The Chinese heritage of north east Tasmania has been highlighted in Branxholm.  The Henry Ah Ping Walk was the brainchild of Graham and Christine, owners of the Tin Dragon Trail Cottages. The walk begins at their property from an interpretation centre housed in a settlers hut.

Chinese Heritage - Settlers Hut Interpretation Centre
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The Settlers Hut marking the start of the Henry Ah Ping Chinese heritage experience

Chinese Heritage, Tin Mining and Henry Ah Ping

At the start or the end of the 2km circuit walk, visitors can inspect the information boards in the settlers hut.  Christine meticulously researched the life of the walk’s namesake, Henry Ah Ping, for the impressive display.  His life as a tin miner in north east Tasmania is an interesting story, and is based around the region’s Chinese heritage.

Chinese Heritage - Henry Ah Ping
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The story of Henry Ah Ping, Chinese tin miner, outlined at the settlers hut

The Henry Ah Ping Walk follows the Ormuz/Arba water race (1887), and gives the visitor an insight into the construction of the trenches used to channel water for tin mining.  The Jubilee race is also incorporated, leading walkers to an historic alluvial mine site in the bush.

Chinese Heritage - Tin Mining Water Race
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Henry Ah Ping Chinese Heritage walk starts at the tin mining water race

Bushwalking: Sculptures in the Forest

Sculptures placed along the walk, also depict the Chinese heritage theme.  Some of the sculptures blend into the natural environment so well, they could easily be missed.  The Henry Ah Ping Walk weaves through a shady section of bushland; the well defined and sturdy track is surrounded by Sasafras, Myrtle and tree ferns.

Chinese Heritage - Sculptures
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The Chinese heritage sculptures blend into the surrounding bushland

Visitors are advised to allow 20minutes for the walk, but I’d suggest allowing a bit more time.  Not because it’s a difficult bush-walk… in fact, other than one section with about 20 steps, it’s a gently graded slope.  It’s just a pleasant place to wander; to appreciate and contemplate the tin mining and Chinese heritage of the area. What would life have been like for the immigrants working such labor-intensive mining jobs in a strange country back in 1889?

Chinese Heritage - Henry Ah Ping Least 1889
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The tin-mining lease of Chinese immigrant, Henry Ah Ping in north east Tasmania

Walk in the Bush: Free for All

The Henry Ah Ping Walk is completely free of charge and open for all to visit, not just guests of the Tin Dragon Trail Cottages.  For those looking to undertake a longer walk, the Guiding Star Briseis Race Circuit Walk (6.7km) also starts near the Chinese Heritage Settlers Hut.


 

The longer walk also features regrowth rainforest and historic mining leases and one section follows the Ringarooma River.   You could even collect some of the great local produce of north east Tasmania, and enjoy a picnic on the banks of the Guiding Star Creek.  Don’t forget your camera: local fungi makes a great photography subject.

Chinese Heritage - Fungi
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Chinese heritage and other interesting features on the Henry Ah Ping Walk

For more information regarding the Chinese Heritage of the region,
visit the Tin Centre in nearby Derby, the focal point of the
north east Tasmanian tourism route, the Trail of the Tin Dragon.

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Map: Henry Ah Ping Chinese Heritage Walk, Tasmania…