Tag Archives: Glenorchy

Either side of Bowen bridge – posting 4 of 9

I decided to walk from the Bowen Bridge around Dowsing Point towards the Derwent Entertainment Centre on the Glenorchy side of the bridge.  A faint track showing occasional foot traffic looked promising and became my guide.

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Early in the walk along this track, easy views to and access to the water were not possible although as time passed the river came into constant view. 20170125_095427.jpg

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Then the pebbled and rocky shore appeared.

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I was delighted when I came across a slight semblance of a track down to the river’s edge.  Soon I was on the shore and walking that rocky ‘beach’.  The wind was fierce but not cold. My sunhat had no chance of staying attached to my head. I lathered on the sunscreen hoping for wind protection. But it was fresh and invigorating. The air was alive and so I felt even more alive. And so pleased that my return visit to Dowsing Point had been able to bring me down to the water of the Derwent River.

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Clearly native oysters grow on the rocks near the shore.  The whitening shells of long dead oysters were thrown up at the high tide level.  I was surprised not to see any Australian Pied Oystercatcher birds looking for a meal.

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I continued walking around the contours of Dowsing Point, thankful that the tide was out and the shore was wide enough, dry enough and had no insurmountable obstacles. But beneath the northern section of the fenced-in defence forces precinct suddenly the ground became marshy and a trickle of water in a swampy like environment emptied into the Derwent. I did not believe this was passable.  Perhaps if the tide had been lower and if I was wearing gumboots, I might have continued.  On another day, this most likely could be a doable section and one I could tackle from the Derwent Entertainment Centre end of the walk.

After searching unsuccessfully for alternatives, eventually I retraced my steps, and climbed a grassy hill for another view of the obstacle – which looks benign in the photo below.

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I have walked along the Dowsing Point suburban streets with paddocks at their ends that extend to the shoreline shown above, such as Park Road and Dwyer Place. Unfortunately high fences,  locked gates and dead ends prevent access to this defence forces land.  Trespassers Prosecuted signs were a deterrent.  20170125_091847.jpg

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From the obstacle preventing my continued shore walking,  I turned back and walked towards the Bowen Bridge.  Eventually I left the beach after reconnecting with the hillside track used earlier.

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Occasionally, next to the faint track through the grass, someone had placed track markers – coloured rectangles on posts. Very thoughtful.  On the way back I found a wonderful confusion of markers; just as we know some mailbox catalogue deliverers dump a pile of undelivered catalogues in drains or over someone’s fence, it seemed the person placing the track markers dumped his/her extras. So there I was, faced with an amusing mini-forest of markers all pointing nowhere and signifying nothing.

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The markers of mankind are always there to be found, and to be puzzled over by those without experience.  But I found my way and soon returned to the Bridge.

Goodwood. Not sure about the ‘good’.

After walking across Goodwood Road (on Stage 10 of my walk along the Derwent River) which extends from the Bowen Bridge at one end to Glenorchy suburbs at the other, I was puzzled by a sign on one corner indicating behind it was a Model Park.  There were no trees. What sort of park was this? It seems this is a place for big boys to play with their model cars etc.  Special tracks were clustered in different parts of the ‘park’.

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Not much further along the road to the left (Innovation Drive –someone gave this name a lot of thought and presumably smirked in satisfaction) was signed as the entry to Tasmania’s hopes for technological innovation, Tasmanian Technopark.

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The Technopark was the brainchild of a government minister and his public service department around 2000. A small amount of information can be read at http://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/home/about_us/tasmanian_technopark. A federal government website has a whisper of additional information at http://www.australiangovernmentgrants.org/TASMANIAN-TECHNOPARK.php. I am surprised that there is no easily googled publicity about the achievements of this program. Can Tasmania ever equal the cut and thrust of innovation coming out of other small or remote places like Singapore, Finland, Iceland, etc?  What are we doing right and what could be done better to achieve successes?  Who knows? I couldn’t find any such information on the internet.

In the absence of any clear way to walk around the Derwent River edge of Dowsing Point, on which the Technopark is located, I thought it best to leave that exploration for another day and to continue along Howard Road.

Goodwood, in my experience, turned out to be the dog poo suburb of the Greater Hobart Area.  Excrement was everywhere in perfect form or squashed on the pavements, or the various colours dotted grassy verges.  I didn’t waste time on photography for which I am sure you are thankful – the choices were too great!

Firstly I turned left into Negara Crescent which was a street combining mean, low level, paint-flaking, unmown lawns, weed infested residential properties (okay – well not all were, but many were) with light industry such as Linen Services Tasmania, boat works, Anchor Wet Suits, Towbar and Crash bar repairs, fishing supplies, and a large unnamed workshop building emitting unpleasant chemical smells. Those houses which had Derwent River frontage sometimes had escaped overgrown blackberry infestations blocking river access in their back yards. There wasn’t a sense of wanting to live caringly or beautifully here. Accessing the River is impossible without entering private land around this locality. The built-in nature of some parts can be seen on the sign for a block of land that has been sold.

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By 9.45am I was joining back onto Howard Road. I walked on past bus stop 34, and the nearby Take Away Food shop and reached the Giblin Reserve around 9.50am. Photos of the surrounds are as follows:

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I sat for a while in the Reserve, watching a man in his car eating his take away meal, and taking in the surroundings.  This was a part of Prince of Wales Bay.

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In the distance I watched the steam/smoke pouring from the zinc works of Nystar, a large industry owning considerable property along the Derwent River a little south from where I sat for a while and soaked in the atmosphere.

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Once I continued walking southwards around the Bay, I passed a kid’s playground, BBQ area, public toilets and ducks quacking.  When stymied by lack of water access around 10.05am, I walked up onto Gepp Parade and walked past a tree laden with not yet ripe nectarines, and later a row of junky looking boathouses. I wondered who wouldn’t be interested in removing their half sunk boat.

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Eventually, through the bitumen path, weeds began to multiply then suddenly this ‘formal’ path stopped and an occasionally trodden pathway through the weeds was all I had to continue on.

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I couldn’t help thinking that wherever a local government area is almost at the end of one and near the start of another area, there is more rubbish not collected and the general appearance of places is rather shabby. This has been the case on earlier stages of my walk, and now as I was at the extremity of the City of Glenorchy and coming closer to the City of Hobart boundary, the amount of visible rubbish and untidiness was escalating.

However, looking out over the water of the Bay (and if I tried not to study the weedy edges with their coloured flotsam and jetsam) to Mt Direction on the other side of the Derwent River, presented me with an attractive view.

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When I could get back down onto a weedy area, I followed man-made tracks and continued almost to the Sewage Treatment Farm (which I could see had wired fencing into the water that barred my continuous shore access) then headed up through the trees and onto a disused railway line. I crossed this, climbed a weedy rise spattered with rubbish, clambered over a metal guard rail and stood on Derwent Park Road which is the main road to Nystar and other industry located by the River. It was 10.25am when I reached this point. I had been plodding along for almost three hours.

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.

Discovering the suburb of Old Beach – 7th stage of my walk along the Derwent River

At 12.40pm I reached the town sign for Old Beach at Cassidy’s Bay. The Bay was covered with ducks of every age.  Families of ducklings are always a pleasure to see. Seemed like a safe haven for them.  Tall grasses grew into the water but there was no beach.

I continued walking along the highway, passed the turn off to the Baskerville raceway, and was eventually forced down into a clay sogged ditch almost until I reached the roundabout at 12.50pm.  At the roundabout, with the hilly section of Old Beach up on the right, the choice was to continue on to Bridgewater or turn left into Fouche Avenue. I turned left to the lowlands and walked through a reasonably affluent area. Back on proper footpaths. Just before 1pm I reached the Old Beach Neighbourhood Store claiming to serve hot food 7 days a week.  I didn’t enter to check.

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By 1.03pm, after passing a house outlandishly decorated for Halloween, I came to the end of the road.  It seems like one of those roads which will connect up with a street coming from the other direction at some other time. Everywhere I looked, new houses were being built so that I feel confident roads will connect sooner than later. I walked through the open paddock in the photo below in order to reach the ‘golden’ pathway in the distance which I assumed might lead me onwards next to the Derwent River.

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At 1.06pm I reached the lower path, which was appropriately signposted as the Old Beach Foreshore Trail, and enjoyed seeing more black swans, swooping swallows, flocks of starlings, and the usual screaming plovers. Closer to the water the path divided.  To the left it returned to Cassidy’s Bay (although I saw no signs of a path when I was there), to the right the path would continue to the Jetty at Jetty Road.  The spot where I stood was named the ‘Calm Place’.

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The photo above faces south across the lowlands of Old Beach (which doesn’t seem to have a beach), and provides a view of Mount Direction in the distance.

I headed north by taking the right hand trail. Not long after, on the right hand non River side of the path, I saw a tiny man-made lake, with its quota of swimming ducks and a rusting large sculptural tower on a central island with two Dominican Gulls on top (the expression ‘kings of the castle’ came to mind), amidst a stack of new houses and others being built. The sign on the fence worried me.

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I was concerned that because the land was so low and the lake depended on a levee to contain the water, any River flooding could be of great concern to the new property owners.  I wondered how much of that being built on was reclaimed land. I am surprised the local government allows new buildings here. With global warming increasing the sea level, these houses won’t be around in hundreds of years.

Blue skies opened above Mount Wellington in the distance but heavy clouds sat overhead.  Spits of rain persisted off and on for the rest of my time at Old Beach.  But it was time to have lunch. In the absence of any seats or rocks or other raised area, at 1.20pm I sat on the grass beside the Foreshore Trail, emptied my pack, and started munching as I absorbed the details of my low lying surroundings.  I could see heavy rain clouds that darkened the day travelling across the Derwent from the Mount Faulkner Conservation Area on the western shore.

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At 1.35pm I was on my feet and continuing along the path, passing an alternative walk to Sun Valley Drive, and spotting a pair of native hens pecking ahead on my path.  A private fence made from large pieces of driftwood festooned with creeping bright flowering geraniums, caught my attention.

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At 1.43pm I arrived at the Old Beach jetty

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where I found an interpretative panel explaining some of the early 19th century history associated with the location of the jetty.

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As early as 1821, an Inn was established near the current jetty, and people would ferry across the Derwent from the western side of the River.

This 7th stage of my walk was coming to a quick close.  I knew a bus would be travelling along Jetty Road at 2pm, and that the next service would not be in the vicinity for another couple of hours. I had wanted to finish walking through all of Old Beach before I finished this stage, but the potential for a long wait for a bus inclined me to cut the anticipated walk short.  I walked along Jetty Road and waited at a bus stop.

Metro bus 114, destined for the Glenorchy Bus Mall on the western shore, picked me up.  I did not travel the entire way but if I had, I would have needed to catch a Hobart city bus to reach the CBD, then a bus to take me back to my home suburb of Bellerive on the eastern shore. A long way. A long time. From Old Beach there are no bus services travelling along the eastern shore.  All the buses travel to the northern city of the Greater Hobart Area of Glenorchy via the Bowen Bridge. Since I live in Bellerive on the eastern shore, I resolved to try Plan B. I proposed to catch a bus from Glenorchy to Hobart via the eastern shore and close to the Bellerive area. Once over the Bowen Bridge from Old Beach, I got off the bus at the first stop which was outside the Elwick racecourse at 2.15pm. I crossed the road and waited in a bus shelter for Metro bus 694. As the rain started to pour in earnest at 2.35pm, the bus arrived. Phew!

I loved the return trip. While again on the Bowen Bridge I looked northward and could see where I had walked earlier in the day. Ahead and looming over the land, was Mount Direction. Looking southward I could see the Cleburne Spit was empty of cars and people, the suburb of Risdon looked quiet, and a thick eddy of smoke rose from behind Risdon Cove. Closer to the area with the fire, a sweet wood smoke smell spread through the bus and reminded me of camping fires I have enjoyed in the past. That was a great conclusion. Memories of the immediate day and memories of the past coming together.

Now I am looking forward to preparing for and then walking the 8th stage of my walk along the Derwent River.  This next walk is likely to happen early next week, weather willing. Let the discoveries continue!