Tag Archives: Sullivan’s Cove

Kingston Beach, Tasmania

I found a tiny laneway, squeezed between residential properties, which extended from Roslyn Avenue near where I was staying in Kingston, down to Kingston Beach.  The downward stroll took 6 minutes and, later, the return trundle uphill took 10 minutes.  The easy accessibility to the beautiful foreshore is an asset for locals.  I loved the closeness of the lush vegetation along the pathway and then the openness of the Beach extending before me once I reached the Esplanade.

The morning was overcast with a moderate breeze, but the weather did not deter families, groups of children or a kayaker from enjoying the beach and water.

In the photo below the lone kayaker sets off to enjoy a paddle. The land which can be seen across the Derwent River is the South Arm peninsula. Standing on Kingston Beach, I could identify key points along that piece of land which I had walked during Stage 1 and 2: Gellibrand Point, Opossum Bay, South Arm, and Fort Direction Hill.

Kayaker

I followed a path along the foreshore northwards to Browns River and then I retraced my steps. Looking towards the mouth of Browns River as it enters the Derwent River.

Pathway along Derwent at KB

At Browns River, one side of Mount Wellington looms in the distance.

end of Kingston beach road

Kingston Beach and Browns River are located within the municipality of Kingborough as part of the Greater Hobart Area. In the photo below the waters of Browns River can be seen meeting the Derwent River.

Sign

Nearby I discovered a plaque (photo below) and its message surprised me. Browns River was named in 1804 (you can read more about Robert Brown at https://www.forestrytas.com.au/assets/0000/0185/tasfor_12_10.pdf).  From the reports of my earlier walks in this blog, you might recall that Risdon Cove was established as the first white/non indigenous settlement (on the eastern shore, and quite a few kilometres upstream from the mouth of the Derwent River) in September 1803. I find it quite extraordinary that within months of the first white settlement (in fact Brown named the River in April 1804), despite the difficulties of making a new home in this foreign land, new arrivals were off and about checking and naming other edges of the Derwent River. It wasn’t until July 1804 that the area around Sullivans Cove (the site for the central part of the current city of Hobart) was set up for permanent residency. Sullivans Cove is much much closer to Browns River than Risdon Cove, so Brown had a long way to paddle.

Browns River plaque

The photo below looks back towards the centre of Kingston Beach from the Browns River northern end.

kb 2

I loved the trees and was especially impressed by one of the flowering gum trees next to the foreshore walkway.

gum blossom

The stroll from the one end of Kingston Beach to the other takes about 15-20 minutes and represents approximately 1 kilometre of the Derwent River’s length.  Immensely pleasant.  If you haven’t enjoyed this part of the Greater Hobart Area, or it’s a while since you have travelled here, then I strongly recommend you make a visit.

Fish and chip shops, cafes, a sad looking motel and Duncan’s Beachfront Motel Hotel are located across from the beach.  Some readers might know Slim Dusty’s song ‘I’d like to have a drink with Duncan’ (refer to http://www.lyrics007.com/Slim%20Dusty%20Lyrics/Duncan%20Lyrics.html for more information). Jo will recall the hilarious fiasco at a fashion parade in Darwin when this music coincided with a bridal dress being shown on the cat walk.  I wonder who Kingston’s pub is named after? Anyone know?

shops and cyclists  Motel  Duncans pub

Along the street travelling away from the beach towards Hobart, you will pass an assortment of outlets including hair salons, service stations, a community hall and, very surprisingly, the Wafu Works which is a shop selling vintage authentic Japanese fabrics.

Japanese Wafu Works  Japanese fabric shop

Simple street art in the form of inset mosaic panels have been incorporated in the pavements.

Mosaic in pavement  Street mosaic in pavement

This part of Greater Hobart is very attractive, and I am vowing to visit more often.

The birthplace of European Settlement in Tasmania (Van Diemen’s Land): Risdon Cove

The start of my walk along the next stage of the Derwent River will be at Risdon Cove.

Earlier blogs explained how Lieutenant John Hayes, with two ships, entered the River and named it the Derwent in 1793. Twenty six kilometres upstream, while mapping the River, he saw an inlet on the eastern shore and named it Risdon Cove. Risdon, Risdon Vale and Risdon Cove were named after Captain William Bellamy Risdon. Risdon took command of the Duke of Clarence, the second ship that was part of Hayes excursion up the Derwent River.

Another decade passed before European colonisation began.

The Lady Nelson was the first ship to arrive at Risdon Cove in September 1803 when Lieutenant Bowen was sent from Port Jackson (Sydney area) to establish the first settlement at Risdon Cove, and rename it Hobart. As an aside, in the late 1980s a replica was built and the new Lady Nelson became well known on the Derwent River round Hobart. Currently locals and visitors volunteer time to maintain and crew the ship. Short sails are scheduled throughout the year for those who are interested. The website http://www.ladynelson.org.au/ provides further information, and has published the photo which I have reproduced below.

Lady Nelson

Despite the recommendation of the explorer George Bass, Risdon Cove proved to be a bad choice for a settlement site because the soil was poor and fresh water minimal.

In early February 1804, Lieutenant Colonel David Collins arrived from establishing the first small settlement at Sullivan Bay in the state of, what is now known, as Victoria. Quickly Collins realised Risdon Cove was inadequate and ordered the relocation of the settlement to a new site at Sullivan’s Cove, the present wharf-front centre of today’s Hobart. By late February 1804, the military and convicts had been moved to Sullivan’s Cove on the western shore of the Derwent River.

How many settlers were there?

Gathering reliable figures for the numbers of people remaining at Risdon while Bowen was away sailing and exploring and once Collins had moved some of his people to Sullivan’s Cove has proved to be impossible. According to the reputable Australian Dictionary of Biography, Bowen’s landing party in 1803 numbered 49 persons in total including 24 convicts previously transported from England via Port Jackson (Sydney). The site http://www.treasury.tas.gov.au/domino/historyW.nsf/v-all/021976A07261DACBCA256EB400107431 declared that in 1803, 100 people were settled at Risdon Cove, so I assume that further ships arrived after Bowen later that year. The same website refers to “Collins’s expedition of more than 430 people.” Apparently by July 1804, Collins had ‘hutted’ 400 people on the western shore around Sullivan’s Cove and bays further along the Derwent River. Other reports indicate an unspecified number of people stole a boat and escaped from Risdon Cove, thereby reducing the number of people living in that tiny settlement.  I wanted to have a sense of the scale of the residents remaining at Risdon Cove in order to determine whether the settlers might be afraid of the aboriginals simply on the basis of being outnumbered.