The Hobart

Clarence Coastal Trail, Roches Beach to Seven Mile Beach

by Elizabeth Osborne
Clarence Coastal Trail, Roches Beach to Seven Mile Beach

One of my favorite walks is the Clarence Coastal Trail from Roches Beach to Seven Mile Beach. This gentle walk, just a little over three kilometres each way, follows the coastline at the base of undulating hills. The views of distant coastlines, sea and sky uplift the spirits. The sky seems bigger, the colours more intense as we walk by the sea.

On a sunny Spring morning, our group of friends decided to start our walk along the beach. I was in a meditative mood, grieving the death of a friend. The waves rolling in seemed like the ebb and flow of life, the shells like small moments of memory that washed into my thoughts.

At the end of Roches Beach we clambered over some rocks into a sheltered cove, a haven of peace. Gum trees lined the steps that took us up from the beach to join the trail. The steps are designed for an easy climb, following the contours of the hill. At the top, we sat on weathered logs to share a companionable morning tea. We tried to identify the beaches and promontories across the water. Next time we’ll take a map!

Birds were everywhere in the many trees that lined the track, busy with all the jobs birds do in springtime. Willy wag tails danced along branches. Blink and you’d miss them. A green rosella parrot landed high in a blue gum, then edged into its nest in the hollow at the base of a branch.

Distant shoreline views

Two Eastern rosella parrots flew to the top of the flowering eucalypt, dangling from a branch. Magpies chortled, the most beautiful of bird songs. A native mynah was startled by white galahs screeching as they flashed past. A native duck sat on a branch observing the world. The busy bird life continues its timeless seasonal rhythm.

Seven Mile Beach stretched forever at the end of the walk. A young fisherman had his fishing rod firmly planted in the sand, “If I’m lucky I’ll get flathead, probably two in two hours.” Maybe that’s like life, a long time waiting for a result.

Walking back along the track to Roches Beach we continued to be entertained by the birds and enchanted by the views. Revived and invigorated by the coastal walk and convivial company, I thought, “Life’s good, it doesn’t get much better than this.”

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February 2024

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