Thursday, 27 October 2016

Oakdowns-Rokeby Outstanding Views 2016

Today Bob is taking us on a new walk at Rokeby. The weather is perfect, sunny and warm.

We park at the end of Princes Parade where Bob tells us the following about the walk.

1. No flowers - Botanists are disappointed
2. No wild life - Zoologists are disappointed
3. No ruins - Historians are disappointed
4. No bird life - Ornithologists are disappointed
5. Terrific views - Photographers are happy

We'll see, but in the meantime, off we go. We, naturally, are heading away from the hills we expect to climb. Our route winds up through the houses and finally to a dirt path.

There are a few paths between and behind the houses

We're heading for that dirt track at the end
Now we start up hill, but not before putting two of Bob's claims to rest.

No wildlife claim - WRONG

No ruins - WRONG
That's two down and we've only just started.

We're gaining height rapidly

This land has had lots done to it over the years

It may not be open and it may be blurred, but this is an orchid.  No flowers - WRONG
I'll declare No Birds to be - WRONG as we did see an eagle, but it was too far away for a decent photo. We continue up the old track until we reach a spot for Morning Tea.

The views are getting better

Looking back
We reach a clear area to find someone has been here before us.

Bob stands watch as Kate and Renata relive their childhood

From here we head up Stanfield Hill for the promised views.

This hill is covered with tussock grass
What can I say, the views are 360 degrees and fabulous. Bob was - RIGHT

Looking over Clarendon Vale

South over Acton

Single Hill and Acton

Roches Beach

 We've been up almost all of the nearby hills (and some farther away) on our walks.

Bob offers us an extension of the walk and asks if anyone would like to wait here. No one does of course so off we go.

We walk down and pick up another farm track towards another hill.

Scraggly shrub with some flowers

Well hung gate?
I don't know what kind of stock this gate is supposed to stop, something about 2 metres high without the ability to crouch. Several of our walkers easily made their way under it.

They have interesting gates up here
 We stop here, enjoy the view and head back.

On the way back to the top of the hill, Peter spots this spider in the tussocks. Difficult to photograph as it was moving all the time, the camera doesn't do justice to its green colour. It was almost fluorescent to the eye, as bright as a safety jacket. I haven't been able to identify it.

Green spider in the grass
We return to the phone tower and set off downhill in a slightly different direction.

We pick up another track as we get lower and look for a place for lunch. We soon find it just before we enter the trees again.

Back among the houses
We come to St. Matthew's Church which dates back to when this area was known as Clarence Plains. We have plenty of time and decide to have a look at the graveyard, which proves interesting. There are a number of people who arrived with the first fleet.

Many seemed to live to quite a good age. There was one gentleman who died in 1858 at the age of 102. He was a bit of a goer as his wife was almost half his age.

There was also a familiar name among the stones: Bjelke-Petersen.

Dates back to the 1820s

The one below is interesting as it dates to around 1831. I think it was convict carved;  one who could carve stone but not spell very well.

Random use of capital letters, the number '4' is reversed, he forgot to leave room for 'life' at the end of 'Departed this' and couldn't spell January.

These two stones were probably at either end of a vault
He got the word 'Life' in, but still reversed the '4' and misspelled 'January'. It's the thought that counts.

I won't go into the history of the area, there is plenty of information available online.

St. Matthews Church, Rokeby c. 1840
The church does have a fine pipe organ inside. It was built in 1824 for St. Davids in Hobart, but moved here in 1857 when Hobart got a new organ.

That's the hill we climbed
We are soon back at out cars.

Many of our walkers were/are keen bushwalkers and have acquired the best of equipment over the years. The photo below proves the point.

We had 13 walkers and covered 7.1km in 3:28hrs. A very good walk and Bob was true to his word re the quality of the views on top of Stanfield Hill.

Click here to download GPX file

Several of the walkers on the Mystery walk last week (Victors Garden) expressed interest in the Heritage inventories conducted by the Mount Wellington Trust. There are two volumes for the mountain and another just for the Springs. The web sites are below.

For the mountain

For the Springs

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