Finishing off this little series of posts on the joys of going for a stroll takes us to the highlight of the journey, Cornelian Bay. Hobart keeps surprising me every time I venture out to see what I can find, beyond my previously explored areas. The walk along the Derwent had been rather pleasant already but I wasn’t prepared for just how much more pleasant it was going to get. I decided to venture off the paved track when I came across a sign with “boat shed path” written on it. Thinking it must be just a name carried over from the old days when this area was far busier I decided to venture forth and see what lay ahead.
I rounded a corner where two ladies were having a nice chat on a bench and there it was…..or rather there they were. Beautifully coloured and decorated boat sheds lined the shoreline in a scene that reminded me a lot of Venice. Some of them were painted in lovely bright colours while others were decorated with locally sourced shells or wood.
Looking into the history of this place I found that Tasmanian Aboriginal people of the Mouheneenner band lived by the river in the Cornelian Bay area for thousands of years and that their shell middens can still be seen in the dark sands near the top of the low cliffs of Cornelian Point. It’s always fascinating walking around an area knowing that it has been populated for thousands of years and has a rich storied past.
Another aspect of Cornelian Bay which you would struggle to miss is the huge cemetery. Hobart’s dead used to be buried closer to the city but when largely abandoned they became public health hazards and thus Cornelian Bay cemetery was born, and now serves as the main cemetery for Hobart. The site is incredibly expansive and reminded me a lot of the Crematorium in Pardubice which had these lovely walled areas for memorials to be placed.
I walked around the cemetery for a bit wondering about the lives of those who were buried here and the vast differences between the fortunes of them and their life experiences. Cemeteries are a good place to think about humanity and life in general I find. Upon leaving I had to make the decision of whether to get the bus back into the city or keep on going, despite my legs’ protests. I was hungry and in desperate need of a coffee so I decided I’d continue on into New Town and perhaps get a coffee and a nice bit of food from the Newtown branch of my employers Jackman and McRoss. Alas it had just closed by the time I arrived so I ventured around to the shopping centre and had a nice lamb pie in a cafe there that was about to close itself.
I really liked New Town, it had the quaintness of Battery Point mixed with other elements from around Hobart. There were some really cool shop windows and there was just a really pleasant old village air about the place. There’s very few cities in the world that offer so much beauty merely minutes from the CBD, and that’s on foot! If you have a car you can be at some of the most breathtaking scenery in no time at all and that’s what makes this place special.