Walking the New Town Rivulet

Somehow it took me over a year to get to posting about this trail, but now we’re here..
Starting at New Town Bay, east of Moonah on Marine Esplanade, it’s possible to follow the New Town Rivulet upstream  through it’s natural and occasionally engineered path through the suburban jungle towards Mount Wellington.

At 7.5 km it’s rated at a 2 hour walk with Greater Hobart Trails, but hey, give yourself a little time and take a camera – as you’ll see, it’s worth it!

The track begins with a landscaped garden by the shore.

New Town Bay

New Town Bay

Following the Marine Esplanade west, you’ll see a massive storm water outlet, which is the terminus of the rivulet. Cross the highway to Risdon Road and things begin to get interesting. An ancient channel funnels the rivulet by the roadside, clumped with old bricks and concrete, old water pipes jut out from the ground amidst graffiti and driveways rolling into shaded gardens. The rivulet and track curl away from the road into the midst of middle-class surburbia. Wilmslow Avenue will lead you on into the grounds of New Town High School.

Adjacent to New Town High School

The creekside brush becomes a warren of beaten dirt trails, bridges with glimpses into the neighbourhood with fleeting wildlife hiding in the trees. The track continues by wooden walkways sequestered behind houses, meeting streets to take to the pavement, and dirt roadside trails.

One of the more interesting sights on Creek Rd is always the grounds of Castle Zayee, a Chinese restaurant nestled by the hillside in a heavily stylised building, complete with a bridge and a would-be moat.

Creek Road continues on to meet with John Turnbull Park (mostly a sports ground), and down into Lenah Valley.

Alongside Lenah Valley Road

In terms of the simple beauty of the surroundings, Lenah Valley is by far my favourite suburb in Hobart. To the south tall resplendent hills sit against the skyline, a parade of houses cascade down amidst tall, heavy trees. Shaded walking tracks scamper between the streets.

These falls and underpass sit by a roadside park at 346 Lenah Valley Rd

The main road and track span the length of the shady bottom of the valley, weaving to either side of the street and into a natural reserve behind an array of houses. This is a great place to explore, either diving through the brush or following the creekbed where there are huge rock platforms burnished by years of water flow. It’s possible to navigate down and follow parts of the creekbed, where you can sit right beside the water –  it’s peaceful and the surroundings are overgrown enough that you may as well be in a forest, rather than sitting in the suburb of a major city.

As the street begins to climb towards Wellington Park, the track diverts into parkland, passing the Lady Franklin Gallery, which is managed by the Art Society of Tasmania. Regular exhibitions and workshops are held here by members and are often open to the public.

Following the rivulet off the main track, towards Wellington Park

There are opportunities for the nimble to follow the rivulet beneath the road, where more rock formations provide small-scale waterfalls for great photo opportunities. The track climbs towards Wellington Park, and with it, the suburb peters out into a winding narrow road, the rivulet growing to a river, the roadside brush becoming open forest. At the end the of the road, another walking track begins where sunny lawns introduce the beginning of Wellington Park.

Getting there

Given it’s a patchy trek of sidewalk, and nature trail,  heading through several parks and along several streets and roads, it really depends where you’d like to start!

To begin from the shore at Marine Esplanade, it’s far easier to drive, and there’s usually ample parking space either here or along the nearby Queens Walk. (For another day trip, check out Cornelian Bay nearby!)

The public bus service (Metro Tasmania) has major routes intersecting, if not following many parts of the track, including Queens Walk (adjacent to Marine Esplanade), Creek Road, beside New Town Highschool, and through Lenah Valley. Google Maps is (as usual) a far better option for transit information.

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