Autumn in South Hobart – Cascades, The Rivulet and Gardens

Autumn in South Hobart lights up the Hobart Rivulet with colour in its parks and gardens.

There are plenty of places to see autumnal colour as the nights cool and the days shorten around Hobart. European colonists brought ‘exotic’ European trees and planted them in parks, gardens and along waterways of the settlement to remind them of the places from whence they had come. Their legacy is the bright golds and reds of autumn foliage, set off against clear blue skies and the deep Eucalyptus green and distant blue of mountains and hills in a way that probably weren’t available in the Northern Hemisphere.

Autumn along the Cascades Rivulet track in South Hobart
Autumn along the Hobart Rivulet (or Hobart Linear Park) track in South Hobart

One of my (and many other people’s) favourites is along the Hobart Rivulet, or Cascades, through South Hobart in what is called variously the Hobart Rivulet Park or Hobart Linear Park. Historically this creek was Hobart’s first water supply and simultaneously its sewer and industrial drain as both homes and increasingly heavy industry grew up along its length from the harbour at Wapping to the foothills of kunanyi / Mount Wellington.

Convict women were marched up the banks of the rivulet when their ships docked, destined for the Cascades Female Facctory where they were ‘processed’ prior to being assigned as servents to free colonists or held for longer terms of punishment. encountered this young woman on my Autumn stroll through South Hobart the other day. She is (as represented in bronze via the sculpting hands of Rowan Gillespie) Brydie, a descendant of female convict Martha Gregory. Standing outside the Cascades Female Factory, Brydie is the end of the trail that starts with those other bronze convict women on Hobart’s waterfront.

Sculpture by Rowan Gillespie, depicting recently-arrived convict women on Hobart’s waterfront

Between the Female Factory and the Brewery, the Cascade Gardens are a haven for trees needing damp, cool-climate conditions.

Autumn in Cascade Gardens, South Hobart
The Hobart Rivulet passes through the Cascade Gardens, South Hobart

In very wet weather, large boulders and trees are frequently washed downstream from the foothills, so a hardened concrete basin and huge steel grates catch debris before it moves downstream and potentially damage infrastructure. Platypus are seen in the rivulet during calmer weather.

The Cascade Brewery sits at the top of Cascade Gardens, its sandstone facade set against the mountain’s dolerite ‘organ pipes’.

Autumn in Cascades Gardens, South Hobart

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