Tag Archives: Long Beach

Blinking Billy Point, Lower Sandy Bay next to the Derwent River

Continuing Stage 11 of my walk along the Derwent River, I walked the foreshore from Long Beach towards Blinking Billy Point. Looking northwards, the crescent of Long Beach stretched before me.

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I passed a new set of public toilets around 10am and ten minutes later I was walking around Blinking Billy Point.

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This was an area to which Charles Darwin (http://www.biography.com/people/charles-darwin-9266433) walked from Sullivans Cove (my starting point for this Stage of the walk) in February 1836. The area’s local government has remembered the occasion with an information plaque.

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Out in the water is a marker for water craft: the John Garrow Light (established in 1953).  I have known this was a marker used in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race but I had never known where it was located.  Now I know: almost east of the Blinking Billy old lighthouse.  According to http://www.maritimetas.org/sites/all/files/maritime/nautical_news_winter_2002.pdf, John Garrow was a Sandy Bay pastry-cook, who lived in Bath St. Battery Point and died 1924. This begs the question – how did a nautical navigation tool come to be named after someone that seemingly had no connection with the Derwent?

I noticed that the Point has old defence structures embedded in the cliff. I learned that these were an adjunct to the huge hill behind with the remnants of the 19th century Alexandra Battery.

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Looking down the Derwent River through the glitter of the distance to the eastern shore, I could pick out Trywork Point (the southernmost tip of land before Ralphs Bay begins) and Gellibrand Point (the northern most point of the South Arm peninsula) both providing the ‘gateposts’ to Ralphs Bay. Previously, I explored these distant Points on Stage 2 and 3 of my walk.

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Then I looked back to Long Beach from Blinking Billy Point with Mount Wellington in the distance. How peaceful the world seemed.

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Despite the promises of a short beach in Geography Bay after the Blinking Billy Point, I knew better than to have expectations that continuing my walk on the foreshore was possible. The Sandy Bay Foreshore Track finishes at Blinking Billy Point.

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Some years ago a friend and I tried to walk the rocky shore southwards from Blinking Billy Point but, as the tide came in, there came a moment when we couldn’t move forward or backwards.  I remembered we scrambled up through someone’s property; the people were not at home and we let ourselves out onto the street hoping no alarm systems would be alerted. We were lucky that day.

Based on that memory, I knew it was not worth proceeding any further and retraced my steps around Blinking Billy Point until I could walk up to Sandy Bay Road.

From Sandy Bay to Lower Sandy Bay on Stage 11 of my walk along the Derwent River

After Maning Ave Reserve I continued walking along Sandy Bay Road and used every opportunity to glimpse the Derwent River down the driveways of large houses with expensive River frontage.

By 9.10am I reached the Red Chapel Reserve. Red Chapel Ave is one of Hobart’s well-known streets extending up the hill and connecting to other main streets but I had never known, until this walk, where the name came from. I wonder how many Hobartians know the source. Of course the source turned out to be so obvious once I knew and used my eyes. It was named after the red coloured chapel of the 20thcentury St Stephens Anglican church that was built on the River side of the Road next to the Reserve and opposite the uphill Avenue.  What can be said about the impoverishment of imagination? Refer to https://stainedglassaustralia.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/1914-st-stephens-anglican-church-lower-sandy-bay-tasmania/ for some glorious images. The photo below is courtesy ofhttp://www.anglicantas.org.au/parishes/?item=37

St Stephens Church

A minute or so further down the road and on the right was the highly esteemed Lipscombe Larder on the corner of … Lipscombe Ave.  Where else would it be?

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In addition to all its tasty delicatessen products and wines, this food paradise also sells exquisite cakes: refer to http://lipscombelarder.com.au/  for images.

At some stage during my walk in this suburb, I realised that no one was walking a mongrel dog. At the end of leads were expensive pedigreed dogs.  Certainly their owners seemed happy.

Before long, a set of steep stairs attracted my attention on the left. These were for public access to Nutgrove Beach. As I approached the Beach I was staggered by the size of an old pear tree on the dune edge, and loved the pigface plant which carpeted the area either side of the pathway. I was on the beach at 9.20am and turned right to walk southwards.

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Behind low sand dunes on my right, the roofs and second storeys of beach front houses were visible. At 9.23am, I passed public toilets almost hidden under a large pine tree, and by 9.30 I reached a corner of the beach with the Sandy Bay Sailing Club located up in the dunes.

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Moments later I turned the corner and was no longer able to look back at Wrest Point and Battery Point in the distance.

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I continued on a pathway over the shore and over the dunes some of which would be impassable at high tide without getting wet feet. Some of the rocks were unstable underfoot presenting the risk of a turned ankle or knee. Nutgrove Beach had been a simple delight, and before long I was on an easy, vegetated, and shaded walking track to Long Beach at Lower Sandy Bay. Then I arrived.

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Back out into the open by 9.35am, I could see public toilets nearby, and by looking across the Derwent River to the eastern shore, the yellow strips of Bellerive and Howrah Beaches (on which I walked in an early stage of my walk) were visible.

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I had been walking for over two hours so sat for a while in the gorgeous sun, watched the tiny waves rippling fluidly and regularly, stared at two fishing boats motoring out of the Derwent Harbour, listened to kids’ riotous laughter in a kids’ playground nearby, and then stood up and got going again at 9.50am.

I was delighted to discover Stephen Walker’s huge many part bronze sculpture, Tidal Pools, with its inbuilt water feature at Long Beach in Lower Sandy Bay.

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The remarkable 86 year old Tasmanian artist died only about 7 months ago leaving a great many large scale works around Tasmania and other parts of Australia, such as his Tank Stream Fountain (1981), near Circular Quay in Sydney. In the 1950s, Stephen Walker studied under the celebrated sculptor Englishman Henry Moore. Apparently Walker continued his bronze casting work well into his 70s using his foundry underneath the house.

Five minutes of walking the developed walkways of Long Beach brought me to a cul-de-sac with its carpark full of vehicles.  Further along that loop off Beach Road were bakeries, cafes, restaurants, etc.