March 2015 - Mount Direction

Di, Robert, Kat, Philip, James, Austin, Wayne and George set out on this walk which is very close to Hobart (so why haven't we done it before?). We were planning to follow the directions in "100 Walks in Tasmania" by Tyrone Thomas and Andrew Close (but ended up with a few variations).

We met in the carpark for Risdon Dam at 9.45am - gee it was busy at the Dam, with walkers, runners and radio-controlled yachties galore.  We set off in a clockwise direction around the reservoir, over the dam wall and along the circuit loop, in pleasant (if overcast) weather.

Our first deviation from the plan was to head left at the first creek crossing, where a nice little track with a walker's gate beckoned to us.

The track was along a firetrail and fairly level at this stage.  It runs through pretty and fairly sparse eucalypt forest on dry slopes.  We surprised a group of Forester Kangaroos:

After this we got a bit confused, not quite sure where we were on the map.

We headed up the hill too early, and had to return to the firetrail, before eventually meeting up with the track which came up off the reservoir loop.   Back on track again, we found ourselves heading uphill, and when we turned left up to Mt Direction

  the trail got quite steep:

Thankfully the track levelled off a little just before the actual summit, and there were excellent views to the north:

The summit is a rocky knob with a large rock cairn and an emergency radio transmission station.  Here we stopped for refreshments (at around 11.45am).

There are some limited views to the south, down the river, from an outcrop just south of the summit,

but much better views are to be had from a spot from the west of the summit.  Robert had noticed a series of little cairns heading in that direction:

Looking south from Mt Direction

This lookout spot is actually as per the map above, we'll all have to check this spot out next time!

When we eventually headed back down, Wayne led some of us off to the right, leaving the track from roughly where the red arrow is on the map above.  This leads southwards along the ridgeline to near the 400m contour as marked on the map, which is another good spot for a lookout over Nyrstar and the river.  There is a small cairn there to mark the spot.

The group re-formed again down the track, and we made good time on the downhill stretch (with some trouble to older knees).  We soon reached the reservoir loop again.  With Kat and Philip taking the shorter route (1.9km) back to the carpark, the rest of us continued clockwise around the loop (2.1km).  It was a pleasant stroll, and we all got back to the carpark before 2pm.  

Then it was a short drive to our coffee stop at The Aproneers in Lindisfarne, where Lyn joined us to catch up before her big trip to Spain to do the Camino.


February 2015 - Marion Bay

This was to be a leisurely walk along the beach at Marion Bay, and it was a lovely day for Philip, Kat, James, Di, Robert, Sophie, Austin, Caroline, Julie, Bob and Lyn.

Here are Philip's instructions for getting to the Marion Bay carpark:
Drive from Hobart to Sorell.  From Sorell take the Arthur Highway (A9) to Copping.
Turn left at Copping on the Marion Bay/Bream Creek Rd (C337).
After a while this road turns rough, goes downhill, and comes to a Y junction.
Take left fork and proceed over wetlands - CAUTION - one way, narrow rough road.
Go through Marion Bay township - carpark is at the end of the road - toilets here.
Best walking access to beach (avoiding the impassable deep lagoon!) is next to Wetlands info sign.

It takes about 45min to one hour to get to Marion Bay from Hobart.  We collected in the carpark and headed off at about 10am.

We walked to the right (southwards) along the firm sand of this beautiful beach, doing more chatting than beachcombing as we strolled.


At the inlet to the lagoon we continued around the sand spit and perched on a small bank, out of the wind, for a snack on the edge of the lagoon.  A couple of brave ones went for a swim.

Then we wandered on around the Long Spit Nature Reserve, admiring the samphire (and not admiring the evidence of people driving illegally on the sand).

Although it was only a couple of hours, it felt like quite a distance, probably because of walking on the sand, which can be a bit tiring.

Back at the carpark, we set off again to our lunch destination!  We took the left fork on the way out (Bay Rd C337)) which is a short cut to Dunalley. At Dunalley, we turned left over the bridge, and turned left after about 1km, to the Bangor Wine and Oyster Shed.  This new winebar and restaurant is perfectly located and a great spot for post-walk wine and seafood.