The photo shows water entering the Derwent Basin from Lake St Clair.
Despite my excitement when I reached the source of the Derwent River, I recognised there were some kilometres not yet walked or which had not had their stories told in posts on this blog. Despite earlier misgivings and qualms about walking some edges of the Derwent River, I renewed my commitment to complete 100% of the length from the mouth to the source, and to create a blog which tells the complete story. My future posts detail those ‘gap’ walks to the extent that I can, considering the confidentiality requirements of some landowners.
For blog followers who recently linked to my site for the first time, you may not be aware that in the earlier stages of this ‘Walking the Derwent’ project, my walks were sequential. That is, where I finished a walk I started the next walk. However, once I reached the town of Gretna, from then on as I walked inland, my walks occurred out of sequence depending on the weather, access to the land, and a driver to take me to the start of a walk or collect me from the end of a walk. I imagine for most of my blog readers it has been difficult in the past months to understand to understand how far away from Hobart or from Lake St Clair each walk has been. Once I have finished writing all the walk posts, I propose to create one post which describes the River in terms of moving from one end to the other sequentially. Hopefully this will clear up any confusions or uncertainties.
The first Tuesday in November is never a public holiday across Australia (although residents of the state of Victoria enjoy a day off) however it is the day when at 3pm, regardless of whether someone is at home, at work, or in the pub, they will be watching the Melbourne Cup.
I wondered whether I could find any connections between this world famous thoroughbred horse race (a 3,200 metre race for three-year-olds and over. It is the richest “two-mile” handicap in the world. One of the prizes is a large gold Cup) and my walk along the Derwent River.
I was pleased (and immensely surprised) to discover that the clean power generated by some of the waters from the upper reaches of our Derwent River has been supplied to the Victorian Racing Committee. The Melbourne Cup event and all others at Flemington are powered by our Derwent River. Amazing!
At best, the other connections are slim.
Currently Australia has a horse named Derwent which is racing today in Sydney, but this horse is not part of the Melbourne Spring horse racing carnival.
There are endless Melbourne Cup luncheons and parties in the Greater Hobart Area along the Derwent River including one at the Derwent Sailing Squadron.
Hobart’s main race course is at Elwick (Tasmanian Racing Club) in the northern suburbs with a view across the Derwent River: live races will be run there today and big screens have been set up around the facilities for racegoers to flock to and watch the Melbourne Cup mid-afternoon.
In early October the actual physical Emirates Melbourne Cup was brought to Tasmania to generate publicity for the great event today. I was surprised to read the following “The $185,000 Emirates Melbourne Cup came bitingly close to a Tasmanian Devil at the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park, found religion at Port Arthur Historic Site, took in the sights from the Tasmanian Air Adventures Seaplane and cruised the Derwent River with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys.” on the website http://southerntasmania.com.au/news/68/20/Cup-Fever-Hits-DST/. I guess I shouldn’t say “it’s only a cup for heaven’s sake!”
I walked for 3 hours and around 6 – 7 kilometres today. A comparatively short walk. But a walk of discovery of what not to do and what to do.
Approximately eleven kilometres of the Derwent River were walked on the South Arm Peninsula and today I covered a further 3 kilometres of the River’s length. So far, 15.5 kilometres of the 249 kilometres have been accounted for on the eastern side of the Derwent River. This includes the watery gap between Gellibrand Point and Trywork Point.
Note that there are no public toilets on this Trywork Point walk. There are no shops or other public facilities. Therefore it is important to take a supply of water, food, and a range of protective clothing for all weathers.
This is my pick of the photographs taken today – it looks marvellous as a screen saver. The tufty moving grasses contrasted against the soft clouds scudding across the blue sky.
If you choose to walk to Trywork Point, I recommend one starting point could be the pathway down from Vaughan Court (which runs off Oceana Drive to the right), and turn left at the bottom onto a grassy walking track. If my experience is a guide, you are likely to meet happy dogs and their owners enjoying a stroll along this route.
If you choose this route, I think you should allow at least 2 hours for a one way journey that has nil or minimal walking on the cattle tracks on private land.
This walk is not for everyone.
It requires specific equipment (supported walking boots) and a reasonable level of fitness, a tallish size and common sense. There are a number of dangers to be considered; the chance of rolling or spraining an ankle on the rolling rocks, the chance of injury on the slippery slopes where the needles from the Casuarina trees form a moving mat on the ground, and the surprising number of pieces of rusty fencing wire that pop up unexpectedly. In addition, if the herd of cattle was in the vicinity where you might be trying to edge along a cattle track, there might be some associated dangers. But above all, you are skirting around private land and that needs serious consideration. If you are not very tall, you may find some of the rock climbing to be unsafe and perhaps impossible.
Tomorrow, Thursday 4 September, I plan to walk a second stage of my foot journey along the eastern shore of the Derwent river. As with the first leg, I need to take Bus 640 that departs from the Hobart city bus mall at 8am and heads towards Opossum Bay. I will jump on the bus once it reaches the eastern shore and, as before, I know I must be patient because it will weave through the suburbs of Rokeby and Clarendon Vale before passing Lauderdale, Sandford and South Arm (details of these great locations are in the earlier postings related to the first stage of the walk). My bus destination is the Opossum Bay Shop. From there I will walk north to Gellibrand Point via beaches, roads and open landscape. I hope to be able to enjoy my pre-packed lunch sitting looking towards Mount Wellington before returning to the Driftwood Drive bus stop for my journey back towards Hobart. The morning low temperature is expected to be around 9 degrees when I arrive and rise to about 14 degrees around 1pm. The return bus leaves Opossum Bay at 2.02 so I hope it doesn’t rain before then. Keeping my fingers crossed!