Tag Archives: Wells Parade

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.

Starting out from Blackmans Bay on Stage 13

Once I was off the bus at Blackmans Bay, the Kookaburras started laughing at me  (again like at the beginning of Stage 12). Ha. Ha. Ha. H.H.H. Ha. Ha. Haa. Was this an omen that I was about to do something foolish? My goal for Stage 13 was to walk to Fossil Cove, and then walk another day for a final stage to the mouth of the Derwent River at Pearson’s Point. If you have already read my posting on the 25 February then you know I reached Pearson’s Point.  Future postings will give more details about this change of mind and destination.

As I turned left from Wells Parade into Hazell St towards the Blackmans Bay Beach, a screech of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos circled overhead. I was on the beach at 7.45am. The water was calm and I looked over the Derwent River towards South Arm beach on the eastern shore.  The Iron Pot lighthouse on the rocky outcrop just offshore from Cape Direction, on the southern tip of the South Arm peninsula, seemed to stand up from the water like a fat thumb.  Back at Blackmans Bay Beach, the fresh sunny morning was complete with power walkers and dogs leading their owners on a walk. Public toilets are located half way along the Blackmans Bay Beach.  These are the last public toilets for anyone walking further south.

How fortunate Tasmanians are to have morning views along beaches such as that at Blackmans Bay.

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I turned southwards and at 7.51am had reached a tiny yellow sign on a post indicating the Suncoast Headlands Walking Track was ahead. A few minutes later I reached the main sign.

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This sign was accompanied by another nearby.

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I followed the good wide dirt track and initially thought how easy it would be for Mums with prams or people in wheelchairs to follow this path. But not so. Not much further along, I needed to climb rough dirt and log stairs and I encountered such interruptions to a smooth walk a number of times.  There were occasional splits in the track without signage, so it is possible to walk a little way off the main track before you realise what is happening.

How gorgeous the morning was.  For example, the photo below is looking back to Blackmans Bay Beach.

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In the photo below, the rocky outcrop at the far end of the beach is where the Blackmans Bay Blowhole is located (my Stage 12 walk there was described in Nudging my way into Blackmans Bay on Stage 12 of my walk along the Derwent River).

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Before my walk along the Derwent River last Tuesday

As my bus from home into Hobart city passed over the Tasman Bridge before 7am, I looked down onto a dozen or so rowing boats slipping along the Derwent River. The wedges that their passing craft made were the only patterns on the still surface of the River.

The morning was suffused with golden light forewarning the rise of the sun over the hills.  The few wisps of cloud in an otherwise blue sky were coloured silvery pink.  The temperature was a brisk 8 degrees, but I felt clean and alive prompted by such a vital looking day.

Once in the city, I walked to Franklin Square ready to wait for the next bus to Blackmans Bay, my starting point for Stage 13. While waiting, I walked through the park and admired the grand symmetrical fountain splashes around a large bronze sculpture of the eminent 19th century Rear Admiral Sir John Franklin.  Overhead, I watched a squawk of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos, with their wings lit by the first rays of sunshine, flying as a family.  Street cleaners were clearing rubbish bins and pathway surfaces.  Very few other people were out and about in the centre of the city (people were being active in the suburbs before commuting to work in the city a while later).

The large public chess set had been set out and was ready for play.

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As the sun struck the Treasury buildings at one end of Franklin Square park, clusters of fat seagulls (Silver Gulls) were nipping at early rising insects across the grass lawns.

Metro bus number 84 departed at 7.17am. By 7.33am we had climbed up and travelled along the Southern Outlet and were passing through Kingston. This gave me a clear cut side view of majestic Mount Wellington.  Every rock was hard edge and clear. The air was so clean.

At 7.41am I stepped off the bus at Wells Parade in Blackmans Bay, the location where I had finished Stage 12 of my walk.  The final walk to the mouth of the Derwent River was about to begin.

Blackberry pie for dinner tonight?

During the Stage 13 walk, I noticed blackberry canes running wild and plump with glistening black berries.  Fruiting blackberries grew rampant on the sides of the roads.  On my return trip to Blackmans Bay from Pearson’s Point, I sampled the odd juicy berry; they were sufficiently sweet to enjoy but sufficiently tart to add sugar in the cooking if wished.

My thoughts flew to hot blackberry pies. I imagine as you read this that, if you have known such leasure, you are licking your lips and savouring the memories of their deliciousness.

As I walked, I considered how easy it would be to make a pie.

For Hobart locals, I thought you should buy a pack of frozen puff pastry on the way home from work or wherever.  Throw it into the fridge, grab your pie dish, jump in the car or take a bus then travel through Blackmans Bay and onto the Tinderbox Road.  When you have passed the intersections with Wells Parade and Suncoast Drive, the next road left is the Treatment Plant Road.  Drive/walk down this road until you reach the Dog Exercise Reserve.  Walk to the left of the enclosure just a few metres and all along the path are easily accessible blackberries ready to be picked.  Fill your pie dish. Alternatively you can continue driving up Tinderbox Road and stop wherever you see the multiglobes of these very ripe berries.

When you get back home, if you wish, sprinkle with sugar to taste.  Place a slab of puff pastry over the dish.  Make some fancy holes with the fork tines to let the steam rise away from the pie so the pastry becomes crisp, then place in a preheated oven and bake around 200 degrees until the puff pastry has risen and turned a golden colour.  I know some people eat their portion of blackberry pies neat, while others scoop icecream or pour cream over the dish.

Nowhere did the berry bushes seem as if they had been sprayed with pesticides. I talked with a local woman who was picking berries off the fence line at her property and she was confident none had been sprayed. I suffered no ill effects from eating them.

If you are a reader who has never seen a blackberry, here is a photo:

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Please tell me if you are now inspired to make a blackberry pie, if you live somewhere close to fruiting blackberry bushes.

Nudging into Blackmans Bay on Stage 12 of my walk along the Derwent River

At 3pm I turned left onto Roslyn Ave having walked up from Boronia Beach. Within 10 minutes I could see Blackmans Bay Beach.

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Five minutes later I turned left at Blowhole Road in search of a Blowhole. The road was narrow with no pathway and limited edges on which to walk.  Wattle trees were blooming and I passed an apple orchard laden with red globes. Flowering gums are spectacular at the moment.

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I reached the Blowhole sign, which indicated the entrance to a small park on a hill at the northern end of Blackmans Bay Beach, at 3.22 pm.

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The weather wasn’t gusty and so the water ebbed and flowed rhythmically but undramatically beneath a rock bridge. There was no blowing of water through the gap.

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I continued down hill.

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I reached beach level at 3.34pm and proceeded to walk on the path beside Ocean Esplanade. Inset into the pavement were handmade tiles and mosaics presumably made by community effort.  These were similar to those impressed into the footpath in parts of Kingston.

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A little way along the Esplanade public toilets and a kid’s playground provided useful amenities.

I decided to stop, look, listen and smell. Looking over the Derwent River to the South Arm peninsula and around about me watching people enjoying the beach and surrounds, listening to the seagulls calling, and smelling the salty air kept me seated for 10 minutes. I had walked two thirds of the way along Blackmans Bay Beach and it seemed a reasonable place to stop for Stage 12.  So I headed for  a bus stop.  I found one by turning into Hazell St and then into Wells Parade.  As I arrived at the stop, a Metro bus came over the hill in the distance.  Wonderful timing.  It was 4pm. The experiences of the day had been rich. I enjoyed the bus trip back into Hobart via the main Kingston shopping centre, and then the southern outlet highway. The view when we came to the top of the final hill is majestic (please ignore the dirty bus windows in the photos below).

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Some of Hobart and the eastern shore suburbs are laid out below with the blue Derwent River flowing between. Always stunning. After half an hour on the bus I arrived in Hobart city, then headed off for my Bellerive bus and was home before 5pm.  All together a brilliant day.  Stage 12 was complete!  Because of personal commitments and what I have seen in the weather forecast, I do not expect to walk Stage 13 until next week.