We’ve said (probably more than once) that we would follow the entire Battery Point Sculpture Trail one day. Well that day finally arrived, and we did it. And because we thoroughly enjoyed the experience, we’re sharing that experience with you. Because that’s what we do!
Hobart Walk: Battery Point Sculpture Trail
The Battery Point Sculpture Trail was created about five years ago by Hobart-based design studio Futago, in conjunction with artist Judith Abell and writer Chris Viney. The award-winning public arts project is an interpretive walking trail delving into the history of the waterfront precinct.
Visitors follow a trail of nine individual sculptures, each installation a particular number depicting measures of time, date, weight or amount. A relevant story-board accompanies each number with details of the number’s relevance to Hobart’s historic suburb of Battery Point.
Each sculpture is unique; but they’re all large numbers. They all have interpretive panels with explanatory information nearby. You’d be hard-pressed to miss one… but somehow we managed to! We had planned to follow the Battery Point Sculpture Trail in one direction, then divert back through the village via Kellys Steps and Arthur Circus on the home run.
When we reached the end-point, we realised we’d missed one of the sculptures. So we retraced our steps along the waterfront, determined to see all nine sculptures. Besides, we’d neglected to carry money with us and the whole point of the diversion was to enjoy coffee and cake!
From Errol Flynn Reserve, Sandy Bay
We probably spent about an hour walking one-way, but we certainly weren’t setting a cracking pace.
To begin the walk, we parked the car near the Errol Flynn Reserve at the northern end of Marieville Esplanade in Sandy Bay. You can start walking from either end of the linear trail, but we chose Sandy Bay (in sight of Wrest Point Casino across the beach) for parking purposes. We weren’t sure we’d find a suitable car park in Salamanca Place, but as it turned out we needn’t have worried.
You can download a brochure for the Battery Point Sculpture Trail, but it’s hardly necessary to carry a map once you start the journey. Clear directional markers provide a very good guide as you make your way along.
The trail is dog-friendly, although having a pooch with you will obviously limit your options should you wish to partake in said coffee and cake. Walking is via regular, council-supplied footpaths through residential areas; there are lovely homes and gardens to admire along the way. Some of the larger waterfront homes must have the most magnificent views over the Derwent River to the eastern shore of Hobart.
Great Things to Do in Hobart
There’s some really fascinating information about historical sites in Hobart…
Twice a day, a metal float sinks into a saltwater-filled pit cut through a rock beneath the tiny building opposite. Twice a day, the float rises with the tide. Robert Huckson’s gauge has been working since December 1889. Behind the tide-house there’s a square socket cut into a stone step. It’s the positioning point for a surveyor’s staff. Measured at exactly 12.43 feet above sea level, the socket was the base datum point for all levels surveyed in Tasmania. ~ Hobart City Council
Having now completed the Battery Point Sculpture Trail (finally!) we’d give the walk a resounding thumbs-up along with the many other great things to do in Hobart. The sight of Napoleon Street, a very steep hill proceeding from the 1909 sculpture in Errol Flynn Reserve, was a little shock to the system, but that was the only minor hurdle we faced.
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