kunanyi / Mt Wellington
Last Sunday we went for a walk on one many of the trails that cover kunanyi/Mt Wellington, the majestic mountain that overlooks the city of Hobart. We are fortunate to have this magical entity right outside our back door, and it reminds us constantly of its presence - often by sending down ferocious winds that wreak havoc in our back yard! Many of the trails can be accessed right outside our back fence but this day we were heading to the Longley Pub which has great Sunday afternoon music and a really unusual, eclectic, local vibe, so we stopped at Ferntree and took the easy stroll to Silver Falls. Towering manferns and rushing water from all the recent rain gave the area a prehistoric feel and the sense that the mountain is indeed a living, breathing being and giver of life.
Even though Hobart is tucked away down at the chillier end of our continent, it is actually the second driest capital city in Australia, thanks to “the mountain” which creates a rain shadow effect that dumps much of the precipitation at the summit and then delivers it to the city via rivulets and streams that provided a wonderful fresh water supply for the early European settlers. Peter DeGraves of the famous Cascade Brewery, managed to lay claim to most of the water that came down the Hobart Rivulet, so a system of water pipes was devised to deliver our fresh mountain water to the city. They are in evidence along the wonderful walking “Pipeline” track that extends all the way from the Northwest River down into the Waterworks at the edge of Hobart.
Even today, you can drive up the mountain and see people with water jugs of all sizes collecting their own fresh mountain drinking water. Several of the streams flow just a few hundred metres from my house and I regularly walk by there and take a drink of water, just because I can – fresh, clean mountain water less than 10 minutes from a capital city! I find that to be one of the most magical and awesome things about Hobart.