Friday, 23 March 2018

Seven & Five Mile Beach Circuit 2018

Today we're walking the Seven Mile Beach-Five Mile Beach circuit. Parking next to the Ranger station off Surf Road, we gear up and go, heading for the beach.

Together at last, we set off

Track to the beach

Looking west, we see Single Hill in the distance

The weather isn't too bad at the moment, but there is a constant tail wind blowing.

Heading for the point

Looking back, a couple of people appear in the distance
Another packed Tasmanian beach.

The weather is good at the moment

Some locals appear in front of us

There are views all around, soon we come to a spot where we take Morning Tea, climbing up behind the dune out of the wind.

Heading off the beach

The weather behind us appears to be changing

Morning Tea out of the wind

Instead of tea, I decide to do a little exploring

Quite pretty to walk around in here

I return to the beach, walking back to join the others. A little fine rain appears, but not enough to encourage me to don waterproofs.

Not much interesting debris on this beach (except for plastic) which one of our walkers is picking up.

I do spot a goose-stepping local
A few interesting shells appear and lots of little shells that Peter thinks is oyster spat and looking on line, I think he's right.

Arrangement by Nature

We still have a fair way to go to reach the point

Looking back, the weather has changed

It doesn't appear that it will affect us as it's heading north. Besides, there's a rainbow to the left.

Walking around the point to Five Mile Beach

Lewisham and Dodges Ferry are on the opposite shore

We pass a large dune, but Bob tells me they used to be much larger in days past
It's more pleasant as we've left the wind behind. As the beach narrows, we move inshore to find a place for lunch.

Looking for Lunch

Peggy has found a good spot, high above the beach

The view

The others have done well also

I always try to maintain a cheerful countenance when I'm with the group

Lunch finished, Bob finds a track leading parallel to the beach. One problem with Five Mile Beach is the number of fallen trees blocking the beach. The tide is high leaving us no room to go around them.

Heading west

One of many blocking the beach

This area is a pine plantation, and it's been harvested
There only so many photos you can take of a pine plantation, so I'll talk about what I've found out about the peninsula.

Original private freehold in the 1800s A Mr. Darling thought it would be a good place for forestry and planted pines in 1925. In 1927 holdings of Mr. Darling and Mr. Lewis were bought by a pulp and paper company for a pine plantation.

Australian Newsprint Mills, now Norske Skog acquired the rights to the timber, but no responsibility to revegetate or manage the logged areas. The timber was, in this report, going to be progressively removed until 2010. A 2008 report recommended continued use as pine plantation. 

In 2008 Clarence City Council approved an application by Sanbar Pty Ltd to extract sand for the building industry.

Other activities have or are taking place here. Triathlons, and in 1950 the Southern Motor Cycle Club and the Light Car Club (Launceston) held time trials and beach races here with a field of 30 bikes and 10 cars.

Of course you can't leave an area like this to the will of the people, so sand mining has been proposed a number of times and a golf course plus homes have also been on the cards. I'll come to that a bit further on.

There was also, back in 1946, a crash of an Australian National Airways DC3 on take off into the water off Seven Mile Beach that killed all 21 passengers, 3 pilots and a stewardess.

You can read the article in the Mercury at the time by CLICKING HERE.

Returning to the walk, we reach the car park at the end of Five Mile Beach and walk out to Pittwater Road for our trek back to the cars.

Pittwater Road to Surf Road and our cars

We tended to spread out a little and along here Alex spotted a couple of raptors in the distance. I stop to try and take a photo (not successful) and ended up well behind the others.

I was not alone, however, as Gerard had joined me and we continued on.

As we were walking a white SUV stopped on the other side of the road and the driver called out asking if we were a walking group and if so what we were called.

The two of us walked over and had a conversation with the gentleman and his wife(?). I started out by telling him we're a bushwalking group from U3A Kingston.

He looked confused and I hastened to assure him we weren't some sort of hippy group, but the words University and third age didn't mean anything to him. He first thought we were part of the Uni of Tas.

He did pick up my accent, but failed badly when he asked if I came from Florida! Fighting my initial response to this insult, I told him where I came from - Maryland - and not where he should go.

To cut a long story short, he's a developer who wants to build a golf course here and maintain it also as a place for walkers, dog walkers and horse riders. I can't quite see all those existing peacefully with people paying to play golf as we walk around and across the course. This sounds just like the scheme for South Arm.

The gentleman then said that there would also be a charity set up, not related to the Catholics. I don't know if he thought U3A was a church based group or not, so I'm not sure where that came from.

He really stopped us because he wanted to get the locals on side for his development. It was his bad luck to stop a Yank and a Frenchman from a group located well on the other side of the River!

I finally had to peel away as the others were small dots in the distance, turning off to reach the cars.

Keep an eye out.

We had 14 walkers and covered 17.69km in 4:55hrs. A bit of a slog as far as I'm concerned and I probably won't schedule this again. There are other walks in this area that would be more interesting. I did like the dunes at the point, though.

Click here to download GPX file

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