Tag Archives: South Arm Beach

Nature is cheaper than therapy

A Californian fiction writer M.P. Zarrella offered the opinion ‘nature is cheaper than therapy’.  Since then, her point of view has spawned posters, cushion covers, and T shirts such as:

Nature cheaper than therapy  and tshirt nature its cheaper than therapy

The use of this comment spread until people couldn’t help themselves …

facebook cheaper than therapy and Beer is cheaper than therapy

Thinking about whether nature is cheaper (with the inference of ‘better’ than therapy), I have been inspired to trawl through my walking-the-derwent photos.

Here are a few favourite natural scenes clicked during Stages 1-6 of my walks along the eastern shore of the Derwent River.  Most of these images spent time as my computer screen background where they lifted my spirits daily.

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Iron Pot off the southern end of South Arm peninsula

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Driftwood beach shack on Pot Bay Beach, South Arm peninsula

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Mount Wellington across the Derwent River from South Arm Beach

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Looking northwards into the gigantic Derwent Harbour from Gellibrand Point at the northern end of the South Arm peninsula.

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Looking uphill from Trywork Point

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Lichen on rocks at Tranmere Point

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Little Howrah Beach

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Looking southwards along Bellerive Beach

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The suburb of Sandy Bay across the Derwent River through the casuarina trees from Rosny Point

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Tranquil Geilston Bay looking toward Mount Wellington

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Bedlam Walls Point

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Shag Bay

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Native flowers in the East Risdon State Reserve

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Tommys Bight

Whenever the weather is deteriorating outside my window, by looking at these photographs from the first 6 of 14 walking stages, I ‘revisit’ the various locations and feel most uplifted. No therapy needed here.

From Hinsby Beach to Blackmans Bay accomplished on Stage 12 yesterday

The goal of my walk along the Derwent River for Stage 12 was to start at my last stopping point, Bus Stop 30 on the Channel Highway at Taroona on the western shore of the Derwent River, and continue to Blackmans Bay in the local government area of Kingborough.  I did not get as far as expected, but I was satisfied when I finished 2/3 of the way along the Blackman’s Bay Beach.

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.

Yesterday I covered 5 ¾ kilometres of the length of the Derwent River on the western shore (making 35 3/4 kms in total on the western shore), and walked approximately 11 kilometres (making a total of 154 kms to date) to achieve that distance; there were a lot of steep ascents and descents.

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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 finding a way through some of the early part of the almost untracked Alum Cliffs, the delightful walk along the tracked part of the Alum Cliffs, meeting some friendly people along the way, the unusual snake sign at Tyndall Beach, stopping for a long cup of tea in Kingston with a friend, my discovery of another tucked away beach – Boronia Beach, and the Blackmans Bay Blowhole.

There are many memorable images but my favourite for today is one of my photos of mussels growing on the rocks at Boronia Beach.  I have already made it my desktop background image. When enlarged, the blues glow.

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Fundamentally the Stage 12 walk was about forest and water.

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The day started with my being roughly opposite Gellibrand Point at the northern tip of South Arm and finishing opposite the long South Arm Beach.

I intend my next walk will start from where I left off at Blackmans Bay and then continue into the Tinderbox area to Fossil Cove.  But before then I need to record the details of yesterday’s walk.  So Stage 13 will be a while away.

22 Aug 2014 South Arm beach and the walking continues – Posting 7 of 8

Around 11.30 am, I made myself comfortable on a rock on the South Arm beach, ate some pre-packed lunch and enjoyed the glorious qualities of the day and the location. The view across the broad Derwent towards Blackmans Bay, Kingston, and Mount Wellington with a scribble of snow on its summit was sensational. South Arm beach stretched as a thinning arc and seemed impossibly long and pure.

The photo below is the viewpoint directly in front of me as I ate my lunch.  Glorious Mount Wellington on the western side of the Derwent River.  Closer to the shore, a platform bobbed with the comings and goings of Pied Cormorants while they searched for their fish dinners.

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Meanwhile my feet hurt to walk on. I felt crippled. But I had two hours before the bus returned so, as with any days spent travelling overseas, time was not to be wasted simply sitting around.

It wasn’t part of the plan for my first day walking the Derwent, however I decided to walk (shuffle if I must) the length of the South Arm beach, then take to the road and continue on towards Opossum Bay to find a bus stop.

It took me 45 minutes to plod along the long South Arm beach. Apart from a few locals the beach was deserted, except for the Silver Gulls who entertained me with their happy feet.   George Miller – forget those penguins! Here were normal ordinary seagulls performing a manoeuvre that left me astonished. As the short cold waves spread up the sandy beach, a seagull would stand knee deep waiting for the water to recede. When the water thinned, the gull would stamp both feet alternately on the wet sand at a super speed. Obviously this practice dislodged some wonderful edibles from the wet sand. With speed and agility, the gulls grabbed their lunch with a peck of their beaks. Then the speedy stomping began all over again.  Very funny.  Very clever.

From the end of the beach it was clear there was no track around the headland and later, as I walked towards Opossum Bay, I saw a private house ‘owning’ the space – refer to the photo below.

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I used the gravel bicycle and walking track next to the main road which extended from the beach end of South Arm beach to Opossum Bay Store, with a bus stop opposite. This is where I finished my walk. 

During my walk from South Arm to Opossum Bay I looked back at the long stretch of South Arm Beach. Fort Hill is above the township to the upper right.  The photo below gives some idea of the beauty of the place, and I hope it inspires others to take the walk.

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This last leg took about 45 minutes. On route to the store, I passed two tourist information stands, both of which referred to this roadway being part of a convict trail, something which a team of local residents have researched (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-22/a-trail-between-south-arm-and-opossum-bay-tells-tales-of-tasman/5171434). The information which I found most interesting was that approximately 70,000 people came to Hobart on the prison and other ships between 1804 and 1853. I reflected that, of course, they all had to pass by Cape Direction, Cape Deliverance, Johns Point and the beaches on which I had been walking. It’s impossible to imagine how foreign this land of ours would have looked. And to think I started the day with trepidation!

Celebrity spotting: Brian Ritchie, once of Violent Femmes and now of MONA fame, filling up his car with fuel at the Opossum Bay store. Well I think it was him.

If you follow my walk and are in need, the public toilets are located 100 metres further along from the Opossum Bay Shop toward Opossum Bay beach.

Outside the Opossum Bay store are tables and benches, so I took the opportunity to finish my lunch. Sitting nibbling and watching people come and go occupied me until it was time to catch the bus.