Friday, 10 March 2017

Canopus Hill 2017

This week we're walking to Suponac Hill near Cambridge. At least, this is what Bob told me. Trusting soul that I am, I took his word even when I couldn't find it on any map. I mean, it could be a local name for some hill.

This is my first week of being in charge, spending many late hours getting things together, ignoring pleas from wife and dogs to spend time with them, giving up meals and sleep. Imagine my surprise when Bob arrived the morning of the walk to call everyone together and confess. Knowing how I trust my maps Bob spelled the actual location backward! We're actually walking at Canopus Hill near Cambridge!

Well, I can take a joke as well as anyone and laughed it off. Unfortunately, I can also hold a grudge for years, as a kid who crossed me back in grade one found out recently. So Bob, never stop watching your back as I'll find a way to strike back someday!

Just kidding. Or am I?

Back to Canopus Hill where we park in Grahams Road and walk up to the end. This is a dead end road and you'd think traffic wouldn't be a problem. Well, as Peter commented, we could be walking in Macquarie St. with the number of cars and trucks forcing us into the ditches.

Before we started, Bob said we would walk up and back down before turning off onto what looks like someone's driveway, but isn't.

Another good sized group

Heading up Grahams Road

Our first local...

...and his friends
Looks a big breakfast

Properties here are on acreages

Looking back (that's my head)
Why is no one smiling? On we go. The top turns private behind a gate, so we retrace our steps to find the turn off Bob told us about.

We turn off onto the drive that isn't

Mt. Wellington. It's a bit overcast today
After a short walk up and around, we turn onto this overgrown track.

Heading bush
This is pleasant walking winding through open bush until we reach signs of civilization.

Looking back

That looks interesting. Secret government installation?
Hardly, it's the Canopus Hill Optical Observatory owned by the University of Tasmania.

Click Here to Find more about it 

As we near the buildings we can hear a rock breaker at work and see men and machines appearing to make a road. This is a surprise as the above wiki article says it's about to close and be moved to outside Jericho. Maybe it's going to become a new McDonald's.

 We have Morning Tea lined up along the fence before we set off again.

Morning Tea

This might belong to the Astronomical Society of Tasmania

I don't know what these two cylinders are, but I hope they were cheap
I say that because they appear to be still in what's left of their original shipping containers.

Break finished, we head off in several different directions, although not at once. I'll put an animated track at the bottom so you can have a look.

Through the bush

Styled after a native humpy, complete with traditional front mat

Looking at a map, I believe the road in the distance is Hobdens Road

We come out on Dexter Drive, but don't stay long before we re-enter the bush.

We only walked a few metres before going bush again

We follow Bob through the trees until we come to somewhere familiar.

We're back at the observatory, but on the other side

We walk around, observing the rock breaker at work and causing consternation among the workers who wonder why we keep coming back. We ignore them, turning off onto another dirt track heading down to another mystery.

Heading down

Mystery building

This appears to be disused and is a fair size. It does have power attached though. We're not sure if it has anything to do with the observatory a few hundred metres away.

Puzzled, we enter Canopus Road and continue downward. But not for long as part way down we turn off right onto a dirt track that turns into a large, unused dirt road.

Mt. Wellington

Heading down Canopus Rd.

Turning off
We follow this track for a while as it becomes wider and better built, but still unused. Along the way I spot several tracks leading off and we're puzzled that Bob bypasses them. Particularly, as they lead uphill!

Looking back

There are a few larger gums here

Looking across the valley. Little do I realize that we'll be walking past that netting again in a little while
But closer.

Two tracks Bob ignored

This is why. We turn off to start downhill

No track here
We wander down, passing ancient artefacts along the way.

Remains of ancient billy can
 Soon, we come to another track, turning left towards another hill.

Another hill in the distance
We arrive at the bottom of the distant hill above, where we stop for lunch.

Bob points out some blackberries and tells us how good they are.

Bob's choice blackberries...

...these look better...

...and there are rose hips near by for vitamin C
We settle down for lunch along a fence. The sun is coming out and it's getting warmer.

Meal finished, we get a surprise. We're not climbing the hill we thought we were, but crossing over onto another track leading up the valley.

Heading up a new valley

It was around here that we passed the bottom of the net covered vines shown in a earlier photo. Along the way are a couple of dams.

Dam with reflections

Looking north

The sun is out and it's getting warm
We reach the top of the hill, which is the road we turned off earlier, and Sue says hello to a local.

Friendly local. We may have to start carrying a store of apples
I said hello too and he was quite well behaved. Taking our leave, we turn off down Canopus Road. As we leave I turnaround and spot a sign hidden in low hanging branches. This explains why the track appeared to have been recently mowed, and the foot entrance to the track.

Good on 'em

Wellington is a bit clearer now

We've turned off onto Centauri Drive now

Nearly back to the cars
It wasn't a long or demanding walk, which was the point for the first day of term, but quite interesting. Bob has several new tracks to take us on in the future, so something to look forward to.

We had 19 walkers and covered 8.43km in 3:07hrs

As there were many twists and turns today, if you click on the notice below you can view an animated track.

Click here to view Animated Track

Click here to download GPX file

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