Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Two (short) rustic walks in Kingston


A little green at last



As you may have noticed I haven’t been out much lately. Too much rain and too busy with family events – we have a new baby in the family – [Welcome Marlow Elvie and congratulations to your Mum and Dad! Be sure to give them a hard time for me], but I did finally manage to do  a couple of short walks in the last few days.
I’m not sure where our summer went, but now it’s that mellow time of year – not always sunny, but perfect for walking. The nice thing about these walks is that they were neither very long nor very far away so you could leave late in the day and still get home in time for tea. In fact, I was surprised how many of these walks there are in the neighbouring municipality – 31 to be precise, not counting those on Bruny Island, and I look forward to exploring the rest.

Top of the Kaoota Tramway Track- not many photos as we kept getting caught in drizzle

Our first walk took us to the back of Kaoota which lies between Margate on the Coast and Sandfly on the Huon Road. This was a coal mining area- the third highest producer in Tasmania until about 1910, and the Kaoota Tramway Track follows the rail bed of the former tramway which took the coal to the wharves. This track is twelve miles long and descends gently through bushland to farmland where, with slight detours it joins the Neirinna Creek Track and then the Margate River Track. 

Yes you can "immerse yourself in tranquility " and enjoy a bit of our industrial history here

The main track takes four hours, but being a bit short of time, we cheated by leaving one car at the top (where you are supposed to park) and one at the bottom and having a nice easy walk down.
While driving back around Allen’s Rivulet, we could see some interesting cliffs and I was delighted to discover on returning home that there was also a track there. This is the one we did yesterday.
It is also the start of prime fungi season

Native Hens* scattered in their frantic roadrunner way as we started down the path. Lazy horses lolled in paddocks. Then the track which had begun so boldly, stopped abruptly at the creek. There was no indication - not even footpads, of where to go next. I assume that people on horseback probably ride straight up the creek but that wasn’t an option for us as there was too much water in it. After we had managed to cross it we found ourselves stranded amongst thistles and fences.
These impressive cliffs were visible from the top of the Kaoota track

Much to the consternation of my walking partner, we eventually risked climbing through one of the fences though it’s not something I’d recommend, especially as this one had insulators and connectors on it and we weren’t quite sure whether it was electrified or not. Entering by way of the second track sign a bit further up the hill from the parking area would be much easier, except perhaps when the creek floods the little bridge.
They are flanked by soaring Mountain Ash trees with ferns at their base

The cliffs did not disappoint. They were quite striking with tall straight mountain ash trees and a bit of wet sclerophyll forest – the sort with tree ferns interspersed with dogwoods and blackwoods, at their feet, but this made for a rather short walk to the Allen’s Rivulet Bridge – the whole track only taking 40 minutes, so we walked down Moody’s Road and Crofton Drive to where a newly opened track continued along Platypus Creek and back to where we had parked the car. This took us through pleasant hill country where curious alpacas gathered to peer at passers –by, and then through rough, undulating bushland until we reconnected with Moody’s Road and finally our car.


The fungi were out here too, but there was no sign of any edible ones yet

We didn’t see any platypi, but there were birds, butterflies and a shy pademelon hiding under a bush.  All in all, a pleasant afternoon stroll – about two to two and a half hours all up, through country I hadn’t seen before with glimpses of wild apple trees, a bit of autumn colour and always against a backdrop of mountains -  a lovely mix of the wild and tame.

* Find out why Tasmanians call Native Hens "Turbo Chooks" here:


And in case you were idly wondering if they might be tasty, here's how the Tasmanian recipe for them goes:
"Take a large pot of water
Add one Native Hen and a large stone
 Boil until stone is tender
Remove native hen and eat stone"

This may explain why they are not yet extinct here, apart from the fact that we don't have foxes or dingoes. They are now only found in Tasmania

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