Monday, 22 Jul 2019

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania
If you plan a Vacation in Tasmania, our information will be very useful for you. Tread a path along coastal cliffs from Australia’s oldest shot tower to a dog-friendly, beach-front suburb that dishes up delicious food and great coffee.

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania - photo 1

Vacation in Tasmania

Walk: 4.7km A to B
Time required: 2-3 hours
Best time: Year-round
Grade: Easy
Environment: Eucalypt forest, heathland, coastal cliffs, beach, historic shot tower
Best map: This one
Toilets: Flushing toilets in the Shot Tower grounds and at Kingston Beach
Food: Cafes and restaurants in Kingston Beach
Tips: Check out bus times at www.metrotas.com.au – search: Kingston Beach.

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania. More than 140 years after it rose from the cliffs 9km south of Hobart town, the sandstone Shot Tower at Taroona still ranks as one of the tallest structures in Tasmania’s capital. Australia’s first-built, and one of only three surviving, Scotsman Joseph Moir’s shot tower operated for 30 years from 1870, manufacturing lead shot for muzzle-loading sports guns. This industrial landmark is the starting point for a Hobart-fringe coastal ramble on a track long-used by locals.

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania - photo 2

Vacation in Tasmania

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania. While you could car shuffle, public transport works well for walkers with one vehicle. Park at Kingston Beach’s foreshore (Osborne Esplanade), 13km south of Hobart via the A6, and round the corner into Beach Road. The bus stop is a hundred metres or so up on the left. Weekdays and Saturdays catch a route 407 bus to Kingston, changing there to route 427; on Sundays the route 427 bus travels to Hobart via Kingston Beach and Taroona so you don’t need to change.

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Vacation in Tasmania

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania. A scenic bus ride on a winding coastal road brings you to stop #32, directly opposite the shot tower; ask the bus driver to alert you. You’re on a bend with double lines so cross the road with care. For $8 you can climb from the tower’s 10m diameter base to its 4m top. Multiple timber steps spiral upwards from a small information room – a video shows how shot was made – to a broad view over Taroona and neighbouring peninsulas. Looking south you can see Bruny Island.

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Vacation in Tasmania

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania. The rusty cauldron at the top of the stairs is a relic of operational days. Molten lead mixed with arsenic (to decrease the surface tension) and antimony (to harden the shot) was poured through colanders, the resulting droplets becoming spherical as they fell the height of the tower into water. The cooled shot was dried, polished in a revolving drum and graded by size. Moir’s factory produced 100 tons of shot a year at its peak. From the shot tower, follow the bitumen down through the historic site, around Moir’s castle-like house and clockwise below the toilet. The Alum Cliffs walking track comes in on the left, from Taroona (an alternative starting point), but keep right towards an obvious red-and-green Alum Cliffs track sign.

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Vacation in Tasmania

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania. Having descended between a paddock with water views and a house hiding behind a high metal fence, the vehicle-wide walking track swings left and into a gully (the track is loose and shaly and you could easily slip without the wood-plank steps leading steeply down and up the other side). Climbing out, note the shallow soil layer laid over base rock. Turn around up top for a shot tower view. Past a home with an enviable view you come to a cliff-edge picnic table and a close-up view of the layered and textured cliffs. The rocks to the right have fallen away, leaving a powdery slope dropping to rock shelving – don’t climb over the fence for a better view!

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Vacation in Tasmania

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania. Continuing south, eucalypts and she-oaks make up for less exciting views of some backyard fences – as do an old water race and the nearness of the cliff. The track descends from house level into a gully and swings left through grassy forest with a delicious aroma and a noisy bird chorus. Back up out of the gully you come to the Brickfield’s track junction. There’s not a great deal to see but detour right a couple of hundred metres up to the remains of convict-era brickworks. Wooden steps and decking lead to an information board.

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Vacation in Tasmania

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania. Back on the main track, you’ll start glimpsing water and shore through the trees. For now, though, the trees remain the focus of the walk. Few are bigger than about 90cm diameter but their colours and textures are attractive; some have thick and almost spongy brown bark that comes loose in pieces and litters the track with leaves, giving the forest the scruffy appeal of gold country. On warm days the forest hums with insects. About 400m from the Brickfields junction there’s a lookout on the lip of a drop to blue-green water from which, on a breezy day, you often see yachts. Keep looking left to see water-level rock shelving as you push on.

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Vacation in Tasmania

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania. Beyond a gnarly, old-timer gum on the left, the track goes inland along a gully, passing the hollowed and blackened stump of what would have been a majestic gum; moss and insects have colonised its charcoal lining. The track U-turns over a little creek where walkers have worn a footpad to what is probably a pretty cascade after good rains. Note the drop in humidity and rise in temperature as you leave behind the gully’s moss and fallen logs and regain drier eucalypt scrub.

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania - photo 9

Vacation in Tasmania

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania. Steps give a good view north of the layered cliffs you followed here, and east-ish across the water. Rougher steps lead to another fenced lookout soon after. On the right of the track, directly opposite the lookout, is a splendid old gum several metres around its base and almost immediately after there’s another, on the left, with three mature trunks growing from one base. The vibrant green trees with cypress-like foliage and small orange berries are native cherry, an indigenous root parasite. Watch for green rosellas – they can be difficult to see among the trees – and listen for the distinctive swallowing sound of yellow-cheeked wattle birds, found only in Tasmania.

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania - photo 10

Vacation in Tasmania

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania. Up another gully the track U-turns over a deep channel, with exposed roots and rocks; water must rush through underfoot after rain. Out again, you cross a grassy hill, with water views and rock paving at the base of the cliffs. Skirting more backyards, you come to a junction: the right-hand track follows the Alum Cliffs track to the car park (no steps) but the route described here goes left to Tyndall Beach (uneven track with multiple steps), because what’s a coastal walk without sand?

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania - photo 11

Vacation in Tasmania

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania. Descend steeply, through gum trees to the wash of waves and dog barks. Tyndall is a leash-free dog beach and you often pass people and sandy, tongue-lolling canines coming up as you step down. A walking track goes right just before you hit the sand. Ignore this and step down onto the beach. Head left and fossick around the rocky outcrop on the beach just before sand runs into cliff. Then turn back and walk the length of the beach, about 400m to Browns River. Depending on the tide and your footwear, you can often wade through the water and follow the foreshore to your car. Otherwise, you’ll need to head slightly inland, past the Kingston Sea Scouts Group club building and over a footbridge.

Tips for a Vacation in Tasmania - photo 12

Vacation in Tasmania

“Top Walks in Tasmania”

Melanie Ball

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