Tag Archives: Taroona

Maps

The Derwent River will always be your guide if you choose to walk along its length, but sometimes it is difficult to walk directly next to the river; for example structures may be built to the edge, steep drop down cliffs may raise you many metres above the water, and gates and fences may make access impossibly impassable.  In addition, when the terrain forces you away from the river, the vegetation may be sufficiently dense so that you can get lost (without map and compass – and GPS if your technology allows).

If you choose to walk the entire length of Tasmania’s Derwent River you might consult one or more of the 17 maps which cover the territory. One value is that you learn the name and shape of landmarks. Have a look at the list below:

Maps

More natural beauties stages 11 -14

As some followers remarked on earlier postings, my selection of past photos on different walk stages has given me a chance to ‘relive’ the experiences. Here are some favourites from the last 4 stages of my walk along the Derwent River.

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I love the Hobart wharf area with its crab and other fishing vessels.

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I love the pretty 19th century buildings lining Hunter St, one of the first settled areas in Hobart.

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I love the drama of the Federation Concert Hall where the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra presents great performances.

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No water is spared. The Parliamentary gardens are always lush and green.

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I love the juxtaposition of the old and new: at Wrest Point Casino; at Lower Sandy Bay’s Blinking Billy against new modern houses.

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Fresh beaches. Serenity.

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Public sculpture.

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Coastal walking tracks.

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Great signage

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The heritage listed Shot Tower near Taroona

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A rough bark and branch ‘hut’ near a track. Shelter from any rain?

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Natural rock caves

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Dramatic viewpoints

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The sun. The reflections.

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Looking at, listening to, smelling the bush.

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And I appreciate the glories of introduced trees and man-made vistas.

Collectively these images provide a reminder of what sits beside the Derwent River as it flows from New Norfolk to its mouth.

Picnic on Hinsby Beach

Local Hobart followers have, from time to time, been fascinated by the new places discovered on various Stages of my walks along the Derwent River.  A number of followers fell in love with my description and photos of Hinsby Beach, a beach which I like many others had not previously known existed.

Recently a group of us made our way to Hinsby Beach for a picnic. This was not a normal bus connected walk; rather I sat in the luxury of a car as we travelled to our destination. We parked at the bottom end of Hinsby St which drops down from the main road in the suburb of Taroona. Then, with small backpacks and an esky, we strolled down the tree-lined bitumen track to the beach.  This short track is enticing because, from Hinsby St a circular shape of light can be seen at the bottom end and the picture you see is a small arc of sand and waves spreading up and down.  Seductive.

Rugs were spread out over the sand. Food was spread out. Drinks were shared.  Stories were told. Laughter wove its way around us.

For a short period after we arrived, we ‘owned the beach’. Then couples strolled down, swimmers dashed into the wavy water, and kids of various ages enjoyed their own space at different points along the sand.  We felt we had all the space in the world.  A big sky. An expansive Derwent River.  Deep clean pale yellow sand. Despite clouds crossing the sky, the temperature wasn’t cold.

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Being on Hinsby Beach brought back all the memories of the day I discovered this wonderful hideaway at the end of Stage 11, and then I remembered the day I started off at Hinsby Beach and clambered around over the Alum Cliffs before finding the official track on Stage 12. Before leaving the beach we walked to the southern end and found the correct track a few metres to the left of the track ascending from wooden stairs, which I took and led me to an awkward gully crossing,being on private property and fence hopping to get back onto the ‘real’ path.  Where are the signs?  Kingborough Council, can you please make it clear which track to take?

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My photos make the beach seem gloomy but I remember the picnic experience was bright. It was a wonderful way to end my birthday celebrations which had spread over a couple of weeks.  Thanks Fe for organising the day.

Finally I reached the mouth of the Derwent River on the western shore at Pearsons Point

The goal of walking along the western shore of the Derwent River was to reach the mouth and during Stage 13 I reached this destination marked by Pearsons Point.

Before then at 10.44am I walked past a turn off: Mt Louis Road. There was a lump up in the sky on my right.  Maybe another time it might be pleasant to see what is up there and to look at the view – which is probably a spectacular 360 degree outlook along the Derwent River, the D’entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island.

As I panted up the final hill, I heard the thwack of balls and realised the fencing I could see in the distance amounted to a tennis court.  A tennis court!  Ye gods! Out here in the bush and miles from anywhere?  Yes it was.  Two women were slamming the balls up and down the court.  Their two cars were the only vehicles in sight.

10.52am: I reached the Pearsons Point Reserve and was feeling rather chuffed.

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I wandered around the site which included a disused gun emplacement and a couple of large historic cannons.  Guess Pearsons Point would have been the first line of defence against any Russian threat (which seemed to be the main thought through the 19th century).

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Note: the bump behind the gun emplacement and tennis court is Mt Louis. A large white edifice on the end of the Point (on the other side of the cannon) appeared to be a marine navigation beacon.

In front of me to the right hand side of the Point, the D’entrecasteaux Channel separated the mainland of Tasmania from Bruny Island (famous for its fresh produce such as cheeses, smoked fish and meats, berries, premium wines, and local oysters).

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I was very surprised how close Bruny Island (Dennes Point) was to this part of Tasmania’s mainland.  So close.  So accessible.  And its green hills and the white sandy Jetty Beach were most attractive.

On the other side of Pearsons Point to my left, the Derwent River flowed out to Storm Bay and then onto the ocean. I could see the Iron Pot and Cape Direction at the southern tip of the South Arm peninsula on the eastern shore of the River.

I found a pleasant picnic table and at 11am ate half my lunch under a small cluster of gum trees hoping no branches would be shed on my head.  Feeling on top of the world. The sun was out and the tiniest of breezes moved through the area.  Past the trees I could see motoring boats leaving white streams behind them as they sliced through the River. I looked back northwards to the Alum Cliffs between Taroona and Kingston.

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With a little sadness I left Pearsons Point at 11.25am.

By 12.40pm I was passing the Hidden Cove turnoff, at 1.05pm I reached the Fossil Cove Drive junction, at 1.25pm I walked across the intersection with Treatment Plant Road, and at 1.30 I stopped for a moment at Suncoast Drive.  I looked at the one bus stop (there wasn’t a pair one either side of the road) and it did not have a timetable attached to the post, so I continued walking to Wells Parade.  I had been told this was a long road, and now I know it is.

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I stopped and waited for a bus which didn’t come (the first in my entire travels) and left and walked up and down and up and downhill until eventually I was back parallel to the Blackmans Bay Beach.  I sat for a while at the beach soaking in the atmosphere, smelling the salt, and relishing the fact my feet were having a rest.  When the time came (according to my bus timetable), I walked to the bus stop where I had alighted hours earlier in the morning, and before long Metro bus number 85 arrived.  After passing via the Suncoast Drive bus stop that I had looked at earlier in the afternoon on arrival back in Blackmans Bay, Maranoa Heights, other suburbs, and Kingston, I was back in Hobart city by 4pm feeling elated.  Stage 13 was over.

The land begins to open, making possible expansive views across the Derwent River.

Every so often, along Tinderbox Road, a cluster of a few properties on 5 acres or so of land each would appear after a kilometre or so of the densely bush environment.

The closer I walked to Pearsons Point the more likely that Tinderbox Road was close to the River or I could see more of the River.  Around 10.20am, while on a long and winding road (on which I considered breaking out into one of the Beatles favourite songs) which undulated so that I was walking uphill then downhill seemingly repeating this process ad nauseum, I was stopped by the beauty of a rose bush in its glorious rose hips stage. I took photographs at that point and in a number of roadside places in the following kilometres.

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In the distance after climbing one hill, I looked back northwards to Lucas Point behind the steep rock edged bay of ‘Fishermans Haul’ (see photo below).

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In the photo above, the far distant hill on the left is the Alum Cliffs between Taroona and Kingston.  It gives you an idea of the distance covered in these walks.  The other land is on the eastern shore of the Derwent River.

A little further along I was looking down on a disused farmhouse at what I believe was Passage Point.  The photo below shows (green plastic protective shelters around new plants) new trees have been planted in the paddock. I saw such revegetation practices on a number of properties throughout the day.

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Another photo looks across the Derwent River to the southern tip of the South Arm peninsula. The glistening white buildings are those of the Fort Direction defence services complex which I passed through on Stage 1 of my walk along the Derwent River.

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The Shot Tower, Taroona, Tasmania

Was someone shot here?  Was gunshot made here? What is the story of Taroona’s Shot Tower?

The website http://taroona.tas.au/shot-tower provides the full and correct name of what I visited on Stage 12 of my walk: Joseph Moir’s Shot Tower.

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Another website http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=2820, explains “Joseph Moir’s factory, which operated for 35 years from 1870, manufactured lead shot for contemporary muzzle loading sports guns.”  This second website offers background information about Moir: a Scot, he arrived in Van Diemens Land as a free settler in 1829. Details and photographs of some buildings, the choice of the site, the manufacturing process and Moir’s burial are all covered on this website for those who are interested to know more.

The man seems to have been both industrious and enterprising. Wikipedia claims he “issued tokens in his own name during a currency shortage in the colony”.  The Museum of Victoria (http://museumvictoria.com.au/collections/themes/2164/joseph-moir-ironmonger-1809-1874) confirms this story and offers more detail.

In relation to shot towers generally, the first one in history was created in 1783 in England, not many years before Moir was born and emigrated half way around the world. The early process involved molten metal being dropped from a great height in order to turn it into spherical shapes, and letting it land in a pool of water which cooled the metal.  Late in the 19th century, a wind method (short fall and blast of cool air) replaced the long drop and water method.

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Starting out from Hinsby Beach and walking south to Wandella Avenue – Stage 12

I left home in Bellerive on the eastern shore of the Derwent River before 7am while the morning was cool and the light was soft grey. By the time my bus into Hobart city was travelling over the Tasman Bridge, the sun had hit the top of Mount Wellington, the sky was blue, and the day promised to be sensational.   The dramatic circus tent on the Queens Domain was being dismantled. People on the bus seemed to be dozing. Yet outside the bus, I wondered at the stunning crispness of shadows and sunlight causing windows to sparkle.  The look of the day made me feel like I was sparkling.  But my eyes were wide open.  Waiting at the bus stop at Franklin Square for a bus headed towards Kingston but passing through Taroona,  all I could think was ‘glorious, glorious, glorious’.

With few people on board, the trip to bus stop 30 in Taroona (the one where I finished in Stage 11) only took 22 minutes and then I was out in the fresh air on the Channel Highway at 7.52am. Gulls calling. Gardens were flush with sunflowers, roses, agapanthus, wandering pumpkin plants, lavenders of all types, and flowering gum trees.  All overlaid by the sounds of bush birds flitting here and there.

By 7.58am I had walked down Hinsby Street and reached the top of the walkway leading to the Hinsby Beach.  I could hear the shushing of the soft waves along the beach and glimpse a tiny bit of water at the end of the shady path.

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I could see the Alum Cliffs through the trees.

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A swimmer was leaving the water as I clicked a photograph. When I registered his angry body language, I realised I had been feeling the place without really seeing.  Of course my finger on the tablet’s camera clicked mechanically without seeing or feeling – but featuring photographs with him was not to his liking. I immediately claimed to be photographing the Alum Cliffs at the end of the beach and promised not to blog his picture.

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I guess the swimmer was not used to sharing the beach with anybody else that early and could only repeat rather manically, ‘you must come in’, ‘you must come in’ as he gesticulated towards the water.  I was thickly dressed from neck to toe and already wearing my sun hat.  ‘Going in’ was not in my plan.  I continued along the beach. A little later on a path, I took the following photo – I hope you can understand that getting undressed would never have been an option.

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At 8.05am, at the end of Hinsby Beach, I looked back for one last sea-level view of Hinsby Beach.

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I reached a stairway with rails and walked uphill until I seemed not to be on a clear track.

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When you read further below you will realise the photo above does not show the start of the track which I should have taken.

Very soon I arrived at a gully with a small trickle of water passing downhill. I chose not to cross by balancing as a gymnast on the dead tree trunks that criss-crossed it. Instead I simply walked easily down, stepped across a few rocks and walked up the other side.  Before long it was clear I was fenced in and that a proper dirt track passed on the other side of the fence. The fence was elastic so I swayed over it rather dramatically without falling off and down the cliff on the other side of the track. When I righted myself and looked back along the track which I hadn’t known existed, three women and a dog stood very still, their mouths agape. ‘Are you alright?’ they chorused. ‘Yes’, I assured them as I smiled.  Some moments I wonder if I am losing my once good judgement.  ‘But where have you come from?’ I asked with a puzzled wrinkling of my forehead. ‘Where did you find this track?’  Apparently, if I had bypassed the stairs and track I had chosen and walked around over the rocks of Hinsby Beach a little further, the real track started there.  Time for the installation of a few signs!

This ‘new’ track was fine.

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Although there were occasional diversions across the track.

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The view back towards Hinsby Beach was clear.

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The time was 8.22am as I offloaded my jacket, smeared sunscreen across exposed parts of my body and continued walking along the track until it extended up into a suburban street.  At 8.25am I turned left into Wandella Ave, wandered along past houses for a while, could not see any further tracks back to the Alum Cliffs, talked to a local who did not think there was one and recommended that I should walk up to the Channel Highway and continue southwards on that road.

Not to be defeated, I retraced my steps down the original pathway until I discerned an old disused track that seemed to continue along the Cliffs.  I walked it but casual inexperienced walkers and those walking alone absolutely should not. Incredibly unsafe in just about every way.  I didn’t fall nor receive injuries but there were so many ways and places I could have damaged or killed myself on that route.  I won’t relay all the details of that walk except to say that the views across the Derwent River though the trees were grand. Blue Wrens darted around me through the bush. Waves pounded against the Cliffs, and I could hear the roar of waves crashing on distant beaches.  Because photographs flatten the vistas, the ones I have taken do not present the feeling of isolation, steepness nor roughness of this non-track.  But it was incredibly beautiful and I am glad to have seen that landscape.

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I started this diversion at 8.37am. After following a collapsing path (although parts were good), I managed a deep descent into and an ascent out of an unnamed gully by 9.12am, rounded an extensive private house, talked with the house owner about the future of tracks along the Alum Cliffs and the non-availability of any tracks passing his house (which stood on the very edge of the Cliff) around 9.25am, and walked down and around the very long winding private driveway over a trickling creek, I reached suburbia again at 9.35am – the same point on Wandella Ave I had been earlier in the morning. I had completed a loop. Certainly I had been close to the Derwent River more than most but I had not advanced along the River.

The first photo below shows the house I climbed up to on top of the cliff after descending into a gully, the waters of which plunged over a rocky edge to the River.

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I recommend that all evidence of the existence of the disused track should be eliminated.