Thursday, 20 December 2012

Kaoota Tramway Track - 5th December 2012

Kaoota Tramway Track.
This is an easy and pleasant walk in the hills between Margate and Kaoota. Completed in August 1906, the tramway connected the Kaoota coal mine with the wharf at Margate. The mine was for a time the third-highest producer in Tasmania, but as is the case with many Tasmanian mines, it didn't operate for long, and the rails were finally pulled up in 1934. This track has been reopened along its route, including the construction of bridges.

I recommend walking from Margate to Kaoota and then returning, but this is only because I normally like to walk uphill first.

From Margate, turn up Sandfly Road, then into Nierinna Road. There are signs indicating the way to the track, although one, indicating the right turn into Lawless Road was pointing in exactly the opposite direction to where it should have been. I wondered if some of the locals don't like the extra traffic the track has produced.

There is a very small parking area indicated by signs at the point where you must stop. Park as far off the road as possible.

The road continues up the hill, and the walk proceeds along it. This is a private road, and permission has been gained for walkers, horse riders and cyclists to use it to access the Kaoota Tramway Track. The road climbs a way and then a sign clearly indicates the start of the tramway. The slope is necessarily gentle throughout its length, and is very easy to follow. It emerges at Kaoota, where there are some picnic tables and a slightly larger parking area. For this reason, you may prefer to start at Kaoota. I can see the track being used by cyclists too, given the easy slope. The walk is about 6.5km each way between the parking areas.

Various plants are in flower at this time of year. This is a nice easy walk fairly close to Hobart which might be good to do on days when the weather keeps you off some of the higher hills. It was rainy the day I went. I found that there's a cafe at the Margate Train when I had finished walking.

The tramway includes this cutting

Bridges have been built across creeks

Goodenia ovata, Hop native-primrose

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