On a day that threatened "rain falling as snow", we were really lucky to enjoy a sunny (but still cold) winter's day for this walk. The Bicentennial Walk is a treat, taking advantage of the (thankfully) preserved skyline reserves above Sandy Bay. There were 9 of us - Di, Robert, Bob, Kat, Philip, Alison, Julia, and two visitors from Coonabarabaran, Noella and Kate. We did the car shuffle, leaving two cars at the ample carpark near Bus Stop 32 on the Channel Highway in Taroona, and driving to meet the others at the top of Lambert Ave, Sandy Bay.
We set off from the top of Lambert Ave at about 11.15am. The track leads first through the top end of Lambert Park, does a small dogleg to the right at Churchill Ave, then heads steadily up the hill towards the Mt Nelson Signal Station. It is a long and steady
climb through relatively dry open bushland, well documented in the Hobart City Council's Bicentennial Park pamphlet. The track is well graded and maintained, and we caught a terrific view back towards Mt Wellington which had a good covering of snow.
There are several other access points to the walk from the top of Sandy Bay streets. For an easier walk to the Signal Station, you can park at the top of Enterprise Street - the track from here on is fairly level and offers easy strolling. From the level top track along the ridge we enjoyed great views back towards the city over the Derwent.
By about 12.15 we were at the Signal Station Cafe, which was quite busy. No problem, we had a booking. As it was lunchtime, we tried out the menu - mushrooms with polenta, ricotta hotcakes, steak sandwiches, sweet potato and pear soup were yummy. And the coffee was good.
After a short stop to drink in the fantastic views over the lower Derwent,
the group divided, with Alison and Julia choosing to return to Sandy Bay on the Bicentennial track.
The rest of us took at look at the Truganini memorial and then headed down the track through Truganini
Reserve. This Reserve has a wetter microclimate than the Bicentennial track, being moister and thicker. Unfortunately the track was badly (i.e. not!) drained, the timber step edges and exposed roots on the path were slippery and the steps were irregular and often too high. Actually the track was a bit dangerous in terms of potential slips and (actual) damage to knees and hips - I feel a complaint to Council coming on! The bush was pretty though, and the segments running alongside Cartwright Creek are pleasant. This is a shorter and steeper descent from the ridge than the Bicentennial route, taking only about half an hour.