May 2022 - Blessington Track, South Arm

Many of us had missed previous visits along this 8.6km (return) riverside trail to Fort Direction, so this was a great opportunity to try again. Gary organised us, a group of eight today: Gary, Bob, Wayne, Gerwyn, Di, Summa, Angie and Fin. Our first meeting point was the Foreshore Tavern at Lauderdale, about 20 minutes drive from the CBD. Here we did a minor reshuffle and continued on to the "emergency parking" area next to the war memorial obelisk at South Arm (you can't miss it!).
We'd scored a beautiful crisp sunny day, perfect for a walk. We set off along Jetty Road and almost immediately took the high road, where we saw this sign :) so we knew we were on the right track.
It was blissful walking along the quiet dirt trail just above the river, checking out the variety in the houses of the locals along the way. There are several other access points along here if you needed to shorten the walk a little.
We enjoyed fabulous water views of Bruny Island, The Channel, and Tinderbox.
There is a lovely little beach to walk along.
Our first snack stop was here :)
Up above is the establishment of Fort Direction, an army defence post.
The track leads you around the perimeter of Fort Direction, and on the first headland we found a scion of the famous Lone Pine -looking healthy, well protected and enjoying excellent views to the south.
LOL, the accompanying interpretative plaque generated more heat than light amongst our group!
Then it was down onto another nice little beach and at the other end a bit of a scramble through a penguin rookery. We were nearly there.
Finally we were at the point, Cape Direction, where we stopped for lunch and to take in the fantastic views.
To the east was Betsey Island and the infamous Black Jack Rocks. Immediately to the south, Iron Pot Lighthouse, and then Bruny Island. Westwards was Tinderbox.
Then we wound our way back again. Regrouping at the vehicles, our records showed that the walking time had been 1.5 hours, but somehow we had spent about the same amount of time stopped (for snacking, admiring and debating, perhaps). Anyhow we all agreed it had been just right - not too long, not too hilly, and great scenery. Some of us headed home and the remaining five looked for a coffee shop. The local cafe (Touch of the MO) had just closed (at 2pm), so we tried out TCM market in Lauderdale. The service was fast, the coffee OK, the musak pretty awful :).