Friday, 7 October 2016

Howrah Beach – Waverly Flora Park Circuit 2016

Today we're back on the eastern shore on a walk from Howrah Beach up to Waverley Flora Reserve on Mornington Hill to wander around the various tracks and trails. Carol, who leads the Wednesday walkers in Kingston, is exercising her considerable herding skills to guide us.

We park at the end of Wentworth St. and set off along a footpath to the beach.

Setting off

Looking south on a beautiful day

Howrah Beach ahead

Once more onto a beach

Mt. Wellington

The tide was coming in
It was early enough that the dog walkers still owned the beach and there were many happy dogs swimming and digging in the sand.

I was almost taken out by a large, black, wet dog who ran into me on his way back to the water. Good thing Bob wasn't with us today.

Leaving the beach we make our way past Shoreline Shopping Centre and pick up a track that parallels the South Arm Highway to head towards Mornington Hill. The track leads to a wide bush area that passes behind houses.

An escapee from suburbia

Don't look now but we've lost a couple

We head up the track towards a Morning Tea spot. After the abundance of wild orchids at South Arm, many of us are on the lookout for any here.

Lots of these in various colours at the Morning Tea spot

Pretty, but I'm pretty sure they're blow-ins

There's a bit of cloud around

Only wildlife to be seen. A ....parrot

Young bracket fungus
Tea finished, we start up hill on a gentle climb.

We pass many of these lilies

In flower
We head around the hill on the northern side, passing more houses.

Just up ahead, I passed a lady walking her dog
She asked if I was "tail-end Charlie" as she had just passed the others. I said "No, just taking photos" to which she exclaimed, "They always leave the photographers behind!". Too true.

Looking across the Derwent to the northern suburbs

You can just make out the Tasman Bridge over the river
Ahead, Carol was standing next to the track pointing at something on the ground and shouting something about a "rock, rock!". Fearing she'd already suffered the consequences of guiding us, I moved quickly ahead.

Looking at it, it was indeed a rock and a very interesting one at that. Looking it up in David Leaman's book, 'Walk into History in Southern Tasmania', it appears to be, and I quote, "Elephant skin weathering in Triassic sandstone".

Elephant skin weathering
On we go, and I get a photo of a wild orchid in bloom.

For Bob
We come out onto Mercedes Place, walk a short distance and enter another track leading up.

Mercedes Place

Entering a new track
Carol's keeping a close eye on the group, before leading us up to an open space where she turns us loose to free range in search of orchids.

We may be allowed to roam but Carol has us firmly in her sights

Nice view of the eastern shore
 The white tower is Wrest Point Casino.

Yellow orchid
A bit better than my photo last week, the wind was blowing here and I braced it against my walking stick. Next time I'm ripping it out of the ground and taking it home to photograph it inside!

On we go, heading to the old quarry works.
Looking north

Peter points out something of interest on his left

Looking down at old quarry waste

The hills roll away in the distance

Quarry face of the old Pitfield Quarry
Most of the production was between 1860 and 1890. Stone went to some buildings in Hobart, Melbourne and some country estates.

View of Mt. Wellington with almost no houses showing

Heading down from the top of the hill

Looks a little confused here

It's alright though, they're hunting for orchids. They walk back up to join us heading for a lunch spot. On the way, Peter spots this just beside the track.

Another (and last) orchid

We come to another old quarry site, this one forms a nice pond.

On top of another quarry face

I'm being challenged to take a shortcut to reach the others

I was standing on that at the time
I said I had too much concern for the ecology of the pond below me. I didn't want to disturb any rare frogs or insects that made this their home. That's my story.

On our earlier forage for flowers, Carol missed the track leading down past this interesting old car
Now I'll have to wait for next time to get a decent picture.

On we go until we come to a track disappearing into the bush. I remember having lunch there before, it leads to a rock overlooking Howrah. Peter led the way.

Carol points out her house

It's a pleasant spot for lunch with room for all. I chose to sit on the side with a bush view for lunch.

Lunch view
Finished, we walk out. This had been another quarry and I see a faint track leading up to a Hobbit cave. Something to explore next time.

Hobbit cave

We head back, turn left and start the trek down. Old stone steps with drilling marks from the old workings, take us down to Waverley St. where we turn left again and find the start of a walkway between houses leading down to Wentworth Street and the cars.

Heading down

For some reason this group formed and maps were drawn from pockets
No idea why, we could throw stones at the nearest house so we're not lost.
Waverley Street turnoff

Between houses
Mornington Hill and Waverley Flora Park are very interesting places for plant variety and industrial archaeology. Many, many tracks you can explore, both marked and unmarked. It was a good day and Carol made it an enjoyable walk.

We had (I think) 13 walkers and covered 10.12km in 3:38hrs.

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