Meeting up at Bob's place at about 9.30am were Bob (of course), Di, Robert, Wayne, Julie, Gary, Sophie, Austin, Lyn, Catherine and Peter. Several of us were feeling a bit flat, no doubt because we hadn't done a walk for a while! Our convoy drove to the end of Estuary Drive on Tinderbox Hill.
We probably set off at about 10am. The track was firm, dry and pleasant, through dry schlerophyll bushland, initially passing a couple of houses and then following the ridgeline at a fairly steady slight incline. The time for the walk was estimated at 1.5 hours return.
The walking was easy enough that we could do a lot of catching up with each other's news and a bit of gossip, which was great.
The open bushland seemed to be in good condition and the views were good, over the Derwent on the north side to South Arm:
and to the south over Margate. Apparently the forty-spotted pardalote lives on Tinderbox, and there were certainly lots of birds around. But we were perplexed when we came across a Council sign saying that no-one was to proceed beyond this point as it was private property from here on. We didn't seem to be at the promised Lookout and the track stretched out ahead. What the hell!? There was a bit of milling around at this point.
Some of us ventured on to the next rise, but we are all such law-abiding citizens that we felt we shouldn't go further. We turned around and headed back down the hill. Just before we reached the road we spotted a very professional looking wildlife protection system around a thriving vegie patch, which Lyn, Sophie and Austin took great interest in.
It was about 11.30am when we regrouped at the cars and drove down and around the hill to Fossil Cove Rd. The walking track to Fossil Cove is estimated at 30 minutes return.
The track started out very dry but became noticeably greener and damper as we descended through a steep gully towards the river. The beach at Fossil Cove is a gem, secluded and a great spot for snorkelling in the kelp forests. There are views across to South Arm and Oppossum Bay, and down the river to the Iron Pot lighthouse. At low tide, you can walk through a large rock archway on the left side to an even more secluded little beach. Sadly, we were there at high tide.
It was a great spot for a beach picnic, and we spread our 21st century bodies and lunches over the ancient split and layered mudstone rock platform.
Robert took this beautiful panoramic shot:
There were lots of fossils, of course!
There seemed to be more steps going back up the hill than there had been on the way down. But we made it. Another lovely outing with friends, a great cure for tiredness and low moods. Thank you everyone.