Waterworks Reserve sits in the foot hills of Mount Wellington and gets its name from the two reservoirs that have collected water from the mountain since the 1860’s.
It is a popular spot for days out and family celebrations, with parkland, bush walks, playgrounds and the usual free barbecues.
At Waterworks Reserve there are specific sites, with shelters of various sizes, benches, tables, barbecue, tap water and bins, all with good views, that can be reserved for a set date and time. This is one of the smaller ones.
We left the car park and walked on the northern side of the upper reservoir. In winter some areas of the track don’t see sunlight, hidden in the valley. These sections felt dark and damp, with various types of moss growing on the trees and bushes. There was an abundance of fungi too.
As the track changed direction and ascended we found sunlight and flowers.
We came to the “Pipeline Track”, a path that follows water pipelines that have gathered water for Hobart since 1861. The pipes and technology give their own history – wooden and masonry troughs initially, earthenware pipes from 1871, cast iron pipes from 1901 and concrete pipes from 1917. We only walked part of the track but the pipeline was clearly visible in many places.
The track led uphill alongside the pipe, to a sandstone outcrop and a hand cut channel in the rock. “Gentle Annie Falls” is no longer a waterfall. The channel was created to direct water into the Waterworks Reservoirs but has been dry since water was re-directed in the 1940’s.
Back in the reserve, the “Receiving House”, a sandstone building from 1861, is now an information centre, showing the history of providing Hobart with clean water and also raising questions about water conservation and maintenance for the future.
~ less than 3% of the worlds water is fresh water, most is saline within the oceans
~ 75% of this fresh water is locked in the ice caps.
~ Aborigines had lived on this land for thousands of years. Yet when Europeans arrived, the water supply for the growing settlement, the Hobart Rivulet, was polluted and undrinkable within twenty years.
To end our lovely afternoon walk, koolaburras were flying about, sitting on the ground, in the trees and on posts.