22 February 2013 - Gentle Annie Falls and Pipeline Track

Today Angie, Heather and I investigated the lower end of the Pipeline Track, starting from the upper carpark in the Waterworks Reserve. The full return walk, to Ferntree and back, would take about 2 hours, but we stopped a little early as Heather had to be back at a certain time.
From 'Hobart Walks' booklet
There is a noisy colony of dozens of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos roosting in the trees at the entrance to the Waterworks.  We met at the carpark above the upper reservoir, near the interpretation cabin and Site 9.  The track isn't exactly signposted, but you head straight up the hill on a dirt track towards Gentle Annie Falls.  Now Gentle Annie Falls does not actually contain any water, it is a historical manmade sluice cut by hand by convicts out of the sandstone to carry the water that came down the stone pipeline.  'Hobart Walks' states that it does in fact carry water after heavy rain, that would be worth seeing.

It is incredible to imagine the hard manual labour that would have been involved in cutting the channel and the chiselled ledges, and the site is definitely worth seeing.

It is a steep climb up the side of the Falls (there are carefully hewn stone steps alongside it), but the reward is a nice view back down over the reservoirs once at the top.
From here on the Pipeline Track is a comfortable walk through light bushland along the route of the pipeline towards the Mountain. The track rises to McDermotts Saddle, where you pass the site of McDermott's Farm.  From here to Halls Saddle at Chimney Pot Hill Rd the track is almost level and is very easy walking.   We passed an original stone house (for a Sluice gate operator),
and there are intermittent views of the flank of Mt Wellington along the way.  The track meets Chimney Pot Hill Rd at its junction with Huon Rd, and continues across on the other side.  After another 10 minutes we found the first of the old stone aqueducts.
This is where we turned back, and this return circuit took us 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Angie and I had ridden our bikes there, so we added the ride to our feel-good endorphins tally :)

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