Last year the West Hobart Environment Network produced a map called Walking West Hobart, which shows a lot of the walking tracks through West Hobart and points out some of the features of interest in the suburb. I lived there many years ago and, although my main way of getting around in those days was on foot, I didn’t spend much time exploring the area.
So having looked at the map a few times and noticing things I probably should have known about back in the day, I decided to do some exploring for myself.
Last Friday I hiked up to Liverpool Crescent to find the steps that lead down to the Hobart Rivulet walking track.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do once I got down the hill. I could have headed back to town or kept going to Cascade Gardens. I decided on the second option. This is the area that I walked down from onto the track.
Whenever I go walking in a place like this, I love looking at the age-old rocks and imagining what it would have been like before the early settlers arrived. I felt very small (and this isn’t even a very big rockface).
I kept going along the track, past the Female Factory, which used to house convict women, through the Gardens to Cascade Brewery. (And no I didn’t go in.)
Cascade Gardens is a beautiful park. Other people would probably have sat for while and taken in some of the views and had a relax (I’m not sure if this is correct grammar, but it’s something I hear Juniordwarf say on occasion and I think it’s very sweet.)
I am not one of those people. When I’m out I need to be constantly on the move (in complete contrast to when I’m at home, where I need to be forced off the couch to get anything underway). I get bored sitting down. I can sit and write or read or have a coffee but once I’m done with that, I need to get up and go and explore. That particular insight came to me as I was walking through the garden. One voice said, ‘you’ve come all this way, shouldn’t you sit down for a few minutes and enjoy it?’ and the other one said, ‘but I am enjoying walking through. I don’t need to sit to enjoy it. Oooh, I wonder where this leads to . . . I wonder what’s over here . . .’
It’s hard to argue with that, so I won’t. It’s just an observation.
It’s also an interesting observation that when I’m out I can’t sit still and when I’m at home I can’t get moving. I think that’s a whole other issue.
But back to the adventure.
My return trip was, after a short detour where I randomly bumped into a friend and we had coffee, back down the Rivulet track towards the City. It comes out in a car park on Molle Street, at the top end of Collins Street. Along the way, there are some boards that explain some of the history of the area and show where some of the buildings used to be.
One of the reasons for locating Hobart where it is was due to the fresh water available from the rivulet. Once the area was industrialised, the water quickly got polluted, causing major health issues for the people living further downstream.
There’s very little left of the early factories in the area. The remains of a tannery are now proposed to be demolished. When I was visiting the Museum a couple of weeks ago I’d noticed a drawing by John Eldershaw of a mill in Gore Street in the 1930s, which is no longer there, but there is a residence called Milton, which I imagine had some connection to the mill.
It was a very enjoyable morning and the walk was really relaxing and easy. It was a nice way to end the week.