Friday, 12 January 2018

Coningham Circuit 2018

The first walk of 2018 and after two weeks off, I'm taking it easy to get everyone back into gear.

We're doing a circuit at Coningham that Tas led us around back in 2016, starting from the beach car park.

Coningham car park

Heading towards the beach, we veer left to take the track along the headlands.
Coningham Beach

Tinderbox in the distance, looking north

The track
I told the group it wasn't a long walk, but did include a hill. Sheppards Hill to be precise. So we proceed along the above track to Hopwood Street and begin the climb to the start of the track.

It's a steady climb and gets the blood flowing again after the Christmas holiday.

Going up

Very dry bush

Mt. Wellington in the distance

We reach a spot I remember from before to find there's been a building boom in the last couple of years.

In 2016 there were only two constructions here... there are many

On we go, heading for a spot for Morning Tea. There are several trails heading off in different directions which we'll explore another time.

Soon we reach the spot we're looking for and the comfortable log is still here waiting.

Morning Tea

There was a discussion at the start of the walk re the possibility of seeing snakes. After all, it's the right weather and time of year for one to put in an appearance.

While the others were enjoying their break, I wondered around the clumps of grass looking for anything interesting to photograph. The photo below shows the only wildlife I found.

I also took a couple of "art" photos and found, what appeared to be, an interesting egg!

The bush

These little flowers are actually pink and are everywhere at the moment
As I returned to the others so we could continue on, I saw what appeared to be a strange egg. I thought, Darwin eat your heart out!

On closer inspection, it turned out to be some poor dogs tennis ball, probably lost during a walk.

Not an egg
Looking at the poor quality, if I were the dog I'd be very upset at the rubbish my owner had bought me.

Moving on, we cross the top of the hill and start down.

The top of Wellington is getting cloudy

The top of Sheppards Hill

Heading down to the Cliff Top Track
The history of the area tells us it was used for logging until the 1950s, then stock grazing up to the 1970s and a regional park in 1975. It finally became Coningham Nature Recreation Reserve between 1999-2002.

Long before that of course, it was home to the Tasmanian Aborigines and provided a setting off point to Bruny Island.

We pass evidence of times past in the form of a very large log just off track.

A giant from years past

Something else from years past. I was trying to give some scale to the log behind me
Catching up with the rest, we continue down until we reach the Cliff Top Track.

We bear left now, heading towards the waterside cave. This is very interesting, but a bit of a scramble down between two large rocks. Bob, however does a bit of exploring and finds another way down, if a bit longer.

Cliff Top Track

The cave...

...and the water view

Noisy work boat, probably from the fish farm around the corner

This cave comes complete with fittings...

...and interesting decorations

The original design includes a skylight...

...and an area for the children with their own window
We make our way back to the original track and continue on, heading for our lunch spot.

It's pleasant walking through a She Oak forest. The sign below explains what a She Oak is.

She Oak forest
We're walking along the sandstone cliffs now and there are warnings re the instability  of the edge. The photo below shows that they might be right.

Broken cliff. It's farther down than it appears here
After a while, we reach our lunch spot, Legacy Beach.

Water feature

Bottle Brush on way to beach

The beach
Mt. Wellington is getting closed in

I'm sure if a cable car is built to the top, clouds will be banned.

Now, this is the time of school holidays and the Christmas/New Year break, so you expect to find the beaches crowded with little room for our group.

You can expect it all you want!
We are the only ones on the beach. The only beach goers are a couple of Oyster Catchers on the eastern end.

Our only company

Eastern end of the beach

Someone enjoying a breeze
 That's North Bruny Island behind them.

Lunch on the sand

Art or shrine?
Everyone fed (except for me who dropped his lunch onto the sand) we head back along the track, around the corner to the main beach and our cars.

Interesting sign. Does the fact that Kunanyi has only 7 letters explain why its been adopted, as opposed to Unghanyahletta (14) or Pooranetere (11)?

Back to Coningham Beach

More crowded here, at least half a dozen people in the distance.
A nice walk with a little hill included. The weather was supposed to include a shower in the afternoon. Didn't happen.

We had 11 walkers and covered 8.25km in 3:22hrs. We did have a 435 metre climb you can take account of.

Click here to download GPX file

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