Risdon Brook Track – Hobart (Tasmania) – unofficial parkrun and then some

Our training took a turn for the worse the past couple of weeks, so the thought of a 101km event in 9 days time, is making me a wee bit nervous. After 19 hours of traveling, we finally touched down in Tasmania, and decided to walk the 1.7km to catch a local bus into town where we had to pick up the rental car. At $11 for the both of us, it seemed a much better option than the airport bus at $40 for us two. Besides, we needed to do some form of exercise after all that sitting.

We settled into our self-contained cabin, went out to buy some basics for dinner and breakfast, poured a glass and cooked dinner. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I was knackered. We didn’t sleep the night before, as we had to spent the night in Auckland airport, which is definitely not a place to try and get some shut eye before traveling on. But, nevermind, we made it safe and sound despite cyclone Gita threatening to derail our traveling plans. It made landfall in NZ around 2pm, and we left Palmy at 7pm with an already delayed flight. When we walked across the tarmac to the plane in Palmy, the wind blew my feet from under me! We had some very windy take offs and landings, but all turned out fine. Auckland was a wee bit better than Palmy, but Melbourne was far worse again for both the landing and take off. Tasmania was fine.

But, I’m diverging.

After a bit of a sleep-in (we were also in a different time-zone from NZ by two hours) and breakfast, we went into town to get our connectivity sorted with a local pay-as-you-go option. We needed it as part of the emergency kit for the 101km event anyway, so opted to go with the preferred supplier, Telstra, recommended by the event organisers. Back at the cabin for some corn cakes with hummus and ham, and watermelon for desert, we decided that we really needed to go for a run. Searching the local trail sites, we found one that seemed easy and pretty, only about 15 minutes drive from where we stayed. When we arrived there, we couldn’t help but think it would be a perfect parkrun. At 4.3km to circumnavigate the small lake/dam, you only need to add a little bit to make it a parkrun. And what do you know, searching for Hobart parkruns, it turned out that the Risdon Brook track is in fact one of the two Hobart parkruns. But instead of going around the lake/dam, they do an out-and-back of 2.5km on the eastern side.

On the way there we decided to go around twice to at least get an eight kilometre run done. The track starts in an area with lots of parking, toilets, BBQ facilities, picnic spot, and a kids playground. It is a lovely area between hills in the bush, hard to believe you are so close to a huge city. It seems to be drier, more rocky and reminded me a little of the African bushveld.

We trotted off in the same direction that the parkrun goes – anti-clockwise. After about one kilometre we reached the first of three inclines. This is generally a reasonably flat course, but the few minor “hills” cannot be ignored. The first hills was still okay, but the second one at 1.75km is a bit steeper. Still nothing to write home about, and finally we reached the third hill at, what must be, the turn-around point for the parkrun (2.5km).

Carrying on around the lake, we reached the dam wall, and crossed it before turning around to run back. By then a few other runners were also out and about, and given how nice and scenic it is, not to mention the sunny day, I wasn’t surprised at all by the amount of runners and walkers on the track. As it turned out, the dam is in fact a reservoir for drinking water, feeding the southern parts of Tasmania. Hence, no swimming in the dam, and no dogs allowed.

About halfway on our return run, we stopped to take a photo when we suddenly heard something jumping through the fence just a few metres away. Unfortunately, we didn’t spot any animals so just continued on. With about 500 metres to get back to the car, rounding a corner, there was this animal sitting a mere four metres from us. Not sure if he or us got the biggest fright, but while we were all processing the encounter, the wallaby (I’m assuming it wasn’t a pademelon) turned around and hopped away. Gerry did manage to get a quick pic. It was nice to see some Tassie wildlife so early in the trip.

This is a very nice wee trail, and well worth doing if you’re in the area. Must be an awesome parkrun.


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