Tag Archives: signs

Tarraleah Canal No 1 walk – signs to side roads along the way

Around the Mossy Marsh Creek area and elsewhere, many short roads intersected with the Hydro road. These are pathways to assist Hydro Tas with monitoring and managing various aspects of the water flow.  They allowed me to continue to follow the Canal and be near the original river bed. Enjoy the glorious bush in the photos below.

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Blog readers will have seen signs before, however the lovely things about these photos include the colours of the adjacent bush, the depth of soft looking leaf mulch beneath the tall trees and the sense of a rich wilderness all around.  The environment was truly splendid. Having a road to walk on was such a boon – manoeuvring through that bush would have been a major trial and perhaps not nearly as pleasant.

St Clair Lagoon signage

Interpretive signage work needs to be introduced, and current signs rationalised; at least made consistent.  Within metres of each other stood the two signs below:

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The third sign focuses on the needs of anglers but not on general tourists.

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One on-site map helps people get their bearings. However, I guess because the water level is generally low, the island close to the St Clair Lagoon Dam which appeared before me as an extensive well-established vegetated outcrop, cannot be seen on the map below.  As a result, visitors may feel disoriented.

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Four signs exist at St Clair Lagoon. I am disappointed the Derwent River as a whole and the fact this is the River’s source isn’t recognised and celebrated.  The St Clair Lagoon area seems only to anticipate visitation from fishermen who do not have permission to fish here.  A short gravel road detours to the Lagoon Dam from the main gravel road that leads to Pumphouse Point, but no signs have been installed to let people know what they will find if they take the detour, nor the significance of the St Clair Lagoon dam for the Derwent River.

A 215 km river is not a small or insignificant waterway. The Derwent River, as Tasmania’s most iconic river, provides a major marker of thousands of years of social, economic and natural history. In the coming weeks, I plan to communicate with everyone who has influence over the writing and installation of signage and interpretation.

Death and Lake King William

Fairly early in my walk along the eastern edge of Lake King William, when I neared the power transmission lines, signs such as the following were posted.

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I have no idea how close one must be to incur death, and therefore the concept of a ‘near approach’ is rather meaningless.  However, because I saw the 4WD track crossing under the power lines from time to time, I guessed that walking along these tracks wouldn’t bring on my early demise, well at least not from electricity jumping about. And so I live to tell tales.

Later in the walk when I approached another sign, the combination of the sign and the vista created a special message.

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The way my simple mind worked was this:  Lake King William is a man-made lake damming the burblings and gurglings of the infant Derwent River. The purpose of the Lake is to enable hydro-electricity power generation. The Lake drowned the native vegetation and dead trees are the result. The Danger sign alerts people to the danger of death from the electricity pouring through the wires overhead. The making of electricity kills and electricity itself is a killer.

As I walked, I thought a lot about the conservation needs of our forests and our contemporary way of life needs.

On the one hand, I can imagine the sorrow and despair that some will have when seeing the photos of the dead remains of old forests jutting out of the land as the Lake’s water level drops. I guess some people would wish this dramatic change to the original landscape never happened.

On the other hand, most people want to click lights on at night, recharge their technological devices, and have a refrigerator to keep their food cold and safe, run a washing machine, boil water and cook food. Without electricity (which is always generated using some natural resource), our contemporary lives could not continue. Hydro power is cleaner than coal power, and not dangerous like nuclear power.  If we must have electricity, which resource source should we use?  The creation of wind turbines changes landscapes and uses large quantities of processed mineral resources.  Equipment to support the gathering of solar power also uses processed mineral resources. If we choose to live as we have become accustomed, then ancient forests will be continue to be lost either directly or indirectly. There are very few who would give up the use of anything made from or using electricity.  I wonder if it is even possible to do so absolutely in first world and most third world countries.

The 99 steps down to the Derwent River

On a bench seat, at the fork in my path towards the New Norfolk Bridge on my Stage 14 walk, sat an elderly couple, their faces to the sun.

When I admired the view, vociferously and without drawing breath, they competed to give me directions to a place for even better views from the other side of the River.

If you want a view, you should drive … and then go up … and then across; see that over there. Go up and then you will get  your view. A good view. If you like views, that’s where you oughtta go. Where dja leave y’ car?’  …. ‘Oh.  Well, the track down to the river has 99 steps.’ He pointed to the righthand track.

I asked where those 99 steps went. Would I have to retrace my steps and climb those 99 steps later. ‘No but there are 99 steps to go down.’  ‘So where do these 99 steps lead?’, I asked.  Finally, I understood these steps would connect with a pathway to the New Norfolk bridge.  Thanks to these helpful locals.

After their walk and because of meeting me with my confusion about which path to take, the woman told me she planned to go into New Norfolk, walk into the Derwent Valley Council building and tell ‘them’ to get signs put up on the tracks so people know where to go. I could imagine the determination with which she would tell ‘them’ what should be done.

The arrow on the map below points to where the 99 steps descend. You can see a yellow road on the left; the one that crosses the New Norfolk bridge.  At the top of the 99 steps, I was not far from my destination.

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Sorell Creek sign post: Stage 14 of walk along the Derwent River

Around 11.35 am, directional signs at the Sorell Creek T junction with the Lyell Highway gave me useful information for me to gauge the distance I had walked from Granton and what was left to cover if I continued ‘straight’ to New Norfolk. As I crossed the actual creek flowing with a lot of water, I was made aware by a slightly mangled small blue sign, of a cemetery to my left; usually old cemeteries contain interesting stories but visiting it seemed like a deviation which would take me too far from the Derwent River so I continued on the Highway making a mental note to return another day to have a look at the Malbina cemetery.

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The main signs indicated New Norfolk was a mere 5 kilometres further north, if I stayed walking on the Highway – but I expected to be finding tracks off the highway taking me closer to river in the next half an hour.

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and the golden view when looking back south was also worth a photo.

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I wondered how many people commuted to New Norfolk daily by foot.  Probably zero numbers.