A walk up to Ridgeway Park

I was going to call this one a Hike up to Ridgeway Park but when you’re walking along a perfectly smooth tarmac road, the word “hike” is taking liberties a little bit. This was my first exploration beyond the urban confines of Hobart and filled me with thoughts of entering Jurassic Park as I commented on Instagram at the time. That description seems to have taken flight amongst the community since with many others noting the distinctly primordial jungle-likeΒ scenery that looks like it’s straight from the set of the masterpiece that is Jurassic Park. (Yes I am a big fan and can’t wait for the silliness of Jurassic World in June).

The way up to Ridgeway Park begins on Waterworks Road which begins just around the corner from the top of King Street. Passing under the Southern Outlet, you take a left onto Waterworks Road and begin the climb up through a hodgepodge of houses both old, new and under construction. I caught my first glimpse of wildlife when a group of three wallabies paid no heed to a young man exiting his house right in front of them. Having seen how shy these creatures usually are, my only guess can be they were used to being in this front garden and perhaps the owners fed them (Which isn’t the smartest thing to do as our foods are not good for them at all at all).

The rest of the journey up passed by fairly easily with no major signs of life beyond the Disappointment Crows as I’ve grown to call them. You can’t miss their calls which sound enthusiastic enough to begin with but quickly descend into a sad depressed whine which you can’t help but feel sorry for.(And/Or chuckle at). I did also discover where the Cockatoos which terrorise Sandy Bay throughout the day retire to for the evening…Waterworks Reserve. First constructed in the 1860s, the Waterworks reservoirs capture the flow of creeks and rivers rising on the higher slopes of Mt Wellington. Flowing via a network of stone and timber troughs and channels, the gathered waters arrived at the Receiving House, where today, an informative display explains the curious history of this important and historic site.

The main sight is of course the Eucalyptus tree which covers every inch of the hillside on both sides of the road. At ground level there’s a thick covering of undergrowth which is the bane of hikers and hill-walkers across Tasmania. I eventually reached Ridgeway Park and took a breath at the picnic spot there just above the reservoir. It was beginning to get dark and although I’d have loved to continue, I decided it was best to descend back down the hill and return to civilisation.

The jungle-like vegetation on the slopes hides a menagerie of creatures no doubt.
The jungle-like vegetation on the slopes hides a menagerie of creatures no doubt.
Taking care of our more domesticated wildlife is also an important message from the residents here.
Taking care of our more domesticated wildlife is also an important message from the residents here.
I think by
I think by “Care for our Wildlife”, what they mean is “Please drive carefully and stop squishing it all over our roads”.
Considerate residents look out for the welfare of their electricity pylons by knitting them jumpers. Ah bless.
Considerate residents look out for the welfare of their electricity pylons by knitting them jumpers. Ah bless.
A small column erected by those who constructed the reservoir in the mid to late 1800s.
A small column erected by those who constructed the reservoir in the mid to late 1800s.
It's no alpine lake but the reservoir still makes for a somewhat picturesque scene.
It’s no alpine lake but the reservoir still makes for a somewhat picturesque scene.
I decided not to brave this trail around the reservoir given I was wearing only light shoes and no socks.
I decided not to brave this trail around the reservoir given I was wearing only light shoes and no socks.
A flock of gulls heads off in the opposite direction once the cockatoos start arriving.
A flock of gulls heads off in the opposite direction once the cockatoos start arriving.
A Cockatoo rests in a tree above the Waterworks reservoir where the cockatoos from Sandy Bay retire to in the evenings.
A Cockatoo rests in a tree above the Waterworks reservoir where the cockatoos from Sandy Bay retire to in the evenings.
I'm really not sure what animal this sign is supposed to represent as a Google search doesn't reveal anything remotely similar in the repertoire of Australian wildlife signs.
I’m really not sure what animal this sign is supposed to represent as a Google search doesn’t reveal anything remotely similar in the repertoire of Australian wildlife signs. EDIT: My dad and a visitor to the Facebook page helpfully pointed out that it’s a Bandicoot! Thanks for the heads up guys πŸ™‚
A burnt out tree still stands in defiance.
A burnt out tree still stands in defiance.
A Eucalyptus tree does its best Irish flag impression.
A Eucalyptus tree does its best Irish flag impression.
The road up to Ridgeway Park is super smooth and I'm sure my longboarding friends would love to give it a try.
The road up to Ridgeway Park is super smooth and I’m sure my longboarding friends would love to give it a try.
Loved the light hitting this distant hill.
Loved the light hitting this distant hill.
Another hill crested, another peek at the hillside beyond.
Another hill crested, another peek at the hillside beyond.
Well I'll be damned.
Well I’ll be damned.
You don't often associate industry with ornate buildings but this structure on the Ridgeway Reservoir certainly meets the requirements.
You don’t often associate industry with ornate buildings but this structure on the Ridgeway Reservoir certainly meets the requirements.
A possum takes a long nap at the side of the road. I've blurred out the nasty bits, think of the children dammit!
A possum takes a long nap at the side of the road. I’ve blurred out the nasty bits, think of the children dammit!
Evidence of past back-burns in the area is everywhere with charred trees still standing amongst the new growth.
Evidence of past back-burns in the area is everywhere with charred trees still standing amongst the new growth.
The forests here sure are different to back home.
The forests here sure are different to back home.
A branches horrifying fall is heroically thwarted by its neighbours.
A branches horrifying fall is heroically thwarted by its neighbours.
Mold colonies grow on a rock at the side of the road.
Mold colonies grow on a rock at the side of the road.
The dominant Eucalyptus trees rarely have any competition up here.
The dominant Eucalyptus trees rarely have any competition up here.
A shy wallaby waits on the edge of a picnic area.
A shy wallaby waits on the edge of a picnic area.
The undergrowth is very thick in places and certainly not easily overcome. Thankfully I had a nice smooth road to walk on.
The undergrowth is very thick in places and certainly not easily overcome. Thankfully I had a nice smooth road to walk on.
Ah, another hole full of nope.
Ah, another hole full of nope.
These Epacris (maybe) are quite a common side at the side of the road.
These Epacris (maybe) are quite a common side at the side of the road.
I think these are fireweed flowers, not the prettiest but still adding colour.
I think these are fireweed flowers, not the prettiest but still adding colour.
A Royal Blue bell adds a splash of colour to the undergrowth.
A Royal Blue bell adds a splash of colour to the undergrowth.
The occasional breaks in the trees present some nice vistas over the hills.
The occasional breaks in the trees present some nice vistas over the hills.
You really get a sense of disconnection from the city below.
You really get a sense of disconnection from the city below.
The first of three reservoirs you'll encounter on the walk up.
The first of three reservoirs you’ll encounter on the walk up.
This chap's garden was rather popular with these wallabies.
This chap’s garden was rather popular with these wallabies.
The view out over Hobart is quite nice, albeit not a patch on Mount Nelson.
The view out over Hobart is quite nice, albeit not a patch on Mount Nelson.
A climber pays no heed to the warning signs at the cliffs near the start of Waterworks Road.
A climber pays no heed to the warning signs at the cliffs near the start of Waterworks Road.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s