Tag Archives: Mount Wellington

Kunanyi

Mount Wellington was a prominent feature in the lives of the Moomairremener people for thousands of years before white settlement of Van Diemens Land, later to be renamed Tasmania.  The indigenous names include Kunanyi, Unghbanyahletta and Poorawetter. I understand that the Palawa (which seems to be a collective term for all Tasmanian aborigines – perhaps a blog reader might be able to supply further information?) who are the surviving descendants of the original indigenous Tasmanians, tend to prefer the former name – Kunanyi.

A couple of years ago, the Tasmanian government introduced a dual naming approach to a number of geographical features around Tasmania, and these included the mountain which towers over the Greater Hobart Area and the Derwent River. The then Premier Lara Giddings remarked ‘Dual naming is about recognising the Aboriginal community’s rightful status as the first inhabitants of this land and celebrating their living culture, traditions and language’.

20140926_123103

Photo taken from Bellerive Bluff on Stage 4 of my walk along the Derwent River.

20141010_103145

Photo taken between Rose Bay and Lindisfarne on Stage 5 of my walk.

20141031_132509

Photo taken from Old Beach on Stage 7 of my walk.

20141111_104035

Photo taken from Green Point on Stage 8 of my walk.

I am including a posting specifically about ‘the mountain’ as locals refer to it, because it has been a significant marker on my trek from the mouth to the mouth of the Derwent River via the Bridgewater Bridge, and I am about to lose sight of it.  From Granton, as I walk west along the River and then northwards, the mountain will no longer be in view.

Current official information about walking tracks, facilities, weather related precautions and other details associated with the mountain can be read at http://www.wellingtonpark.org.au/  Note that you can download maps from this site.

Video stories and the Derwent River

Last week I bussed 20 odd kilometres down to Kingston and participated in a workshop, organised by ABC Open (go to https://open.abc.net.au for written and video stories from around Australia), about making video stories with tablets and IPads. Since then, using my Samsung tablet, I have taken a series of video shots beside one section of the Derwent River. To tell a story, different video shots are needed for linking together. At the end of this week I will return for a second workshop to help me edit different shots together into a coherent story.

I would like to share some of what I have learnt so far.

Firstly, we should always make videos using the ‘landscape’ rather than ‘portrait’ orientation. Once I was alerted to the fact that the landscape orientation typifies movie screens, televisions and computer monitors, I understood this was the preferred way for our brains to operate (our eyes ‘sweep horizontally across the landscape’ for survival more often than up and down).  This morning I looked at an online news story which included a short video presumably taken on a smart phone by a public bystander to the event. The film was oriented in the vertical portrait direction so that when screened on my computer monitor, two lumps of black either side of the tall narrow image made it difficult to ‘read’.  So I have learnt that lesson.

Other learnings included: the idea that I should not move the tablet to record the video, rather I should swivel my body from the waist. Doing so creates less shudder movement resulting in clearer videos. I should never use a zoom function when it is an option on a device, rather I should take a series of sequence shots then edit them together.  Not everything has to be in focus if a story is being narrated.  Aim to record a series of peak moments in order to compress time. Beware of recording with the device directly face down because devices can revert to the portrait orientation once in the position of being parallel to the ground – therefore, I must remember to keep an angle on my tablet in such a situation.

We were informed that the journalism standard is a 5 shot sequence where each video shot is taken from a different angle or distance.  Now I watch news broadcasts differently and can analyse the variety of shots. We were recommended to make each shot about 8-15 seconds in length to provide sufficient information for editing. In addition, we were counselled to be patient as we record, in case there is an unexpected (and interesting) change in what we are recording.

At the end of the workshop’s theory session, including watching a number of good and bad videos available on the internet, I started to plan my story.

I was urged to create a story associated with my project to walk along the Derwent River and, while this idea sounds like it should be easy for me to develop, it has not been.  In fact, I have found it quite difficult to determine a story line, create a story board of the shots which will be woven together and then get the best mini videos to demonstrate each part of the story.  When I recognised the hundreds of stories associated with my walks, I realised that it would not matter on which story I worked, all I needed to do was make any choice and then get on with it.

For the past couple of days, I have made a series of brief video shots involving the Tasman Bridge which spans the Derwent River. On my way home, I recorded the following 9 seconds of traffic streaming along and over the Bridge. This video doesn’t fit with my story so I have inserted it unedited.  The video shows traffic on the Tasman Bridge with Mount Wellington in the background, viewed from the Rose Bay High School overpass.    See the video at https://vimeo.com/121886583

I am now ready for the workshop on editing to create a visual story.

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.

Last weekend Hobart focused on the Derwent River

Last week I posted information in advance of the Royal Hobart Regatta and the Australian Wooden Boat Festival both of which celebrated Hobart’s water-based history on and in relation to the Derwent River.

On Friday afternoon, the Parade of Sails offered a flotilla of yachts and sailing ships which manoeuvred to the starting point of John Garrow Light and then headed upriver to Sullivans Cove at the wharf in Hobart. Followers may recall that, on an earlier stage of my walk along the Derwent River, I passed the John Garrow navigation light in Lower Sandy Bay when I reached Blinking Billy Point.

Last Friday I thought that a raised vantage point would give me a great view of the Parade of Sails, so I joined with neighbours from their balcony to watch.  I saw hundreds of marine craft sailing up the river on a heavenly blue sky day. The wind pushed them quickly upriver to Sandy Bay and then they seemed to stall. The sails congregated en masse close to shore between Wrest Point Hotel Casino and the suburb of Battery Point.

20150206_123340

This was so far away and unless you enlarge my photos you will believe there were few vessels on the Derwent River that day.  When not much forward movement happened, I realised that the finishing time for the Parade of Sails was 1.30pm but it wasn’t yet 1pm. Therefore, I presumed the ships decided to wait so the grand entrance/arrival into the Hobart docks could be on time.

On Monday I watched a swooping display from 4 synchronised planes, the Roulettes. They flew in complex formations around the city, across Mount Wellington and along the Derwent River, spewing steam behind to mark their athletic twists and turns.

It was a packed weekend and the media provided spectacular views of all the activities.  Have a look and consider being around when these events are held next time.

The Royal Hobart Regatta site is at: http://www.royalhobartregatta.com/

The Australian Wooden Boat Festival site is at: http://www.australianwoodenboatfestival.com.au/home

Colourful media coverage of this year’s events include:

Starting out from Hinsby Beach and walking south to Wandella Avenue – Stage 12

I left home in Bellerive on the eastern shore of the Derwent River before 7am while the morning was cool and the light was soft grey. By the time my bus into Hobart city was travelling over the Tasman Bridge, the sun had hit the top of Mount Wellington, the sky was blue, and the day promised to be sensational.   The dramatic circus tent on the Queens Domain was being dismantled. People on the bus seemed to be dozing. Yet outside the bus, I wondered at the stunning crispness of shadows and sunlight causing windows to sparkle.  The look of the day made me feel like I was sparkling.  But my eyes were wide open.  Waiting at the bus stop at Franklin Square for a bus headed towards Kingston but passing through Taroona,  all I could think was ‘glorious, glorious, glorious’.

With few people on board, the trip to bus stop 30 in Taroona (the one where I finished in Stage 11) only took 22 minutes and then I was out in the fresh air on the Channel Highway at 7.52am. Gulls calling. Gardens were flush with sunflowers, roses, agapanthus, wandering pumpkin plants, lavenders of all types, and flowering gum trees.  All overlaid by the sounds of bush birds flitting here and there.

By 7.58am I had walked down Hinsby Street and reached the top of the walkway leading to the Hinsby Beach.  I could hear the shushing of the soft waves along the beach and glimpse a tiny bit of water at the end of the shady path.

20150202_075819

I could see the Alum Cliffs through the trees.

20150202_075858

A swimmer was leaving the water as I clicked a photograph. When I registered his angry body language, I realised I had been feeling the place without really seeing.  Of course my finger on the tablet’s camera clicked mechanically without seeing or feeling – but featuring photographs with him was not to his liking. I immediately claimed to be photographing the Alum Cliffs at the end of the beach and promised not to blog his picture.

20150202_080143

I guess the swimmer was not used to sharing the beach with anybody else that early and could only repeat rather manically, ‘you must come in’, ‘you must come in’ as he gesticulated towards the water.  I was thickly dressed from neck to toe and already wearing my sun hat.  ‘Going in’ was not in my plan.  I continued along the beach. A little later on a path, I took the following photo – I hope you can understand that getting undressed would never have been an option.

20150202_080640

At 8.05am, at the end of Hinsby Beach, I looked back for one last sea-level view of Hinsby Beach.

20150202_080405

I reached a stairway with rails and walked uphill until I seemed not to be on a clear track.

20150202_080359

When you read further below you will realise the photo above does not show the start of the track which I should have taken.

Very soon I arrived at a gully with a small trickle of water passing downhill. I chose not to cross by balancing as a gymnast on the dead tree trunks that criss-crossed it. Instead I simply walked easily down, stepped across a few rocks and walked up the other side.  Before long it was clear I was fenced in and that a proper dirt track passed on the other side of the fence. The fence was elastic so I swayed over it rather dramatically without falling off and down the cliff on the other side of the track. When I righted myself and looked back along the track which I hadn’t known existed, three women and a dog stood very still, their mouths agape. ‘Are you alright?’ they chorused. ‘Yes’, I assured them as I smiled.  Some moments I wonder if I am losing my once good judgement.  ‘But where have you come from?’ I asked with a puzzled wrinkling of my forehead. ‘Where did you find this track?’  Apparently, if I had bypassed the stairs and track I had chosen and walked around over the rocks of Hinsby Beach a little further, the real track started there.  Time for the installation of a few signs!

This ‘new’ track was fine.

20150202_080456

Although there were occasional diversions across the track.

20150202_084019

The view back towards Hinsby Beach was clear.

20150202_082252

The time was 8.22am as I offloaded my jacket, smeared sunscreen across exposed parts of my body and continued walking along the track until it extended up into a suburban street.  At 8.25am I turned left into Wandella Ave, wandered along past houses for a while, could not see any further tracks back to the Alum Cliffs, talked to a local who did not think there was one and recommended that I should walk up to the Channel Highway and continue southwards on that road.

Not to be defeated, I retraced my steps down the original pathway until I discerned an old disused track that seemed to continue along the Cliffs.  I walked it but casual inexperienced walkers and those walking alone absolutely should not. Incredibly unsafe in just about every way.  I didn’t fall nor receive injuries but there were so many ways and places I could have damaged or killed myself on that route.  I won’t relay all the details of that walk except to say that the views across the Derwent River though the trees were grand. Blue Wrens darted around me through the bush. Waves pounded against the Cliffs, and I could hear the roar of waves crashing on distant beaches.  Because photographs flatten the vistas, the ones I have taken do not present the feeling of isolation, steepness nor roughness of this non-track.  But it was incredibly beautiful and I am glad to have seen that landscape.

20150202_085324

I started this diversion at 8.37am. After following a collapsing path (although parts were good), I managed a deep descent into and an ascent out of an unnamed gully by 9.12am, rounded an extensive private house, talked with the house owner about the future of tracks along the Alum Cliffs and the non-availability of any tracks passing his house (which stood on the very edge of the Cliff) around 9.25am, and walked down and around the very long winding private driveway over a trickling creek, I reached suburbia again at 9.35am – the same point on Wandella Ave I had been earlier in the morning. I had completed a loop. Certainly I had been close to the Derwent River more than most but I had not advanced along the River.

The first photo below shows the house I climbed up to on top of the cliff after descending into a gully, the waters of which plunged over a rocky edge to the River.

20150202_084704 20150202_085446 20150202_092605

I recommend that all evidence of the existence of the disused track should be eliminated.

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.

20150119_100336

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

20150119_101600

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.

20150119_101336

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.

20150119_100941

20150119_101150  20150119_101159

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.

20150119_100933

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

20150119_100704

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.

20150119_101600

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.

Battery Point on Stage 11 of my walk along the Derwent River

Many websites provide information about the very old suburb of Battery Point; for example, read http://www.batterypoint.net/; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_Point,_Tasmania; or http://www.hobartcity.com.au/community/arts_and_culture/public_art/battery_point

I walked as close to the Derwent River as I could and therefore did not wind around the cute streets with their changing architecture, and I was not on the hunt for historical landmarks within the suburb. A morning’s meander through the streets can be very instructive but a walk close to the foreshore also has its attractions. Besides, every street in Battery Point is interesting.

Having left Salamanca and the Castray Esplanade, I walked to the River and along a pathway. When I reached the A J White Park I looked around and absorbed some of the contemporary sculptural forms which were sited there.

20150119_075652 20150119_075552 20150119_075450

At 7.55am I turned up and away from the water because continuing access around the few rocks jutting out of the water was not possible. At 7.58am I turned left at Clarke Ave and at 8.03am I turned left at Marine Terrace.

A few minutes later, as I approached Derwent Lane which led to a dead-end down at the water (with previous knowledge I decided it was not worth the effort of walking down and then straight back up) a woman stopped and questioned me. ‘What are you writing?’ she wanted to know. Her body frame relaxed when I explained my project. I didn’t need to be told that the issue of public access to the foreshore is a very sore and contested point in this suburb as homeowners are feeling increased pressure to agree to a boardwalk being built in front of their very expensive and private homes  – residents believe they purchased sole and permanent access to the high tide mark. Undoubtedly the woman was wondering whether I had been commissioned to do another survey or some other work without community consultation.

If you are following in my footsteps, then the path southwards continues by walking along Napoleon Street. Either side of the road I enjoyed the spectacle of exceptional houses of many vintages and styles.

20150119_080926 20150119_080931 20150119_081054

Eventually I stepped down an extremely steep part of Napoleon Street and could see Mount Wellington to my right and Mount Nelson to my left with great clarity.

20150119_081413 20150119_081326

At the bottom of the street I crossed the Sandy Bay Rivulet and arrived at the Errol Flynn Reserve.

20150119_081611 20150119_081658

The Rivulet runs out into Short Beach which edges the Derwent River at this point.

20150119_081621

I had left the suburb of Battery Point and arrived in the suburb of Sandy Bay and it was only 8.15am.

Yesterday I walked Stage 11 from Hunter St in Hobart city to Hinsby Beach south of Taroona

The goal of my walk along the Derwent River for Stage 11 was to start at my last stopping point, Hunter St at the wharf in Hobart on the western shore of the Derwent River, and continue to Kingston in the local government area of Kingborough.  But I did not get that far.  My feet said enough was enough once I found the delightful and almost hidden Hinsby Beach.

20150119_131327

Over future posts, I will write up the stories of the walk, what I saw and what I experienced, but for now it’s enough to say that I am continuing with this massive project to walk both sides of the Derwent between the mouth and Bridgewater, and then onwards to Lake St Clair.

The day was sunny with a bright blue sky, Mount Wellington was clear, and a cool breeze featured through much of the day – making it perfect walking weather.

Yesterday I covered 8 kilometres of the length of the Derwent River on the western shore (making 30 kms in total on the western shore), and walked approximately 13kilometres (making a total of 143 kms to date) to achieve that distance. This distance also takes in the streets and paths on which I walked that led to dead ends so that I needed to retrace my footsteps.

The highlights of the walk include discovering the road next to Taroona High School is a public access route which took me down to the Derwent River to a row of colourful boathouses, getting off the main road at places like Cartwright Park Reserve, and seeing the Alum Cliffs in all their majesty.  My next walk will start along the top of these.

20150119_125317

It was a revelation to watch the eastern shore and to see the suburbs and beaches on which I walked in the early stages of my walk. The day started with my being roughly opposite Bellerive and finished with my being opposite Gellibrand Point at the northern tip of South Arm.  The photo below, taken from Hinsby Beach, looks across the Derwent River to Opossum Bay Beach.

20150119_131757

I intend my next walk will start from Hinsby Beach and continue to Blackmans Bay.  But before then I need to record the details of yesterday’s walk.  So my walk for Stage 12 could be a week or more away.

Visiting Cornelian Bay

With Selfs Point behind me, I could see the Cornelian Bay cemetery through the locked gate and up above the crumbling cliffs to my right.

On closer inspection, I was happy to discover part of the fence near the gate had been peeled back for pedestrians like me.  Through I went.

Twenty or so metres below, over mown grass, I reached a walking track at 2.20pm. This gravel pathway, with its strong views of the Tasman Bridge, wound around the hill and down to Cornelian Bay and its narrow beach, with a view of Mount Wellington in the distance. Exceptionally pleasant and other walkers were also enjoying the experience.

20150109_142127  20150109_142311  20150109_142604  20150109_142844

Walking along the shore of Cornelian Bay is a calming experience.

20150109_143849  20150109_143918

By 2.36pm I was sitting outside the Boathouse Restaurant not far from the public toilets, a free gas BBQ area and a kid’s playground. I stopped to eat some more of my preprepared lunch. The day was cooling and so I did not take the opportunity to buy an icecream like some of the other many visitors to this lovely area. They were feeding ducks, walking their dogs, playing, meandering, and eating. A very comfortable existence.

At 2.44pm I continued walking around Cornelian Bay by choosing leftward tracks that passed empty oyster shells bleaching on the shore, and moved toward a row of attractive boathouses.

20150109_142753  20150109_143834  20150109_144806  20150109_145107

These are the most expensive boathouses in Tasmania and I noted one was up for sale (if you have a large pocket full of money and are interested, go to http://charlottepeterswald.com.au/property/36-cornelian-bay-new-town-00161878).  Another website shows a boathouse which sold recently: http://www.realestateview.com.au/Real-Estate/boatshed-cornelian-bay-new-town/Property-Details-sold-residential-6528149.html.

I reached the end of the row of boathouses at 2.55pm, and walked across a tiny beach to meet with the continuation of the track southward. This spot was idyllic and secluded. A couple of locals were cleaning the barnacles off the bottom of their dinghy.  Everything was peaceful.

20150109_145335

Heading for Selfs Point as it juts out into the Derwent River

Leaving Lutana, I crossed the bridge on the Queens Walk by turning left off Risdon Road.

20150109_130759

Close by was a sign indicating I was now in the City of Hobart and part of the New Town Bay Reserve. I turned left into Marine Esplanade.  A massive Graham Family Funeral direction sign sat in a rugby field on one corner implying a funeral business was behind.  But it is not – the business premises are located perhaps a kilometre or more away within the suburb of New Town.

As I walked along the gum tree sided Esplanade with New Town Creek to my left, I inhaled deeply of the fresh eucalypt smells. A little before 1.15pm I reached the Tasmanian Bridge Association clubhouse. A minute or so later I passed a University of Tasmania building and stood on a landscaped circle of land marking the mouth of New Town Creek as it enters into New Town Bay.

20150109_131411

Continuing amidst trees by the water’s edge I walked outside a high mesh fence marking the territory of a Sewage Treatment Plant.

20150109_131757

A little after 1.20pm, I was forced to turn back and retrace my steps. The property on which the oil tanks stand was effectively fenced, and the barb wire topped mesh extended out into the water. I wasn’t welcome to continue.

20150109_132116

Irritated, I plopped down on some rocks at the edge of the Bay and nibbled on some lunch.

20150109_132028

For the first time that day I felt the effects of a strengthening wind. I liked watching the MONA ferry dragging a chain of churning white water like a fluffy tail, as it travelled between Hobart and Berriedale.

This route was a pleasant and safe distraction but it did not help me to reach Selfs Point.  And then, as I walked back I found there were no connecting pathways between the Esplanade and Selfs Point Road. But I was not unhappy to have walked this way.  It was really tranquil moving along beside the edge of the Creek and then New Town Bay and the return walk.

In addition, the deviation was valuable because it allowed me to muse about the walkings of Charles Darwin, the English naturalist and geologist best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. Darwin sailed to Hobart on the Beagle at the end of January 1836 and departed in the middle of February.  You can read more information about his Tasmanian stop over and his opinions at http://www.utas.edu.au/library/exhibitions/darwin/hobart.html.  A few years ago I was told that Darwin decided to climb Mount Wellington by starting at New Town Bay and following New Town Creek.  However, I can find no evidence of this and, in fact, the Royal Society of Tasmania states Darwin only made two attempts to scale Mount Wellington and both were from the South Hobart direction.

By 1.45pm, I had returned to the Queens Walk and turned left to find another route to Selfs Point.

There is more to GASP beside the Derwent River than perhaps seen in first inspection

During Stage 10 of my walk along the edge of the Derwent River and a few minutes before 9am I had walked to Wilkinson’s Point the mostly southern end of the GASP (Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park) where I was surprised to discover a redeveloped structure which now forms part of the GASP experience. This was the construction site used for the building of the Bowen Bridge which crosses the Derwent River nearby.

Now, from time, contemporary art installation exhibitions are staged here.  In fact, I expect to see something there in the next week as part of the extraordinary internationally acclaimed MOFO festival (refer http://mofo.net.au/).  The MOFO program indicates that this Friday Jan 16 at midday The Tea Cube will introduce a portable tatami tearoom for a spiritual brew.

I wandered around this site in amazement.

20150109_085808  20150109_08582020150109_085816

With my back to the Derwent River I took the following photograph with clouds over part of Mount Wellington.

20150109_085951

I loved the colour of the surface ‘weeds’.

20150109_085853

And then it was time to begin to wander southwards again back on a non -path, which some readers will recognise from my video of walking feet.  In the photo below you can see the low structure of the ex-construction site, as a dark line separating the land from the water.

20150109_090654

Looking northwards and back to the ex-construction site.

20150109_090856

Part of the new repurposed structure has been cantilevered over the Derwent River.

20150109_085938

The end of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2014 yacht race

This afternoon I needed to walk to Bellerive’s Village for basic shopping. Once there (20 minute walk) it seemed a waste to be so close to the Derwent River and not to walk around Kangaroo Bay to Bellerive Bluff and see if any more yachts were sailing up to the finish line.

Today has been exceptionally blustery and Mount Wellington keeps disappearing from view as rain squalls and clouds move across in waves.

2014-12-30 13.37.39  2014-12-30 13.39.41

It was clear to me that a major storm was passing and could reasonably be expected to travel across the Derwent River and saturate me. Nevertheless, knowing its only water and that my umbrella could be expected to be blown inside out with the wind, I walked on.  And it was worth it.

The wild water of the River showed peaks and troughs and there in the blurry distance, trying to keep close to protection of the land on the western shore close to Wrest Point Hotel Casino, two of the last yachts were fighting it out to see who would cross the line first.

2014-12-30 13.40.23  2014-12-30 13.41.19

At home I have checked and learned that the two were Maluka of Kermandie and Charlie’s Dream.  As I stood on that windswept shore, I could see it was a battle between the two but I was surprised to discover their finish time had only 3 seconds between them. Can you imagine?  After hundreds of miles/kilometres in some very testing weather, three seconds separated these two at the line. Inspirational!  The message for me was that one must never give up; I must keep pushing onwards.

Only two yachts are yet to cross the line. One is charging up the Derwent as I type and has almost reached the finish line (Southern Myth) and the other seems almost to be stalled in Great Oyster Bay slightly south of Freycinet peninsula on Tasmania’s east coast.  I can only imagine that yacht is taking it slow and easy to cope with the weather and arrive in one piece.  Many yachts have withdrawn from the race with expensive rigging, sail, rudder, lost masts, and other boat damage. Perhaps the last yacht, Landfall, is considering making landfall earlier than the Hobart docks.

If you don’t mind thickly padded appearances and wind-blown hair, then today is a wonderful day to be wearing your winter woollies and outside walking and filling the lungs with fresh (and it is fresh) air.

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.

20141125_141924

20141125_142038

More black swans swimming.

20141125_142042

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

20141125_143150

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

20141125_143336

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.

20141125_143454

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.

20141125_143827

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

20141125_144259  20141125_144256  20141125_144422

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.

20141125_144425

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.

20141031_125642

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.

20141031_130307

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’.

20141031_131028

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.

20141031_131049

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.

20141031_132509  20141031_132519

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.

20141031_134059

At 1.43pm I arrived at the Old Beach jetty

20141031_134047

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

20141031_135134

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!

Along the northern side of Shag Bay and onwards along the Derwent River

I used the mini bridge to cross the tiny creek feeding into Shag Bay and began immediately to take the walking track uphill on the northern side.  From here on I was not particularly confident about the clarity of tracks or, in fact, whether there would be tracks. I was pleased to discover that many tracks existed and as I long as I kept the Derwent River on my left, I couldn’t get lost – even if I did not know at what part of the suburb of Risdon I would arrive (‘all roads lead to Rome’ even if entry is by a different gate).

On the way up the first hill I had stopped for a view and a swig of water. During that time I surprised a dog that came around the corner behind me with her mistress. They both stopped in their tracks.  She told me that in all the dozens of times she has walked this track, she has never seen anyone on it.  Peace and solitude. Yet only a dozen or so kilometres from the heart of a city.  A capital city.

The photo below through a wooded landscape extends a view southwards to the Derwent River with the MONA ferry coming my way.  At this point, I was as high as the uppermost part of the Tasman Bridge located closer to the mouth of the River.

20141015_111529

Around me eucalyptus gum nut shells lay on the ground exuding a clean fresh perfume (think of May Gibbs’ hats on the gumnut babies Snugglepot and Cuddlepie – Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie: their adventures wonderful was first published in 1918.).  Not long afterwards, the track passed through a copse of self-seeding wattle trees: I know some varieties are considered to be weeds in certain parts of Australia and I suspect this collection of specimens may be ‘weeds’.  The problem is that it grows quickly and blocks out the opportunity for other trees to survive. Monocultures are death to the natural landscape.

At the top and moving along parallel to the Derwent River, I was on top of the Bedlam Walls.  Various unofficial tracks disappeared over the cliff but I stayed on the main path. My reasoning was that I had an infrequent bus service to connect with at Risdon Cove and I was not sure how long it would take to reach there.  The downside was that I missed experiencing the actual walls and their walkways and caves. I would have liked to have seen the following (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bleeter/7266025800/), but I must return for a closer inspection.

7266025800_c8d48839e8_b

Along the top I was afforded detailed views of the western shore and especially of the smelting works, Nystar as shown below.

20141015_112338

It is now obvious to me that when I walk south along the western shore of the Derwent I will not be able to be close to the river edge when I pass this massive Nystar industry covering many acres of land. I reached a major electricity pylon around 11.20am and watched its wires swing across the river to the power hungry industry (these wires are just visible in the photo above). Looking southwards and across the River from the top of Bedlam Walls, I could see Mount Wellington overshadowing Cornelian Bay and the Newtown suburb of Hobart.

20141015_112331

My track moved inland and parallel to the electricity pylons. After 5 minutes the track split and I turned left. It came to an end with a rough worker’s seating area in view of the Bowen Bridge crossing the Derwent River further north.  The cliff seemed to drop away and I judged that a slippery slide down might not be a good idea with no one else around if something should go wrong.  Later in the day when I was much further north, I was able to look back to the pylon and see I really should have braved it down the hill and kept closer to the water. But then again it might be safer to walk south and climb that hill rather than slip down it heading northwards. By 11.35am I had walked back to the divide with the original clear but rough 4WD track and chose the other arm along the pylons.