walking uphill around a corner and pushing his bicycle towards me.

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He looked exhausted and so I called out a friendly ‘hello’ and asked him where he had come from so early in the day.  ‘Bushy Park’, he replied.  Then he explained that for the past 12 days he had been on the comparatively new Tasmania Trail which extends from the north-west coast to the south-east margins of Tasmania. In addition, he offered that 13 days ago he hadn’t ridden a bike for years, had bought the new bike that day, then started out immediately. Now he was eager to get home and was headed for Hobart where he would finish his trek and family would pick him up.  This man, who looked like someone’s father, didn’t have the time or strength to continue to Dover much further south but I congratulated him on his achievement.  Whatever means of transport you take through central Tasmania, the challenges are great and he had overcome much to be close to his goal.  So I thought about my sore feet after only one day’s walking, and worked hard to dismiss any negative thoughts.

Leaving Ivanhoe’s cows behind

Day 2 and the vista looked splendid.  Despite my fingers seeming to freeze as I released the tent and repacked my backpack, the sun shone and the landscape sparkled after the evening’s shower of rain – any dust in the air was long gone.

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I hadn’t been walking for long when I could see the next railway bridge down the line. This time the bridge was taking a long haul over the Derwent River.  Again, I wasn’t prepared to play with my life and try to cross it. Instead, I detoured after finding a gate with an easy slip fastener and walked up a soft vehicle track. I saw rich green paddocks everywhere.

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Before long I had walked over the hilltop and could see a couple of houses.

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And then I was following a curving track across the property expecting eventually to return to Glenora Road.

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Not far along, I passed a gigantic pivot irrigation structure.

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The morning was truly marvellous.  The location was magnificent.

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I felt all the happier when a couple of the property owners drove past and waved cheerily. At the time I thought it strange they didn’t stop to talk which is something country people normally do (and, after all, I was on their private land), but when I reached the road I realised they had been having a laugh at my expense.  The gate was padlocked and unclimbable. One fence was electrified and the other barbed.  Fortunately, I was able to make my own way around this obstacle and get to the main road. It was then I could see I had been on the property named Ivanhoe.

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You can see my red gloves on top of the stone fence; by the time I was on the outside of Ivanhoe, I had warmed up and no longer needed them.

The Ivanhoe property is for sale if this interests you and you have over $3.6 million in loose change hanging around.

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