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Some short walks at last and a glimpse of the Shot Tower

A little autumn colour behind the dwelling at the Shot Tower, Taroona

My friend has been a bit better this week and so has the weather, so we have had a couple of short walks, a breath of fresh  air and  our usual long talks  - about philosophy, the state of the world and things which have gotten up our noses since the last time we walked. I always find it quite therapeutic. Not sure about my friend, but he’s a very patient soul. Although the walks haven’t been too strenuous out of consideration for his state of health, I am so out of shape that I have secretly also appreciated the fact that both of them were only about an hour each.  
1. Whitewater Creek, Kingston
The first walk was a very gentle one along Whitewater Creek in Kingston – not spectacular, but easy going and very good as a first try. It also had some excellent information about wetlands of which this is a part, and how important they are in absorbing run-off and to filter out pollutants before they reach the  river. This was brought home to me again while watching the devastation caused by flooding in the wake of the three Superstorms which hit Florida, Texas and the Caribbean in 2017. One of the scientists in this video argues that if so much of Houston and the other cities hadn’t been paved over and the wetlands been allowed to do their job, the floods would not have been as severe. 

Of course we have our own storms to contend with – Cyclones Veronica (!!!) and Trevor are raging in the North East and North West of Australia as I write and the one in Mozambique is far worse. However, for more on what unassuming looking wetlands can do for us and why we should protect them, read an old post  Croak if you like Wetlands” from a few years ago. The story about why we are having more superstorms is on sbs On Demand “The Rise of the Super Storms” though you may not be able to see it outside Australia 

2. Alum Cliffs, Track, Taroona   
The second walk starts from the top carpark at the Shot Tower, at Taroona about 11 km south of Hobart.  Built by  Joseph Moir in 1870 to make lead shot  for muzzle loaders, this  58.7 metre sandstone tower is a magnificent landmark from which you can see great views up and down the coast, especially if you can bring yourself  to climb the ? steps to the top.  There is much dispute about its height and quite a few other little secrets which you can discover at Discover Tasmania.
There is a charge to climb the stairs (see below) and they also do an excellent Devonshire Tea, though that was not our plan today.  

A glimpse of the Shot Tower - Largest sandstone tower of its kind still left in the world. Shame it wasn't sunnier

Although you can walk all the way to Kingston from here - around three hours, I was rather hoping that we would be able to go left and walk along the cliff tops to Hinsby Beach.  This was a popular walk some years ago, but a landslip led to the closure of the track. Now someone has apparently built a house right across the middle of where the old track was.  Another walker with whom we swapped memories of Lombok, did say that he was pretty sure that if you walked through the front door and out the back, the track would still be there, but he didn’t recommend it. Besides, the whole place is pretty thoroughly fenced off.

Yes, you do have to go up this hill!

The trip downhill and up the next was daunting enough and gave us an excellent workout. At the top there’s a fine lookout over ravaged sea cliffs and a lovely sheltered picnic area, then it’s all the way back down and up, before the promised rain overtakes us.

The reward - I just have to imagine it on a sunny day
Click  here  for Admission details  re Shot Tower
or here for more about Joseph Moir and the history