Friday, 8 December 2017

Waverley Flora Park & Knopwood Hill 2017

Today we're walking on the Eastern Shore following a track that Lena took us on back in 2015. Well, nearly following.

The weather's good as we park in Waverley Street at the entrance to the Flora park, where we set off past the playground. I remember this track from the last time.

Setting off
The track

Overcast but no rain
I have the GPS with me but it doesn't stop me from missing where we turned off track the last time.

I continue along, heading up hill while keeping an eye out for somewhere to turn off downhill to return to our track.

I can see it's pretty steep until I come to a place that offers an opportunity to walk down. An eroded, rough, downhill track it does contain scraps of tape and a couple of wires that I vaguely remember seeing the lower end of the last time.

A bit of a scramble down and over a couple of trees and we arrive back on track.

Downhill is good
 We're walking around the back of houses now, these would be in Warren and Alford streets in Bellerive. On the way a German Shepard I remember from last time barks at us and this time he has backup.

Moving on, I spot a birdwatcher off to our left with a large telescope or camera on a tripod. He calls out to us and explains he's watching a nest in one of the trees that has been taken over by a cuckoo with the original smaller parents trying desperately to feed their suddenly larger offspring.

Unfortunately, we can't spot the nest and move on.

Several of these butterflies are around

We walk down, following the Darwin Trail between fences and the South Arm Highway. As I walk a brown animal dashes across in front of me right to left. Another from left to right. I'm calling these brown bandicoots. Sounds better than rat.

We come out on Ninabah Street, turning left into Tilanbi Street for a short spell of street walking. In the nicest possible way I should add. We're heading for the crossover to get to the other side of the highway and Knopwood Hill.

Once over, we head up Sirus Street, bearing left into Norma Street.
After a short climb we turn into a unmarked walkway between two houses and head into the Knopwood Hill Nature Recreation Area and Morning Tea.

The new track

Garden escapees
 Soon, I spot something familiar and find the expected large rocks for our tea.
Colourful landmark

Morning Tea

After the break, we continue on as I look for the next turn which will take us straight up the hill.

We, of course, go down before we start up. You can't really call it a track but it climbs steeply up towards the top which is where we want to go.

The way up

I can't remember what we meet at the top so begin to wing it as I'm pretty sure it's an old track. Along the way we meet a native who has nothing to say to us.

Blue Tongue lizard
Still following the GPS, now we're back on track, we continue along through the open bush until I spot something familiar off to the side.

I remember this from before and it hasn't changed much.

Someone's bush retreat

This appears to be private property, but there are no fences that we've come across to mark the boundary between public and private.

Back to the track we begin to head down. I plan to have lunch at the Morning Tea spot. I thought everyone was fairly together, but part way down I realize three are missing. We continue on and I leave the group at the lunch site and walk out to find the others.

After a couple of whistles my mobile goes off and turns out they didn't see the rest of us bear left onto another track as we came down.

I spot them coming over a rise about where I suspected they would be and they joined the rest of us for lunch.

The track down

Everyone back together and all have lunch
We now retrace our steps back across the highway, along the streets, and back to the Flora Park. I continue to follow the Darwin Trail which will lead us to the top of the hill.

We follow the trail around the large water tank at the top and down the other side.

This takes us through an old quarry and some viewing points.

Blocked by a safety fence now, you used to be able to walk out here and get a view down

Mt. Wellington. The day has brightened and warmed up from this morning
We walk on, heading for a track leading to an unfenced lookout a short distance from the main trail.

Track to lookout

The view looking down over Clarence High School towards Tranmere

Enjoying the view
From here it's a short distance to the steep downhill track back to the cars. I think it's actually had some work done on it since I was here last and it's much easier with stone steps installed.

Going down

It's a good walk with a nice hill or two. We had 13 walkers and covered 10.34km in 4:25hrs.

Thanks to Lena for taking us the first time.

Click here to download GPX file

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