Running in Hobart (Tasmania, Australia) Part 3

After a big week at work, I decided to treat myself to a trail run on Saturday morning. I had been watching Mt Wellington all week, and so decided that I wanted to explore some of Wellington Park.

Within my training plan, I was only supposed to run 5km so decided to catch a bus to Fern Tree to start my run up there. Fern Tree is a small locality on the edge of the park which provides an entry point to a number of trails and has a pub and cafe. The bus ride up was extremely picturesque, interesting architecture on steep hillsides as we climbed our way up the side of the Mountain.

I had studied the Wellington Park map and decided to tackle the O’Grady’s Fall track which looped from Fern Tree to some falls, and then back to Fern Tree via Rocky Whelan’s cave.

This was a good plan…

But as happens on trail runs, I took a wrong turn (I found some tracks were not very well sign posted) and ended up on the Radford’s Track. IMG_2940

IMG_2941 Both tracks were fun to run. It was a strong uphill climb, some of which I walked, but the ferns, eucalypts and rocky paths were stunning and the light was filtering in through the canopy. As always, I found my happy place on the trail.

After a couple of kms I found myself in a clearing with a road. As I hadn’t really looked at my map since Fern Tree, I had no idea where I was or what I had stumbled upon. As I crossed the road, I found a coffee van (very

IMG_2943

Mt Wellington from The Springs (and a coffee van)

tempting to stop and have a sit down for a while) and a view of Mt Wellington. There was some signage that told me that I had arrived at The Springs. Originally a home site, the area is now a lovely picnic spot with lawns and a hut.  A nice spot to stop on your way up to the summit (if that’s what you are doing – I would love to tackle it one day).

After consulting the map, I took a route back down to Fern Tree that took me to Silver Falls via Reid’s Track (a very rugged downhill section that took me forever to navigate at a snail’s pace). The falls were beautiful and refreshing. I took a moment to enjoy them (and stick my head in!).

IMG_2945

Silver Falls

Eventually I made my way back to Fern Tree only to discover that I’d missed the bus by 5 minutes and there wouldn’t be another one for an hour. I paced around Fern Tree for a while, trying to figure out if I should stop and get some lunch while waiting for the bus, or whether I should go for a longer run. While doing so, I noticed a lot of people disappearing down an interesting looking track so I decided to make it a longer run. It looked like it went the same direction as the road back down the hill, so I though I could always catch up at the bus at a different stop.

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 10.57.32 AM

Elevation & Map – Fern Tree to Hobart

It turned out to be the Pipeline Track, which runs along a pipeline built in the 1800s to provide a water supply to Hobart. This track was a gentle descent to the Waterworks reserve. A scenic run including old aqueducts, historic buildings, ruins and there is plenty

IMG_2946

Pipeline Track

of signage along the way describing the history.

I ended up running all the way back to my accommodation in Hobart, as I figured it was easier than trying to find a bus stop. Luckily I had enough water with me.

All in all it was a magnificent run that once again renewed my love for running.

10 out of 10.

Running in Hobart (Tasmania, Australia) Part 2

My next Hobart run was up to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens.

Seeing the local Botanical Gardens when travelling is always a must for me. I love seeing how the plants from all over the world have been combined in a way that harmonises and creates such a peaceful setting.

I followed a trail from the city up towards The Domain. A good uphill climb at the start of the run gave some beautiful views northwards up the river, and also eastwards across the river.

I then followed a trail downhill into the Botanical Gardens. The gardens were spectacular, and I spent a bit of time zig-zagging around the paths. I had hoped to come out of one of the eastern gates to get onto the Intercity cycleway for the return run, but ended up getting stuck at a major road that was not passable.

I eventually found my way through to the cycleway after a bit of retracing my path, and ran along the cycleway back to the city, with a short detour to the War Memorial. The cycleway wasn’t an interesting run. Fairly flat and with little to see. I wouldn’t recommend it as a great part of the run.

The Botanical Gardens however was well worth visiting and was a very beautiful place to run. I’d like to go back with the kids one day and explore it, as there were a lot of beautiful nooks and crannies (and secret paths!) that they’d love to discover.

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 10.57.07 AM

Botanic Gardens run

IMG_2892

Mount Wellington from the War Memorial

Running in Halls Gap, The Grampians (Victoria, Australia)

Next stop on the holiday was in Halls Gap, in the Grampians, Victoria. This amazing place rises up out of nowhere, and has so much to offer. I could easily spend a month (or more) here exploring.

I was lucky enough to get out for two runs while at Halls Gap. We stayed at the caravan park in the middle of Halls Gap, which is flanked on two sides by the Grampians National Park.

IMG_2035For the first run, I headed on the closest track to our campsite, which had a sign to Venus Baths (which sounded interesting!). It wasn’t far, and it was so beautiful I decided to bring the kids back the next day, so I headed further up the track towards one of the peaks. The climb was steep, and the rain was setting in so I walked some of it. Eventually the climb swapped from steep rock steps, to a steep rock face, with a handrail to pull up. I decided that in the slippery conditions, (and I hadn’t told anyone I was going up that way) that I should turn around.

Halls Gap Trails

I wanted to go a few extra kms than I had, so on the way back, I thought I might take a little detour up towards Bullaces Glen. It sounded interesting and the sign said it was 2km, so why not? Once halfway there, there was another sign leading to Chatauqua Peak. I couldn’t resist, so headed up that track. Again the climb was steep, so I walked a large percentage of it, but it was well worth it! The view from up top was almost 360 degrees, and as the sun was setting, the golden light peeking through the rain clouds was amazing.

Panorama taken from on top of the Chautauqua peak

in the end I needed to get back, as the sun was setting and I didn’t have my head torch, but took the alternative trail down so I did a loop. The map looked a little like this in the end…
Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 9.42.43 pmA few extra snaps of my travels on this run:Happy to be out

IMG_2046

My second Halls Gap run was pouring with rain, and foggy, so not so many snaps of that run, but I still managed a 7km alongside the creek and back down the bike track to our camp. I’d really love to spend some more time in this intricate place, to explore the trails and find what wonders it has hidden, as I think I’ve only really scratched the surface. I’d love to hear from others that have run any Grampians trails. Please leave a comment below.

Halls Gap Run 2

Running in Jervis Bay (NSW, Australia)

We’ve taken our little family on a camper-van adventure from Sydney to Adelaide, with a few detours, and I’m making the most of the time to run some trails. This is the first of a series of posts from my holiday runs.Jervis Bay Grass Patch Beach

Our first stop was Jervis Bay, at the Booderee National Park. This is my second visit, and both times, it has been nothing short of paradise. Apart from all the wonders it offered the kids (they particularly loved the white beaches and the Botanic Garden exploring), it offered a very picturesque place to run.

We were camped at Green Patch, so my run started there, and headed up to the hill behind the campground, following the Telegraph Creek Nature Trail. From there I weaved my way back to the road via some fire tracks, and made my way to the beach where my husband and kids were playing.
Map of Jervis Bay Run

Although it was mid-May, the temperature was perfect for running, warm but not hot, and less humid than my Sydney runs. Jervis BayMost of the trails were in heavy woodland, with the occasional view to the sea. The morning sun streaming in through the trees was beautiful.

Family playingLater in the afternoon, we hung out at the beach, and I swam (well…floated) around while the kids played on the beach. If you’re in this neck of the woods, I strongly recommend spending some time at this National Park. It is more spectacular than you could imagine.

Running in Northern Rivers (NSW, Australia)

My family are holidaying in Northern NSW at the moment, and while my husband took the kids fishing, I decided to try a trail. I did a fair bit of research, and found the Northern Rivers Bushwalking Club site was useful in finding local trails. After some consideration, decided to head to Rocky Creek Dam. My husband and I had picnic-ed up there about 10 years ago, and I had fond memories so thought it would be a good option to try.

When I arrived, I checked out the information board and decided to head off on the Swamp Turkey Walk which was 6km return. I’m still building my distance slowly after a minor knee injury and was looking for 5km, so that was perfect.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f1d/58695303/files/2014/12/img_1548.jpgIt was raining when I got up this morning, but wasn’t going to be deterred, so packed some salt for the leeches, and a hat to keep the drips off my face. Not wanting to get my phone drenched, I didn’t take many photos, but there’s some excellent pictures on this blog, Travelling Type. I did manage to take this photo on the left, though.

Here’s the map, I didn’t do the full 6km, just a 5km return instead.

Rocky Creek Dam Run

The run starts by crossing the dam wall, which is always fun and heads into some rainforest. Shortly after, the run heads across the spillway of the dam (which you are only allowed to cross when the dam is not full and no water is overflowing). The run then heads into the Nightcap National Park which is a dense rainforest of fig trees, black butt eucalypts and vines.

As the rain was steady, I didn’t see much wildlife but the bird calls were incredible. I’m pretty sure I heard some Lyrebirds too, as something sounded a lot like a sheep and I wasn’t anywhere near a sheep paddock.

All up it was a great run, and I didn’t need the salt after all (although a saw a leech on my shoe as I was taking it off). There’s something very special about running in a rainforest in the rain.

Running in Canberra (ACT, Australia) Part 2

One of the prominent features of Canberra is the few mountains that surround the centre of the city. From the window of my accommodation, I had been longingly looking at Black Mountain as a potential running spot, so when I got my first chance, that’s where I headed.

Black Mountain aerial

Black Mountain sticks out like a sore thumb, mostly because a fairly ugly phone tower has been built on top of it. Personally, I feel it is a bit of a pity to spoil the top of a mountain with something that is so aesthetically unappealing, but thankfully that doesn’t affect how much one can enjoy running up it.

Being so visible from anywhere in Canberra, I decided not to check a map, and just run towards the mountain until I found a trail. Doing so meant that I had a little detour until I found a track but there was success at last.

Black mountain run

It was a great run. I came across the most spectacular wattle trees in full bloom.

Wattle

The first trail I found looked promising, until I realised that the Botanic Gardens were closed, and I would have to run around the fence until I found another way up the mountain.

Eventually I came across the Canberra Centenary Trail which led up the mountain. While on this trail, I came across a summit walk which I then followed to the top. I was under time restrictions because I had to go to work not long after this run. I was about 1km from the top, when I really should have turned around so I’d have enough time for a shower when I got back to my hotel room. But that close to the top, there was no way I was turning around.

I got to the top and quickly took a happy snap to prove I was there, then had to speed to the bottom of the mountain to get back in time.Me at Black Mountain Summit

I had to stop halfway down, to get a picture of the beautiful evening sun coming through the trees, then I was in a major rush to get to work. This was a really fantastic run that I would recommend to anyone who likes a hill or a trail. Try it out next time you are in Canberra.

Sunset on Black Mountain

Heysen Trail Run – Woodhouse

My latest Heysen Trail run was 6.4km return from the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens through Woodhouse to the Mount Lofty Golf Course.

The map looked like this:

Woodhouse Run

 

For those who don’t know, Woodhouse is an activity centre with plenty of outdoor activities, including Challenge Hill which is a large-scale obstacle course. There are various facilities and groups can either camp, use dorm-style accommodation or come just for the day. Woodhouse is used by organisations, schools and individuals as a fun outdoor activity.

Running on the Heysen Trail through Woodhouse, I was followed by a group of Rosellas and Willie Wagtails who darted in and out of the trees in front of me. I came across a group of young school children who were delighting in being outdoors, regardless of the wind, rain and cold weather. It was great to hear them laughing and running around, being active in the middle of winter. It is exactly what kids need.

It reminded me that I need to bring my kids to Woodhouse sometime in the near future, a great place to get kids active and enjoying the outdoors, no matter the weather. And I’d really like to test myself on Challenge Hill!

It was a muddy run, and my shoes were testament to the fun I had.

Shoes that have fun