Tomorrow, Thursday 4 September, I plan to walk a second stage of my foot journey along the eastern shore of the Derwent river. As with the first leg, I need to take Bus 640 that departs from the Hobart city bus mall at 8am and heads towards Opossum Bay. I will jump on the bus once it reaches the eastern shore and, as before, I know I must be patient because it will weave through the suburbs of Rokeby and Clarendon Vale before passing Lauderdale, Sandford and South Arm (details of these great locations are in the earlier postings related to the first stage of the walk). My bus destination is the Opossum Bay Shop. From there I will walk north to Gellibrand Point via beaches, roads and open landscape. I hope to be able to enjoy my pre-packed lunch sitting looking towards Mount Wellington before returning to the Driftwood Drive bus stop for my journey back towards Hobart. The morning low temperature is expected to be around 9 degrees when I arrive and rise to about 14 degrees around 1pm. The return bus leaves Opossum Bay at 2.02 so I hope it doesn’t rain before then. Keeping my fingers crossed!
After leaving Rokeby, we weren’t back on the main road long before the bus deviated again; this time through the suburb of Clarendon Vale. There is a significant building here. As some sort of counterpoint to the modern Catholic Church next to the John Paul II Catholic School, down the road before reaching the main road you can see a heritage quality, beautiful old sandstone church. This is St Matthews Anglican Church which comes with a reasonable size cemetery full of ancient headstones. Would be worth a stop-over on a future excursion.
Here’s some additional information to whet your appetite.
From http://members.optusnet.com.au/~tacplaci/rokeby.html#r13, “The first service in the area was conducted by the Chaplain of Van Diemen’s Land, the Reverend Robert Knopwood in 1821, and he agitated for a Church for many years. Whilst the first burial, that of Catherine Chipman, took place in 1827, the foundation stone for the church was laid in 1840 after Knopwood’s death (1838). Knopwood is buried here, in a plain coffin with no name plate. The Church and its fittings and furnishings, the churchyard and burial ground are on the Register of the National Estate.”
From http://www.ohta.org.au/organs/organs/Rokeby.html you can gather further information including photos by John Maidment of the simple but striking building (see below) – all the more so because there are no other grandiose buildings nearby.
Once the bus was back on the main road, we passed the suburb of Oakdowns on the left and the Tasmanian Police Academy on the right (the latter overlooking a glorious panorama of Ralph’s Bay) before taking a bend in the road and coasting down into the main drag of Lauderdale, a seaside suburb. The tide across Ralph’s Bay was out leaving the rippled mudflats visible.
With suburban build-up left behind after Lauderdale, the scenery became entirely rural, except for the short line of houses in the shopless village of Sandford.