Tag Archives: Wrest Point

From Sandy Bay to Lower Sandy Bay on Stage 11 of my walk along the Derwent River

After Maning Ave Reserve I continued walking along Sandy Bay Road and used every opportunity to glimpse the Derwent River down the driveways of large houses with expensive River frontage.

By 9.10am I reached the Red Chapel Reserve. Red Chapel Ave is one of Hobart’s well-known streets extending up the hill and connecting to other main streets but I had never known, until this walk, where the name came from. I wonder how many Hobartians know the source. Of course the source turned out to be so obvious once I knew and used my eyes. It was named after the red coloured chapel of the 20thcentury St Stephens Anglican church that was built on the River side of the Road next to the Reserve and opposite the uphill Avenue.  What can be said about the impoverishment of imagination? Refer to https://stainedglassaustralia.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/1914-st-stephens-anglican-church-lower-sandy-bay-tasmania/ for some glorious images. The photo below is courtesy ofhttp://www.anglicantas.org.au/parishes/?item=37

St Stephens Church

A minute or so further down the road and on the right was the highly esteemed Lipscombe Larder on the corner of … Lipscombe Ave.  Where else would it be?

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In addition to all its tasty delicatessen products and wines, this food paradise also sells exquisite cakes: refer to http://lipscombelarder.com.au/  for images.

At some stage during my walk in this suburb, I realised that no one was walking a mongrel dog. At the end of leads were expensive pedigreed dogs.  Certainly their owners seemed happy.

Before long, a set of steep stairs attracted my attention on the left. These were for public access to Nutgrove Beach. As I approached the Beach I was staggered by the size of an old pear tree on the dune edge, and loved the pigface plant which carpeted the area either side of the pathway. I was on the beach at 9.20am and turned right to walk southwards.

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Behind low sand dunes on my right, the roofs and second storeys of beach front houses were visible. At 9.23am, I passed public toilets almost hidden under a large pine tree, and by 9.30 I reached a corner of the beach with the Sandy Bay Sailing Club located up in the dunes.

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Moments later I turned the corner and was no longer able to look back at Wrest Point and Battery Point in the distance.

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I continued on a pathway over the shore and over the dunes some of which would be impassable at high tide without getting wet feet. Some of the rocks were unstable underfoot presenting the risk of a turned ankle or knee. Nutgrove Beach had been a simple delight, and before long I was on an easy, vegetated, and shaded walking track to Long Beach at Lower Sandy Bay. Then I arrived.

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Back out into the open by 9.35am, I could see public toilets nearby, and by looking across the Derwent River to the eastern shore, the yellow strips of Bellerive and Howrah Beaches (on which I walked in an early stage of my walk) were visible.

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I had been walking for over two hours so sat for a while in the gorgeous sun, watched the tiny waves rippling fluidly and regularly, stared at two fishing boats motoring out of the Derwent Harbour, listened to kids’ riotous laughter in a kids’ playground nearby, and then stood up and got going again at 9.50am.

I was delighted to discover Stephen Walker’s huge many part bronze sculpture, Tidal Pools, with its inbuilt water feature at Long Beach in Lower Sandy Bay.

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The remarkable 86 year old Tasmanian artist died only about 7 months ago leaving a great many large scale works around Tasmania and other parts of Australia, such as his Tank Stream Fountain (1981), near Circular Quay in Sydney. In the 1950s, Stephen Walker studied under the celebrated sculptor Englishman Henry Moore. Apparently Walker continued his bronze casting work well into his 70s using his foundry underneath the house.

Five minutes of walking the developed walkways of Long Beach brought me to a cul-de-sac with its carpark full of vehicles.  Further along that loop off Beach Road were bakeries, cafes, restaurants, etc.

In the right place at the right time watching the Derwent River

From my front windows I can look down the Derwent River, and when I am lucky, over the curve of Bellerive Bluff sloping into the water I can see tall masts suddenly appearing.  If I wait a few moments, the sails become visible and then the entire yacht sails into view, trying to fly to the finish line of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

Last night, my mind was full of stories and ideas. Earlier in the day I had relaxed in the large chairs within the Gold Class at the cinema courtesy of a friend, and been moved strongly by Russell Crowe’s new movie The Water Diviner.  We were both very impressed by the movie and were thrown into thinking and talking about World Wars, and the futility of lost lives and the consequences for families. Then later, once back at home, I finished reading our Tasmania’s Richard Flanagan’s Booker Prize winning novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Until then I had never truly felt the situation for our Prisoner of War soldiers forced by the Japanese army to build the Thai-Burma railway.  It is an extraordinary story, which made me feel quite breathless with despair about how different cultural values and beliefs can neutralise or destroy the natural talents of men.

So with two war stories swirling in my head, I dozed. When I woke from a half sleep at 2.20am I thought not of mud and death rather of water and the achievement of goals.

I ambled to my front windows and was brought wide awake. As I stood looking onto the dark Derwent River with the lights of streets, buildings and Wrest Point Hotel marking the western shore line, I realised something tall was slipping along behind Bellerive Bluff.  Within seconds the tall mast was momentarily blocking my view of bits of light on the other shore.  Before long the supermaxi was entirely in view and charging towards the finish line. I was surprised at its speed. Majestic. This morning, after checking the race standings, I now know I watched the third boat to arrive, Ragamuffin100.

Today’s arriving yachts have not been so lucky with the wind once they have come into my view. It’s almost as if once they pass Bellerive Bluff, the wind stalls.  I have watched yachts tacking across trying to make the most of a fickle breeze. Sometimes one almost passes another which had been way ahead.  It’s a beautiful clear morning in Hobart, and the surface of the Derwent River seems to be without a ruffle, but I doubt if any of the crew are thinking about that as they try to cover the last kilometre or so and improve their race standing and time.