Tag Archives: Opossum Bay shop

Stage 2 on 4/9/2014 Summing up Email 14 of 14

I arrived at the Opossum Bay shop at 9.10 am to start Stage 2 of the walking journey, and I caught the return bus (number 638 with a transfer onto bus number 632 at Lauderdale) across from the shop around 2.05 pm.

Between times I walked approximately 10 kilometres.  However, Stage 2 only represents around 4 kilometres of the length of the Derwent River. Adding this to the 7 kms covered in Stage 1, I have now covered 11 kms of the 249 kilometre long river.

I am persuaded that no-one could complete Stage 1 and 2 on one occasion to fit within these bus times. For someone to replicate my journeys two separate trips are required. Alternatively, one longer visit could finish with a return to Hobart on the bus which departs Opossum Bay near Shelly Beach at 5.55 pm.  Unfortunately this latter option would probably leave you with lots of time to fill in waiting for the bus; this eventuality would need to be expected and planned for.

As a post note, in 1995 the Gellibrand property was acquired by the state, on behalf of the people of Tasmania and in 2011 the area was declared a nature reserve and named Gellibrand Point Nature Recreation Area. I feel excited to have walked the trails and found my own way around, for the friendly people I met, the stunning views, the fascinating history, and the discovery of another part of Tasmania, one footstep at a time.  And all for the cost of a couple of bus fares.

 The photo below was taken from Gellibrand Point, Stage 2’s destination. It looks across the Derwent River towards Hobart city with Mount Wellington behind.

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Stage 2 on 4/9/2014 Time to return Email 13 of 14

By 12.50 pm I had walked to the Icehouse Bluff and was starting on the return journey north along the beach to the boat ramp further along the beach and close to where I had eaten lunch. The bitumen ramp presented an easy incline to walk up to the Bangor street bus turning circle of Opossum Bay.  But I never made it that far.

Rather, some way along, I noticed the semblance of a rough-staired track up the gum lined hill next to the beach. Heavy yellow ropes were attached to the occasional stick to give the impression of a supportive rail. At best this turned out to be an additional guide on the direction that the path took.

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I thumped across the lower bracken, stumpy grasses and fallen branches, hoping that these vibrations through the ground would frighten away any snake that might be meandering in the vicinity. I reached the lower steps covered with a mesh of fine branches and dry gum leaves, detoured and  dragged myself up the steep incline, throwing to the side any miscreant branch that had settled across the rough stairs.  At the top I was surprised this wasn’t a public track, albeit seldom used, rather it led to the back garden of a house. The bush was sufficiently dense either side to disincline me to bash my way in any direction.  Besides I had no idea how far I would need to bash my way along through the bush.  I did what I cannot recommend to others (what I would recommend is that you do not take the staired track up the hill). I was simply taking the easy way out for me. I walked through that back yard, to the driveway and out onto the street.  I have no doubt that in the Opossum Bay as a community style neighbourhood, I will have been seen and remarked on. Out on the street I walked along to the bus stop.

I could have waited for the bus here (although there were no seats or shady buildings). However, since the bus wasn’t scheduled to arrive until 2pm, I had time to fill and decided to walk back to the Opossum Bay shop and catch the bus from there.

Walking along Bangor St I passed local houses and another bus stop 200 metres later. I continued until I reached a T junction passing some plump running rabbits. I turned right into Driftwood Drive and continued until the next T junction with South Arm Road. By now I could see the Derwent River again plus some of the shacks and houses that line the Opossum Bay beach.

Turning left at this T junction, I walked on the road above and parallel to the beach (although I could have taken steps down and re-enjoyed the beach experience). There are a couple of bus stops along this road; at Marsh St, and at Howlin Lane.  It was close to 1.30pm when I reached the Public Toilets, and a few minutes later I had reached the outdoor seating at the Opossum Bay shop.

The couple who sat down nearby were lost. Holidaying from Melbourne, their destination was Howrah but in driving to Opossum Bay they had travelled more than half an hour out of their way.  Fortunately, I carried a street directory with me which they pored over and helped them to understand exactly where they needed to travel.  You never know the resources which people around you might have. So many people have helped me through my life so it’s terrific to be able to help other travellers.

Stage 2 on 4/9/2014 Opossum Bay Email 3 of 14

The bus trip from the city to the starting point for today’s walk takes approximately 1 hour 10 minutes.

Stage 1 of my walk finished at the Opossum Bay shop so Stage 2 needed to start from there.

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By the way, it makes sense to alert the bus driver that you do not know the area you are travelling to, that you want to get off at the Opossum Bay shop, and that you would like him or her to stop and let you off when you reach your destination.  Our Metro drivers are very happy to provide this simple customer service.

When I alight from the bus at 9.10 am, what I see ahead is excitement. I watch the bus disappearing along the road and know that this is the direction I must take, however on different paths. From the Taroona TasMAP, I know the bus will not travel nearly as far as I will walk, so that once I have reached my destination of Gellibrand Point, I will need to retrace my steps to a bus stop.

I am unsure if I might find trails, and whether I might need to exert some pioneering spirit and discover a way. I don’t know who I will meet or where. I wonder what I will smell and what I will hear.  This promises to be a terrific adventure which will use all my senses. Stepping off into an unknown world.  And so I take the first step along the road (no footpaths) from the Opossum Bay shop.

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The sun is shining. Air is crisp. Nobody is out and about and walking around. Opossum Bay is peaceful and quiet except for the soft sounds of water lapping onto a beach in the distance.

100 metres along the roadway a sign points to public toilets which, after an hour on the bus, are a good place to visit. At the bottom of the attached carpark, a large placard indicates a tiny walkway down onto Opossum Bay foreshore.

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I was filled with awe when I stepped onto the pristine white sandy foreshore, and looked along at relaxed houses and shacks overlooking the edge of the beach. Not a soul to be seen.

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Mt Wellington and the western shore of Hobart across the Derwent River looked particularly special.

10 to 15 minutes later I had walked north along the length of the beach until confronted by a rocky headland that needed to be rounded before I could continue the walk.

Instead, I chose to climb the concrete stairs near the end of the beach that returned me up to the road.  I noted that the rocks were reasonably smooth and could easily be accessed, but as usual and not knowing which future obstacles might present themselves I decided on the more obvious route; all the time I remembering my return bus departed at 2.02 pm and that I needed to make sure I caught it (because the later one did not depart until 5.55 pm).