Tag Archives: James Austin

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.

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.

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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.

Hoon tyre marks

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.

James Austin’s Cottage at Austins Ferry

Leaving the Austins Ferry jetty I passed two metallic standing fish which supported an information panel about local fishes.

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Past this sign and amidst trees in the distance the sandstone blocks of James Austin’s Cottage were visible. The interpretative panel indicated that James Austin died on Christmas Day in 1831 (did he choke on something like a threepence from the pudding I wonder?), and is buried in St David’s Park in the centre of Hobart – as I walk through the wharf and Salamanca area of Hobart’s CBD in a few weeks’ time, I will make a detour to see if I can locate his gravestone.

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I walked away from James Austin’s tiny cottage at 9.55am and continued my journey southwards.

Onto Austins Ferry edging the Derwent River on the 9th walking stage

At 9.36am last Tuesday I had passed St Virgil’s College with its warbling magpies and raucous plovers flying overhead and turned left at Merley Road. I was in the heartland of the suburb of Austins Ferry and now walking down a hill towards the River. Opposite a street signposted Willow Walk, I crossed some land and then up and over the railway line. I walked across an open area with large fat rabbits quickly disappearing from view.

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The view from the water’s edge looking northwards was as follows:

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Once at the River’s edge I turned left towards the Austins Ferry Yacht Club and a jetty.

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An interpretative panel explained that the Austin’s Ferry was the main Hobart to Launceston link from 1816 until 1848 when the bridge was constructed up stream. James Austin managed the Roseneath Ferry from the western shore and his friend James Earl managed the Compton Ferry from the eastern shore. I peered across the brightly lit water but could barely distinguish the Old Beach jetty on the other side. Clouds were scudding across bringing light and shade so that all my photographs which try to record the jetty on the other side are abysmal failures. Nevertheless I know where to look for that jetty from this Austin’s Ferry jetty.

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Granton and Austins Ferry on the western shore of the Derwent River

On my 9th walk along the Derwent I will be passing through Granton South and Austins Ferry.

Granton is the northern-most suburb within the City of Glenorchy, part of the Greater Hobart Area.  I can find no records explaining how it came to be named. Granton and its Harbour in Edinburgh Scotland were not developed until the 1830s.  If the York Hotel in Tasmania’s Granton was built in 1849, possibly there may be a Scottish connection with the naming of the suburb.

Austins Ferry sits adjacent to and south of Granton within the City of Glenorchy.  Wikipedia informed me that this suburb was named after James Austin (1776-1831). Austin was transported to Australia as a convict and arrived in Tasmania in 1804. When he became a free man, the government granted him some land in this area. During the 1810s he had a profitable ferrying business across the Derwent River to the eastern shore. In 1821 the visiting Governor Lachlan Macquarie renamed the village Roseneath, but it has since reverted to its original name.’ James Austin’s original cottage is located (somewhere) in this suburb and maybe I will be fortunate enough to locate it when I walk.

According to http://profile.id.com.au/glenorchy/about?WebID=160, Granton is linked with the suburb of Austins ferry for statistical purposes. In 2011, the joint population was 3,329.  ‘Settlement of the area dates from the early 1800s. Some growth took place in the early 1900s, although significant development did not occur until the post-war years. Most of the houses were built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Growth continued from the early 1990s, with the population doubling between 1991 and 2011, particularly in Austins Ferry, a result of large numbers of new dwellings being added to the area. Major features of the area include Goulds Lagoon Sanctuary, Poimena Reserve, Hestercombe Reserve, James Austin Park, Roseneath Park, Shoobridge Park, Weston Park and one school.’

According to http://www.homesales.com.au/location/granton-tas/, Granton has a population of 1519 with an average weekly income of $787. The median prices for houses are $375,000. The average house is rented for $610 a week. 94% of people live in houses as distinct from other types of residences. 36% of people fully own their houses/property. Almost 30% are under 30 years of age and only 10% are over 65 years of age. 92% of residents were born in Australia.  By contrast, Austins Ferry has a population of 2221 with an average weekly income of $721. The median prices for houses are $287,000. The average house is rented for $340 a week. 87% of people live in houses as distinct from other types of residences. 31% of people fully own their houses/property. 27% are under 30 years of age and 14% are over 65 years of age. 88% of residents were born in Australia.

 

Bridgewater Bridge; getting ready to cross it on 8th stage of walk along Derwent River

The Bridgewater Bridge and the attached Bridgewater Causeway crosses the Derwent River upstream approximately 38.5kms from the sea. I crossed from the eastern shore to the western shore last Tuesday near the end of my 8th walking stage along the River.

According to http://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/bridgewater-tas, “In the early nineteenth century Bridgewater was a vital link on the north-south route from Hobart to Launceston with one of Tasmania’s earliest buildings and the remarkable achievement of the causeway which helped to cross the Derwent River. The settlement was originally known as Green Point until it became known as Bridgewater simply because it was the bridge (actually a causeway) crossing a shallow section of the waters of the Derwent River.

The first ferry service across the Derwent was established in 1816 by James Austin and his cousin James Earl. It remained vital to travellers journeying from Hobart Town to Launceston until the completion of the causeway. By 1820 Austin and Earl were using a punt capable of transporting 30 cattle, 200 sheep or two carts and 16 oxen. In 1829 construction began on a causeway across the Derwent River. It was 1.3 km long and was built by a gang of 200 convicts using nothing but wheelbarrows, shovels and picks. By the time it was completed the convicts had shifted 2 million tonnes of sand, soil, stones and clay. Defined as secondary punishment for serious recidivists, if the convicts were adjudged to have not done a full day’s work they were placed in solitary confinement in a cell which was only 2 m high and 50 cm square. The causeway was completed in 1836. It did not traverse the river and so a ferry plied the deepest section of Derwent River for twenty years from 1829-49.

In 1849 a bridge across the Derwent was opened. Bridgewater, which had been laid out on the southern shore, was moved (down to the last surveying detail) to the northern bank. The present lift bridge was started in 1939, interrupted by the war, and completed in 1946.”

 From further south, as I walked along the eastern shore, I could see the Bridge. As I walked northwards the length and shape of it came into stronger focus.

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All the photos are taken from the eastern shore side of the Bridge.