Tag Archives: Mount Direction

Walking on an industrial site – posting 5 of 5

Eventually we walked onto the Nyrstar wharf, after sometimes successfully dodging water sprays to keep the dust down. Here I was able to look upstream and enjoy the expanse of the Derwent River, and to recognise the Bowen Bridge and Mount Direction in the distance.  20170227_111100.jpg

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We passed equipment such as the dust measurer shown below.

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At the western end I was able to look past the big sheds of the INCAT boat building industry over Prince of Wales Bay and see Technopark perched on top of Dowsing Point.

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A view looking across the Derwent River to the inlet where the first European settlers set up camp in 1803 is shown below: 20170227_114246.jpg

Looking back downstream the river and landscape appeared as follows:       20170227_111525.jpg

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I also enjoyed walking through parts of the large industrial site for the geometric shapes of the structures and for the various vintages of buildings. Most of all, similarly to my feelings about the Hydro Tasmania structures in the upper Derwent Valley and beyond, I admired the pioneering and massive engineering works that created the manmade parts of the site. 20170227_112925.jpg

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20170227_113459.jpgI was surprised at the extent of chemical hazards which need good management; associated with the zinc smelting process are dangerous chemicals such as mercury, cadmium and lead. During the walk I learnt a great deal about the attitude of the business towards instituting and maintaining good environmental practices. In addition, I was shown revegetated expanses and different buildings which prioritise care for the environment and make it a reality. Seeing and experiencing all of this was much more than I expected, and I remain immensely grateful for the time and interest given by my excellent host Todd.

In a special showcase at Nyrstar’s Reception, plaques and various awards are clustered together. One example, a National River Prize, was presented by the International River Foundation in 2010 to the Derwent Estuary Program,  of which Nyrstar is a founding member.  A list of the Australian winners that year can be read here and if you refer to page eight, more information about Nyrstar and the Derwent estuary is available. My photo below includes that framed paper award with another sculptural award sitting in front.

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Overall, I was delighted to be able to fill a gap in my walk along the Derwent River, on this private property.  I am indebted to friend Clinton for his connections with Nyrstar that helped to make the walk a reality. Especial thanks to my thoughtful host Todd, and to Nyrstar.

The meld of Montrose and Rosetta on the shores of the Derwent River

Walking south from Berriedale, a blur exists between the two suburbs of Montrose and Rosetta and I am not sure where either starts or finishes.

Soon after leaving the Strathaven Home and Riverfront Motel, as I walked along the ‘bike’ path beside the Highway, on the right in the distance over the highway I could see an old two storey white painted building. Having just passed the sign indicating the Undine Colonial Bed & Breakfast was in that vicinity, I made what I believe is the reasonable guess that what I was seeing was the developed building that grew from the original Rosetta Cottage of the 1800s.

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It was impossible to safely cross the highway at this point so I walked on.

By 8.06, I had passed the Montrose Park sign, alerting me to turn left towards the Derwent River in the distance.

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Not long afterwards, I walked past the Montrose Bay High School with its whimsical mosaic decorations, and tennis courts.

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Wild hens ran around the bull grasses of the Islet Rivulet.

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Once at the water’s edge I realised, that Montrose Park is the northern end of the Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park (GASP) that extends a few kilometres south and passes the Derwent Entertainment Centre.  Across the Montrose Bay High School Bus Mall, and then across the Derwent River I could see Mount Direction in the Risdon area.

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The white buildings of Cadbury’s chocolate factory were visible in the distance to the north.

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Also in a northerly direction, the dramatic walls of MONA were clearly visible.

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Looking south, the white Derwent Entertainment Centre was in view.

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Then I started walking again. By 8.20 I was walking passed the Montrose Bay Yacht Club (Making a great offer to help me learn to sail) and then the Glenorchy Rowing Club.

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Public toilets were nearby, near a kid’s playground.

I enjoyed looking at other quirky mosaic constructions. The photo below shows the High school and another mosaic figure in the distance, plus the posts for an Australian Rules Football game.

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Continuing along, I passed pontoons and jetties, an immature Dominican Gull standing fluffily on one leg, flowering gums with squawking parrots, an outside adult’s gym with chest presses and other exercise equipment, and the Montrose Foreshore Project sign showing developments since 1946.  The spread of residential development over the years has been substantial.

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From Windermere to McCarthy’s Point via Coonewarre Bay on my 9th walk along the Derwent River

The track from Windermere southwards was not signposted but with hunches I found a well walked and easy informal track, the start of which was rather obscure.

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More black swans swimming.

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I loved the tall stand of pine trees which featured on one part of the track to Connewarre Bay.

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This was my first view of Connewarre Bay with the backdrop of prominent Mount Wellington.

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Once near the houses with their lawns extending to the water’s edge, I came across a wonderful piece of rustic furniture to be enjoyed by walkers such as myself. The wood’s soft grey weathered tones were immensely attractive.

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Further along, I came across a large family of what I think were Eurasian Coots – black feathered with white bills. My books suggest these birds are found on fresh water lakes and swamps. The Derwent River, at this distance from the sea, apparently still has a saltiness from the daily tidal flows. Perhaps my identification is incorrect. Anyway this family weren’t sure whether to scurry from the shore onto the water and ‘escape’ from me or not.

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I continued walking around the Bay towards McCarthy’s Point.

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It took half an hour reaching McCarthy’s Point from Windermere. I loved the view across the Derwent River towards the suburb of Otago Bay with Mount Direction behind.

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Walking south and into the suburb of Claremont on the 9th stage along the Derwent River

The intersection of Harbinger Lane and Ferry Road at Austins Ferry marks one corner of Weston Park. At 9.56am I turned left and walked across the Park parallel to Rusts Bay, crossed a single lane wooden bridge and rounded the Shoobridge sporting fields all the while enjoying the pleasures of dogs walking their owners along the edge of the Derwent River.

The photo below shows Shoobridge Park on the northern side of Beedhams Bay.

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I was amused and somewhat puzzled watching a Pied Oyster Catcher picking for worms on the sports oval, and not bothered by an interested German Shepherd. What happened to a little fear? What’s wrong with oysters?

I had an easy walk on mowed grasses to Beedhams Bay and was delighted when a White Faced Heron flew onto the path ahead of me. Slender. Petite. Soft grey.

At 10.10am I crossed the railway line following the tracks of others but there are no official paths. The Main Road was again to my right with the railway line to my left. Native Hens were feeding ahead and noisy plovers let them know I was coming.  Black swans floated on the Bay. I noticed bus stop 40, and realised 1 ¾ hours had passed since I started today’s trek from bus stop 47 in Granton South.

While at Beedhams Bay I was in full view of three mountains: Mount Direction on the eastern shore, and Mount Faulkner and Mount Wellington on the western shore.

I stopped for a morning tea break at 10.18 in a gazebo at the southern end of Beedhams Reserve.  Despite some protection from the elements, the food was blown off my spoon before I could transfer it to my mouth. My hair thwacked back and forwards at every angle across my head creating an interlocking mesh.

The photo below shows Beedhams Bay looking northwards across it.

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My maps indicated that the nearby building sunk low in the earth was a scout hall but I couldn’t see  signs of identification and the building looked locked up and unused. Foot tracks emerged from the area and crossed the railway line that cut through between packs of houses on either side. There was no evidence of being able to continue to walk close to the Derwent River so I walked up above but beside the railway line until I reached a road crossing at Bilton Street in Claremont.

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A local government bike and pedestrian path from Hobart reached its conclusion next to the railway line on the other side of the road. To my surprise Claremont Plaza, a multifaceted shopping village and other organisations, was located in the block diagonally opposite. This was a sensible location to make a toilet stop since there are no public toilets available during my 9th stage of the walk along the Derwent River.

By 10.46am I had returned to the rail/road crossing ready to continue the walk. I followed Bilton Street around the curve until its T junction with Cadbury Road and turned left. On the other side of the road, the lovely red brick unused old Claremont School stood boarded up.

The road turned uphill and passed the Bilton Bay Reserve (10.49am) and the entrance to the Derwent Waters Residential Club – an estate signed as private property thereby denying my access to the River’s edge (10.56am).  I continued walking on Cadbury Road flanked by tall pine trees thrashing in the wind, past the Cadbury Sports Grounds (11.05am), past the Cadbury Visitors Car Park (11.08) and turned left onto Bournville Road.  I knew I would be returning to have a closer look at the Cadbury chocolate confectionery manufacturing factory so I proposed to walk to Dogshear Point first and then be rewarded sweetly later.

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Colonial Artists, the Derwent River and the Glenorchy area

A number of 19th century artists made visual references to Roseneath on the Derwent River within the current City of Glenorchy. These include Joseph Lycett, George William Evans and James Taylor (no not ‘Sweet Baby James’) all of whom may have a connection with each other as I will explain.

Background to Joseph Lycett

Let’s start with Joseph Lycett who left a significant body of work depicting Sydney and Newcastle in NSW, and a few pieces named with features along the Derwent River.

Lycett didn’t come to Australia by plan. He was a forger and the British government transported him to Sydney with a sentence of 14 years.  He arrived in 1814. It was clear he had skills and was almost immediately given a ticket of leave on landing, but he couldn’t help himself. Within 15 months Lycett was illegally printing bank notes for use in NSW. His new sentence was relocation to Newcastle for hard labour in the coal mines. I suspect there must have been something charismatic about this man despite the Australian Dictionary of Biography alleging Lycett had ‘habits of intoxication’ that were ‘fixed and incurable’. Before long his abilities were noted and he was out of the mines and drafting designs for new buildings in Newcastle.  In 1821 he was finally pardoned and left Australia for good the following year. But Lycett never visited Van Diemen’s Land.

I wondered how he came to produce the well-known pictorial publication Views of Australia or New South Wales & Van Diemen’s Land, published by John Souter, London, 1824-25 described by eminent Australian Art historian John McPhee as “the most lavish pictorial account of the colony ever produced”. McPhee has come to the conclusion that Lycett couldn’t help being a con man. Though his views of Van Diemen’s Land were supposedly scenes he had witnessed, McPhee (quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald 5/4/2006) says “there’s no doubt he never went there”.  We can be surprised to learn that when Views In Australia didn’t sell in England as well as Lycett hoped, he turned to forging bank notes again. He must have loved his printing press!

So I began to research how Lycett ‘knew’ what the Derwent River and the surrounding land looked like.

When Lycett first landed in Sydney, Governor Macquarie was ruling the colony. During Lycett’s sojourn in Newcastle, Macquarie became acquainted with the artist’s pictorial records of the colony. In 1818, the Governor received the personal gift of a chest. Lycett had  painted eight of the twelve panels on this chest with views of Newcastle as well as copies of William Westall’s Views of Australian Scenery.  In 1820, the year Lycett returned to live in Sydney and earn a living as a painter, according to http://www.nla.gov.au/selected-library-collections/lycett-collection ‘Governor Macquarie and Elizabeth Macquarie were among his patrons’. Obviously impressed, Governor Macquarie sent a selection of the artist’s work to Lord Bathurst, Secretary of State for the Colonies, in England.

But what does this have to do with the Derwent River?

What is the story about Joseph Lycett’s Tasmanian (then named Van Diemen’s Land) pictures? Well … Governor Macquarie visited Van Diemen’s Land on two occasions: in 1811 (before Lycett arrived) and in 1821 (a few months before Lycett left for England). I love connections and so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Governor Macquarie named the Austins Ferry area as Roseneath when he visited Van Diemen’s Land in 1821. Did the Governor make drawings and bring back sketches?  This is doubtful.  It is more likely that others went to Van Diemen’s Land at the Governor’s request, brought their sketches back to Sydney and that these were shown (perhaps some were given) to Lycett.

I wondered whose sketches, paintings or etchings Lycett saw, and then ‘used’.Two people with drawing skills have been suggested: George Evans and James Taylor.

First, let’s consider George Evans.

In the first two decades of the 1800s, Governor Macquarie sent surveyor George William Evans to Van Diemen’s Land off and on a number of times for short trips to remeasure land previously granted (misconduct involved); various sources suggest different years so I am not sure exactly which years in the second decade of the 1800s Evans was in Tasmania; some suggestions are Sept 1812 to Aug 1813, 1814, July 1815 to 1817. Wikipedia suggests that on two occasions Evans was granted valuable acres of land near in the Coal River Valley near the town of Richmond outside the Greater Hobart Area.

According to  http://www.daao.org.au/bio/george-william-evans/biography, at the end of 1818 Evans was able to resume office as Deputy Surveyor-General of Van Diemen’s Land. His travels around Tasmania are recorded in his Geographical, Historical and Topographical Description of Van Diemen’s Land… (London, 1822). One of his watercolour sketches of Hobart Town was used for the foldout aquatint and etching used as the frontispiece in the original edition. Another of the town was published by Ackermann of London as an independent print. Both depict Hobart as a thriving British colonial seaport town with court-house, commissariat store, St David’s Church, warehouses and numerous domestic dwellings in evidence. A surviving original (Dixson Library) shows a competent understanding of watercolour technique.

The website http://www.nla.gov.au/selected-library-collections/lycett-collection offered: As well as being a competent surveyor and a resolute explorer, Evans was an artist of some note. His aquatint view of Hobart in 1820 was published as a frontispiece in his Geographical, Historical and Topographical Description of Van Diemen’s Land … (London, 1822; second edition, 1824; and a French edition, Paris, 1823). The original, with another aquatint of Hobart in 1829, is in the Dixson Library of New South Wales.’

Second let’s consider James Taylor.

Military officer, Major James Taylor, arrived in Sydney in 1817 with the 48th Foot Regiment. Taylor produced a number of paintings and prints throughout his tours and his panoramic works of Sydney were particularly popular. He travelled to Van Diemen’s Land with Governor Macquarie in 1821. On 15th February 1822 he sailed to Britain with the Macquaries on board the Surry.  Only 50 people including the crew were on board for this 5 month trip around Cape Horn and it is easy to speculate that Macquarie and Taylor would have talked about Lycett.

Comparison of art works

I decided that comparing the works of the three artists Evans, Taylor and Lycett might help me to understand where Lycett’s Tasmanian images came from.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate sufficient of the work of Evans and Taylor to make a solid comparison despite knowing Lycett’s work very well (having worked in the Newcastle Art Gallery for a number of years in the presence of a substantial collection of Newcastle district related images by Lycett). Nevertheless some images for Evans and Taylor are available.

Examples of Lycett’s art

Below is an image of Lycett’s etching (see below) titled Roseneath Ferry near Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land dated 1 December 1824 (two years after Lycett left Australia). The etching was published as plate number 4 in Views in Australia or New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land Delineated. London: J. Souter, 1824. This etching is held in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. Lycett is looking across the Derwent River from somewhere above the western shore and southwards so that the ‘hill’ in the distance to the left of the picture is Mount Direction (you may recall I walked past this as I passed the Bowen Bridge on my way from the suburb of Risdon to the suburb of Otago Bay on the eastern shore).

Lycett in  colour

The image below, also by Joseph Lycett, is another hand coloured etching, this time from the viewpoint of the eastern shore.  The title is View of Roseneath Ferry, taken from the Eastside, Van Diemen’s Land and it was produced in 1825 (when he was already living in England).  One of the edition of this etching is in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

Lycett View of Roseneath Ferry from the eastern shore 1825

The image below is Distant View of Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land, from Blufhead Plate 28 from Views of Australia or New South Wales& Van Diemen’s Land,  published by John Souter, London, 1824-25. This handcoloured aquatint and etching is held in the Joseph Brown Collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Lycett Distant view of Hobart Town VDL NGV

Examples of George Evans’s art

The image below comes from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-22/1819-slnsw-south-west-view-of-hobart-town-1819-george-william-e/5689410 It is titled South West view of Hobart Town and dated 1819

Evans Hobart

The image below comes from http://www.acmssearch.sl.nsw.gov.au/s/search.html?collection=slnsw&meta_e=350

George Evans Hobart Town 1828

Hobart Town, Vandiemen’s Land. 1828 At lower left is printed “G. W. Evans. Pinxt.”; at lower right “R.G. Reeves. Sculpt”; underneath title “Published 1828, by R. Ackermann, 96 Strand, London” he image is from the collections of the State Library of NSW.

Examples of James Raylor’s art

I could find no image by James Taylor that was related to Van Diemen’s Land. I only found two New South Wales images.The image below is from http://www.afloat.com.au/afloat-magazine/2010/july-2010/Lachlan_Macquarie#.VHAuwPmUdqU and titled Panoramic view of Port Jackson c.1821

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The image below, from http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn=326892 is an aquatint of Port Jackson and Sydney dated 1824.

Aquatint of Port Jackson 1824 by Major James Taylor

This panorama of Port Jackson and of the town of Sydney was taken from a hill near the Parramatta River, was produced with ink on paper by Major James Taylor, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1820, then engraved by Rittner et Goulpil, Sydney / Paris in 1824. The Powerhouse Museum (Sydney) provided the following information:

‘Statement of significance

In 1820 Major James Taylor created a series of watercolours on paper which, when joined together, formed a panorama of Sydney. When he returned to England in 1822 (did Taylor and Lycett travel on the same ship? – more research required) Taylor arranged for the engraving and printing of a three sheet panorama based on his watercolours. Known as ‘Major Taylor’s Panorama’, this is one of the most informative depictions of Sydney in its early years. Taylor, a topographical draughtsman attached to the 48th Regiment, arrived in 1817 when Sydney was thriving and Governor Macquarie was trying to turn an ‘infantile’ penal colony into a ‘civilised’ society. Taylor’s pictures were intended to be a record of that change. The view, taken from Observatory Hill, encompasses Sydney Harbour from the Heads to Lavender Bay, showing many of the major buildings of the day.
Convicts can be seen cutting the sandstone which provided building material for Sydney’s expansion. The many fences indicate gardens and a respect for private property. The harbour is filled with trade and military ships. Government House and its stables can be seen set in Governor Macquarie’s private park called the Demesne. Much of this park still survives as the Botanic Gardens and the Domain. This area contrasts markedly with the small cottages in the middle ground which were typical of many in The Rocks. They were often occupied by convicts and their families who were encouraged to develop ‘respectable’ habits like gardening in their spare time.
A prominent building is the Military Hospital, built in 1815, where patients can be seen dressed in long coats. On the horizon are the impressive buildings of Macquarie St, including St James Church, the Hyde Park Barracks and the General Hospital. To the right of the Military Windmill is Cockle Bay, later called Darling Harbour. The land beyond is the Ultimo estate owned by the surgeon John Harris. To the far right are the windmills that gave rise to the name Millers Point.
Topographical artists often included indigenous people in their work. These images were intended to educate European viewers about the appearance and customs of the ‘natives’, but such depictions were informed by symbolism and ideology rather than a representation of reality. In Taylor’s panorama Aborigines stand amid uncultivated bush, in contrast to Europeans who are clearing and grazing the land. When the British took possession of New South Wales they argued that, as the Aborigines did not ‘work’ the land, they did not own it. This supported the notion of ‘terra nullius’ or nobody’s land. Taylor’s representation is a graphic rendering of that argument.

Production notes

The engraving is based on watercolours by Major James Taylor. Taylor was a topographical draughtsman attached to the 48th Regiment. He arrived in Sydney on the convict transport Matilda on 9 August 1817. He accompanied the Macquarie’s on their tour of Tasmania in May and June 1821 and some of the Tasmanian views in Joseph Lycett’s Views are probably based on Taylor’s drawings. Taylor received some training in draughtsmanship as part of his military studies and like other military and naval officers, was interested in his surroundings and recorded them in watercolours. Little of Taylor’s work survives, notably the originals of this view of Sydney Harbour. This image is held in the Powerhouse Museum collection.’
My conclusion

Lycett’s style is quite different from each of Evans and Taylor so it is difficult to attribute the work of one or the other as being the ‘aid’ to Lycett’s Tasmanian etchings.

There are three possibilities.

  • Lycett took the shape of the landscape around Roseneath from Taylor’s drawings. I am guessing that since Taylor accompanied Governor Macquarie to Van Diemen’s Land in 1821, he probably went to Roseneath with the Governor on the day that Macquarie named Roseneath. It is conceivable Taylor rushed up a few sketches and it is these that either Taylor showed or gave Lycett, or Taylor gave to the Governor who showed or gave them to Lycett. Perhaps the three of them met in London on arrival in 1822?
  • Lycett had access in Sydney to Evans maps of the land, and using their flat two dimensional nature, he fabricated a three dimensional landscape. If indeed he worked in this way, then the odd shapes of some topographical features of the landscape in Lycett’s pictures from and towards Roseneath can be explained.
  • Lycett had access to both Taylor and Evans work and amalgamated them to create a fictional but partly realistic depiction of Tasmanian sites. Lycett’s history is one of creativity, so sticking to the facts of the situation wouldn’t necessarily be important.

Incidental extra

In conclusion, there is one connection between the current Hobart and the Derwent River and the early 19th century Joseph Lycett – which could never have been foreseen.  I discovered that Lycett was on the list of prisoners that sailed to Newcastle on 8 July 1815: the name of the ship was the Lady Nelson. Pride of place on the today’s wharf at Hobart is a training sailing replica, the original having been stripped, burnt and sunk in 1825.

Around Bridgewater on the 8th stage of my walk along the Derwent River

After Green Point and looking southwards, I could see Mount Direction in the distance (overlooking the Bowen Bridge – which I could not see). In the photo below, the swell of land on the right of the Derwent River is the foothills of Mount Wellington.

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Early, on this leg of the walk, I stopped and looked northwards along the Derwent River. In the distance Mount Dromedary peered over the landscape.

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The early highlight of this part of the walk was seeing a collective of about 3 dozen plovers together. I don’t think I have ever seen such a group. The plovers were mostly standing around although some were walking around on an open mowed park area near a cluster of gum trees.  Perhaps some were older ‘young’ plovers because from a distance they all looked the same size, give or take a bit.  This seemed so unusual because I am only familiar with the two parents hanging about and guarding their one or two baby birds.  In some paddocks, in the past, I have seen a number of pairs of parents but the pairs don’t hang out together and keep their own territory quite some distance from each other.

How pleasant this walk was.  Consider the sublime calmness represented in the photo below.

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Around 12.45pm I stopped and sat on a bench seat with a view and watched what amounted to a natural cygnet farm. Dozens of cygnets about the size of a small duck were on the water close to shore.  Only one adult black swan seemed to be on supervision duty. I wondered if the swan bureaucracy had been suffering major cutbacks of ‘staff’ like our Australian and State public agencies where services are meant to continue with less staff.

Opposite where I sat the Mount Faulkner Conservation Area was the main feature on the western shore of the Derwent River.

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At 12.56pm I reached Woods Point, sat under a shelter structure and consulted my maps. Five minutes later I left this Point and began walking north along Gunn St all the while having a good look at Mount Dromedary rising on the eastern shore but away in the distance north of Bridgewater.

I was walking through suburban streets when a letterbox, under the shade of a tree, captured my attention.

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A poor sad concrete koala (maybe commiserating with the live koalas in Brisbane given to G20 leaders for a cuddle)!  The postman would push his letters into a slit in the koala’s stomach.

I also had a larger view of part of two uprights of the Bridgewater Bridge.

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I seemed so close.  My day’s goal to nearly reach the Bridge had to be superseded. I was compelled to reach the Bridge and kept on walking, even passing bus stops.  When I could see the golden arches of McDonalds at the end of the right hand road I veered left and headed for the Bridge nearby.

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I stopped to photograph the semi-ornate gates of Memorial Reserve commemorating locals who died in various overseas wars (after all, this walk was occurring on the 11th November, Australia’s official Remembrance Day).

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Then I was at the Bridgewater Bridge. Now it wasn’t enough for me to reach the Bridge: I felt compelled to walk across it rather than waiting to do so in the next stage of the walk.

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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!