Tag Archives: Metro bus

Finally I reached the mouth of the Derwent River on the western shore at Pearsons Point

The goal of walking along the western shore of the Derwent River was to reach the mouth and during Stage 13 I reached this destination marked by Pearsons Point.

Before then at 10.44am I walked past a turn off: Mt Louis Road. There was a lump up in the sky on my right.  Maybe another time it might be pleasant to see what is up there and to look at the view – which is probably a spectacular 360 degree outlook along the Derwent River, the D’entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island.

As I panted up the final hill, I heard the thwack of balls and realised the fencing I could see in the distance amounted to a tennis court.  A tennis court!  Ye gods! Out here in the bush and miles from anywhere?  Yes it was.  Two women were slamming the balls up and down the court.  Their two cars were the only vehicles in sight.

10.52am: I reached the Pearsons Point Reserve and was feeling rather chuffed.

20150224_105032

I wandered around the site which included a disused gun emplacement and a couple of large historic cannons.  Guess Pearsons Point would have been the first line of defence against any Russian threat (which seemed to be the main thought through the 19th century).

20150224_105306 20150224_105429

Note: the bump behind the gun emplacement and tennis court is Mt Louis. A large white edifice on the end of the Point (on the other side of the cannon) appeared to be a marine navigation beacon.

In front of me to the right hand side of the Point, the D’entrecasteaux Channel separated the mainland of Tasmania from Bruny Island (famous for its fresh produce such as cheeses, smoked fish and meats, berries, premium wines, and local oysters).

20150224_105437 20150224_105647

I was very surprised how close Bruny Island (Dennes Point) was to this part of Tasmania’s mainland.  So close.  So accessible.  And its green hills and the white sandy Jetty Beach were most attractive.

On the other side of Pearsons Point to my left, the Derwent River flowed out to Storm Bay and then onto the ocean. I could see the Iron Pot and Cape Direction at the southern tip of the South Arm peninsula on the eastern shore of the River.

I found a pleasant picnic table and at 11am ate half my lunch under a small cluster of gum trees hoping no branches would be shed on my head.  Feeling on top of the world. The sun was out and the tiniest of breezes moved through the area.  Past the trees I could see motoring boats leaving white streams behind them as they sliced through the River. I looked back northwards to the Alum Cliffs between Taroona and Kingston.

20150224_112527

With a little sadness I left Pearsons Point at 11.25am.

By 12.40pm I was passing the Hidden Cove turnoff, at 1.05pm I reached the Fossil Cove Drive junction, at 1.25pm I walked across the intersection with Treatment Plant Road, and at 1.30 I stopped for a moment at Suncoast Drive.  I looked at the one bus stop (there wasn’t a pair one either side of the road) and it did not have a timetable attached to the post, so I continued walking to Wells Parade.  I had been told this was a long road, and now I know it is.

20150224_133752

I stopped and waited for a bus which didn’t come (the first in my entire travels) and left and walked up and down and up and downhill until eventually I was back parallel to the Blackmans Bay Beach.  I sat for a while at the beach soaking in the atmosphere, smelling the salt, and relishing the fact my feet were having a rest.  When the time came (according to my bus timetable), I walked to the bus stop where I had alighted hours earlier in the morning, and before long Metro bus number 85 arrived.  After passing via the Suncoast Drive bus stop that I had looked at earlier in the afternoon on arrival back in Blackmans Bay, Maranoa Heights, other suburbs, and Kingston, I was back in Hobart city by 4pm feeling elated.  Stage 13 was over.

Before my walk along the Derwent River last Tuesday

As my bus from home into Hobart city passed over the Tasman Bridge before 7am, I looked down onto a dozen or so rowing boats slipping along the Derwent River. The wedges that their passing craft made were the only patterns on the still surface of the River.

The morning was suffused with golden light forewarning the rise of the sun over the hills.  The few wisps of cloud in an otherwise blue sky were coloured silvery pink.  The temperature was a brisk 8 degrees, but I felt clean and alive prompted by such a vital looking day.

Once in the city, I walked to Franklin Square ready to wait for the next bus to Blackmans Bay, my starting point for Stage 13. While waiting, I walked through the park and admired the grand symmetrical fountain splashes around a large bronze sculpture of the eminent 19th century Rear Admiral Sir John Franklin.  Overhead, I watched a squawk of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos, with their wings lit by the first rays of sunshine, flying as a family.  Street cleaners were clearing rubbish bins and pathway surfaces.  Very few other people were out and about in the centre of the city (people were being active in the suburbs before commuting to work in the city a while later).

The large public chess set had been set out and was ready for play.

20150224_071013

As the sun struck the Treasury buildings at one end of Franklin Square park, clusters of fat seagulls (Silver Gulls) were nipping at early rising insects across the grass lawns.

Metro bus number 84 departed at 7.17am. By 7.33am we had climbed up and travelled along the Southern Outlet and were passing through Kingston. This gave me a clear cut side view of majestic Mount Wellington.  Every rock was hard edge and clear. The air was so clean.

At 7.41am I stepped off the bus at Wells Parade in Blackmans Bay, the location where I had finished Stage 12 of my walk.  The final walk to the mouth of the Derwent River was about to begin.

Geological and Social History of our Alum Cliffs

Patricia Roberts-Thompson (http://taroona.tas.au/assets/document/1354363720-a_walk_along_alum_cliffs.pdf) indicates that the first recorded reference to the Alum Cliffs was in 1847.  She explains that these rocks, Permian mudstone (250 million years old, contain iron pyrites and, as the rock weathers, the pyrite oxidises and produces sulphuric acid which reacts with the limey clay to produce alum. Roberts-Thompson could find no evidence that the alum has been extracted from our cliffs for commercial purposes.

Simon Stephen’s research (http://taroona.tas.au/assets/document/1352547986-geology_reduced.pdf) is in sync with that of Patricia Roberts-Thompson  when he says the mudstone on the Alum Cliffs contains much sulphur so that when struck a strong smell is emitted. “Much of the sulphur manifests itself as a white encrustation on thee sheltered areas of the cliffs. It has a distinct bitter taste…”  (Trust me – I won’t be taking a bite or licking it). Stephen’s article is exceptionally interesting not the least because it pin points a geological fault line which is near Crayfish Point (where I have already walked) and which extends out through the end of Hinsby Beach and then under the water along the Alum Cliffs.  I don’t know if any seismological activity has occurred in my life time there nor whether any is expected. I’d rather nothing happened during my forthcoming Stage 12 walk along the Alum Cliffs.

The Kingborough Council distributes a brochure with the following information: “The route followed by today’s Alum Cliffs Track has long been a coastal path used by local people. In 1988 it was formally developed as part of Australia’s Bicentennial celebrations. In more recent years, Council has upgraded the southern section of the track, which climbs from Tyndall Beach through coastal blue gum forest with tall silver banksias. The track then winds up through silver peppermint bushland, dips into a glorious fern filled gully, before rising again onto headlands for commanding views over Storm Bay and the Derwent Estuary. A new start to the track without steps has now been constructed above Tyndall Beach to make the track accessible to more users. The Alum Cliffs are so named because alum – a compound used in dyeing, tanning and medicinal products – is found in the cliffs.”

It is a shame that all instructions to reach and walk the Alum Cliffs use Kingston Beach in the south as the base to walk north and then return. Websites provide information about multiple entrances along the route at Tyndall Rd, Harpers Rd, Taronga Rd.  Apparently a Metro bus stop is located 100m south of the intersection of Taronga Rd and Channel Highway. I wonder how many people have walked the Alum Cliffs Track from the northern end and, if not, like me would like to read advice about how to tackle the cliffs departing from Hinsby Beach.

20150119_131327

It may be that, on Stage 12, I will start out at the end of the Hinsby Beach and then be forced to retrace my steps, return to the Channel Highway and walk up the winding fairly narrow Highway with no pedestrian walkway until I reach the Brickfields Track. From http://www.greaterhobarttrails.com.au/track/brickfields-track I understand that “the Brickfields Track links between Taronga Rd (adjacent to the Channel Highway) in Bonnet Hill and links to the Alum Cliffs Track. The route of the Brickfields Track takes you through the historic remains of the brick-making area; part of the nearby and short lived 1840’s convict probation station. The track is a mix of narrow bush track and timber boardwalk with some steps along the route.”

Buses in southern Tasmania – tips for their use

In communicating with some people, it has become clear that using the local public bus service makes them nervous. They don’t know how it works and therefore they are cautious about following in my footsteps as I walk in Stages, along the Derwent River.  I have written some tips which might allay fears. You can read these at:

https://walkingthederwent.com/about/buses-in-southern-tasmania-tips-for-their-use

If you have a question concerning my experience with bus travel in southern Tasmania, don’t hesitate to ask.  I sold my car almost 4 years ago, so I have considerable experience getting around using public transport.

Starting stage 8 of my walk along the Derwent River

My starting point was the jetty half way through Old Beach on the eastern shore, and to reach this from my home in Bellerive on the eastern shore of the Derwent River was not straightforward. There are no direct buses from Bellerive to Old Beach.

Instead, I left home at 6.45am (way too early for my liking but no other choice), passed three Black Cockatoos feasting on a native tree in a private home (one acted as a sentry high up while the others gorged themselves), walked to the Eastlands bus mall and caught the first bus through to the bus mall in Elizabeth St in Hobart’s CBD. At 7.17am the X1 express bus to Glenorchy in the northern suburbs of the Greater Hobart Area (and beyond) departed. This arrived at 7.35am at the Glenorchy bus mall and, anticipating public toilets would be non-existent for my walk, I walked over to the Northgate shopping centre to use their facilities. I was back at the bus mall in time to catch Metro bus 126 to Old Beach which departed at 8am. At 8.20am I stepped off the bus ready for the day.

The sky was overcast and I was wearing a thermal top over my T-shirt and topped with a fleece jacket.  Blowy. Hard air hitting my face.

Since there was no direct water access from the jetty northwards, I walked through the suburban streets staying on the hard concrete footpaths. Plovers and Blackbirds were my constant companions and extravagant blooming roses and wattles perfumed the air. It was rubbish removal day and the streets were lined with bulging large faded red wheelie bins and yellow lidded green bins. The wind had lifted many lids and these were thrown back as if saluting when on parade (a vision that friend Jo exclaimed he saw).

At 8.33am I reached the intersection with the East Derwent Highway and lost a footpath. I turned left and walked beside the highway where it was obvious a few other people had walked but there was no formal pathway. At this point I could see the water of the Derwent River but I was not close. It was clear that property owners had fenced and gated off any access to the River and I need to determine whether they had the right to do this in all cases.  I continued on the Highway noticing the signpost to the Bonorong Wildlife Park and Compton Agistment Centre marking the turn off from the highway away from the River.

Not much further along I saw a track between new houses on the left and followed it then through the grassy bushland but, as lovely as it was, it was impassable offering no easy way to the River and so I had to retrace my steps. At 8.54am I was back on the Highway walking to the left of the guard rails (so that I wasn’t directly on the Highway) on rolling gravel where a path was never intended.  Then the guard rail disappeared so I walked carefully as far off the road on the narrow verge as I could.  Sometimes I walked in the ditch. By 8.58am I was passing Compton Road and at 9.01 I reached Clarrie’s Creek. I began to disrobe as the morning and the exercise began to warm me: off came my thermal top.

The perfume from the flowering wattle trees was invasive and pervasive in the nicest way.  Please feel free to use any of the photos below as a screen saver. I have.

20141111_103700 20141111_103704 20141111_103708 20141111_103711 20141111_103716

Continuing along the Highway, I walked up an incline until I could turn left on a bitumen roadway. This was blocked by a gate, but there was walking space around this, used by others. I had reached the newest part of Old Beach on its own rounded headland. Once past the gate I turned left towards the Verve Village site office signs and walked on. Through the mesh fence to my right I could see the Verve café, not open. The time was 9.10am.

Not long afterwards I was snapping photos of the low mountains and hills across the Derwent River on the western shore. Grandly beautiful in a simple way.

20141111_091212  20141111_091128

This ‘roadway’ eventually ended at a locked gate but again a regularly padded informal path was clearly visible around the obstacle.  I turned left and 100 metres along, a yellow gravel path appeared. The path had no sign but I hoped it was a foreshore trail and followed it. It was.  A trail with almost no signs of animal life except a massive black furry feral cat bounding away and a sole man out for exercise.  Crows carrhh carrhh carrhhed in the distance and overhead. Casuarina trees edged the path and through them the woodland was open and airy. Water lapped onto the shore. Mudstone rocks edged out of the soil on the banks. I enjoyed a flash of colour when I noticed yellow and orange flowering nasturtiums that had escaped from a suburban garden into the bush.

The photos below show a view southwards to the River from the first 100 metres of the path.

20141111_091838 20141111_091955  20141111_092155

The foreshore trail was easy to follow, wide and clear.

20141111_092752

At 9.36am I reached the point where the Derwent River and Gage Cove met.

20141111_093443

The trail curved into the Cove but not before a man-made construction, to the right of the path, seemed to flush deep below and then a dreadful stink followed. I tried not to think what was going on there.

20141111_093606

By 9.42am I was walking up into the suburb having enjoyed watching black swans floating around in the Cove, and a few minutes later I reached a gate which, as usual, I walked around.  I turned left and followed the road from the cul de sac amidst the noise of every neighbourhood dog barking to indicate a stranger was nearby.  Me.

At 9.45am I turned left at the T junction and by 9.48am I reached the intersection of Stanfield Drive with the East Derwent Highway.  Continuing on I could look down in Gage Cove with its coating of red algae or some other red plant.

20141111_100127

So far my morning had gone well and I was enjoying myself. Also, I was pleased that I had finished passing through all parts of the suburb of Old Beach and was ready for the next suburb.

Bus routes and public bus services are a great help to me as I walk along the Derwent River

Today’s TasWeekend insert magazine in The Saturday Mercury newspaper included a piece by Bushwalking enthusiast John Cannon. From the content of his article, it suggests to me that he may have been reading my walking the Derwent River blog, particularly when he talked about the possibilities for accessing walks amongst Hobart suburbs by using Metro bus services. I am sorry the address for my blog was not included in the article as an incidental extra to encourage more locals  to follow in my footsteps. I wonder whether one day I will find John Cannon getting off the bus when I do at one of the walking stage starting points.

Metro bus timetables are located on http://www.metrotas.com.au/. The bus below is travelling in the centre of Hobart (image is from www.totallysouth.com.au)

metro-bus-service

From Geilston Bay to Risdon on Stage 6 of my walk along the Derwent River yesterday

Yesterday’s walk was a sensationally wonderful experience. Over a few posts I will colour in the rich fabric of the day, much of it in clean fresh smelling bushland (such as that at Tommy’s Bight in the photo below).

20141015_133405

To start with, I caught Metro bus 694 destined for Risdon Vale and Glenorchy (scheduled from the Hobart city bus mall at 9.03) on the eastern shore and travelled to bus stop 14 on the East Derwent Highway at Geilston Bay. Thankfully the Clarence City Council has erected a sign marking the start of the walk.

20141015_093747

From the bus stop, I walked along the edge of Geilston Bay then northwards around Bedlam Walls Point to Shag Bay and onwards to the top of the Bedlam Walls, where I was rewarded with panoramas across the Derwent River. My northwards walk continued into and across the East Risdon State Reserve before descending into the suburb of Risdon. I turned south and walked on the edge of the Derwent River to Porters Bay where I took my lunch break before continuing south to Tommy’s Bight.

Eventually I retraced my steps back to Risdon and continued along the water’s edge to the junction of Saunderson’s Road with the East Derwent Highway. The return bus stop for a 694 bus, which arrived at 2.35pm (with not another one due for two hours), was on the Highway across from Risdon and adjacent to the land and water marking the Risdon Cove area.

I was away from home for approximately 6 and ¼ hours, and walked a total of around 12 kms winding over many tracks and retracing parts of my walk.

Previously I had walked 23 kms of the length of the Derwent River.  Yesterday I added 3 kms which brings the new tally to 26 kms.