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-like 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.