Thursday, 4 August 2016

Derwent River Walks: Cornelian Bay to the Botanical Gardens

[Part 2 of a series featuring short walks along Tasmania's Derwent River]

Are you suspicious when you hear the words “suitable for all ages”? I usually am. But I must say it’s actually true for the walk from Cornelian Bay to the Botanical Gardens. 



[Looking upriver from the Botanical Gardens] 
 Still dubious? Consider these attractions:
  • Easy waterside walking
  • Two quality cafes
  • A children’s playground
  • Colourful boat sheds
  • Boats on the water
  • Wildlife
  • A superb botanical garden
  • Extensive and ever-changing river views



[The Derwent from the Boathouse Restaurant, Cornelian Bay] 
We chose a warm morning to try out the walk. The Derwent was silky and shimmering, the breeze just a whisper.  Testing out the “all ages” theory – our group ranged in age from two months to over sixty – we started our walk near Cornelian Bay Point.


[Our toddler enjoying the ducks at Cornelian Bay] 
The pram-friendly track soon led us to Cornelian Bay itself, where the playground was a magnet for the group’s two year old. The adjacent Boathouse Restaurant would have been the same for the adults if we hadn’t just had a coffee.


[On the shady, pram-friendly path beside the Derwent] 
At the city end of the bay sits a huddle of quaint, multi-coloured boat sheds. As we walked past them along  the undulating gravel path, we welcomed the shade of she-oaks. From the path we had views of the Derwent, the Tasman Bridge, and a lone white-sailed yacht, which barely kept ahead of us in the calm conditions.



[Walking towards the Gardens from near Cornelian Bay]


[Cornelian Bay's boat sheds] 
By the time we’d reached the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, both children were asleep. That left three adults to enjoy the green tranquility of the gardens, surely among the best in Australia, if not anywhere. Boasting everything from huge trees to tiny blooms; and wide lawns to intimate themes gardens, it could have held our interests for hours. 


[Parental peace in the Botanical Gardens] 
But the sleeping children would soon need wrangling, so we decided one adult should go back for the car. That left the rest of us to buy lunch at the kiosk and keep exploring the gardens.


[There always some colour in the Gardens] 
Allowing for toddler stops and photographic pauses, it had taken us about an hour to walk the 2km from Cornelian Bay to the Gardens. Onward options from there include walks to central Hobart via the Garden and/or the Cenotaph, but for our group two hours out was enough. There would always be other days for further walks.

*This series was prepared for the Derwent Estuary Program and Greater Hobart Trails 
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