I no longer believe that walking the Derwent River from the mouth to the source is possible as a normal public option. The reasons why others should not follow in my footsteps and expect to walk the length of the River include:
- Private landowners will not grant access permission to cross their land for a range of very sound reasons.
- There are no public pathways, roads or tracks near most of the River.
- Fences and gates make forward progress difficult or impossible.
Let me explain by focusing on the situation in one inland section.
The Derwent River winds around mostly cleared hills between Gretna and Lake Repulse Dam, and on two occasions its travel is impeded: by the Meadowbank and Cluny Dams. The Derwent between these two locations measures approximately 52 kms.
As a result of privileged access and after a series of recent walks, I have covered the majority of these kilometres, sometimes walking on one side of the River and sometimes on the other. I expect to finish this section by filling in the few small ‘gaps’ in the near future. Once the 52 kms are completed then I will add the details into my blog under USEFUL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. Weather (not snowing, raining, excessively windy or hot – I’m not fussy!) and the availability of chauffeurs will influence when and where I walk in the future.
Some of the many landowners along the way have granted me permission to walk on their land with the proviso that specific details which allow identification of them and their properties will not be provided. I understand the reasons for their positions and will not share the information. Unfortunately, so many of my glorious panoramic photos of the Derwent River feature rapids or other indicators such as hills, dramatic cliffs and distant properties which show the side of the River on which I walked. As such, these would help locate the properties on which I walked. Therefore, for the first time, I am disappointed to include only a couple of River shots in my blog posts.
Many blog followers have enjoyed the details of what I see and experience in each walk. Without providing identifying information, I will do my best to present some of the ‘flavour’ of the River between Gretna and Lake Repulse Dam in the next couple of blog posts.
Thanks to blog follower Jeanette, I was chauffeured to some starting points and collected from destinations in the section between Gretna and Lake Repulse Dam. In addition, she walked with me on one occasion. At the time we tried out hand-me-down walking poles (my doctor says they will support my knees) but since they were no longer collapsible, we soon discarded them. For blog followers wondering how my knees are holding up – very well, thank you. Now that I wrap and support them, walking has become so much easier.