One of the benefits of walking exercise is that it can take you to discover new and fabulous things. We had driven past a certain point many times and I had mentioned time and again… we must explore up there! You see, there were interesting ruins to see of the water wheel flour mill just up the river a little bit. Just 127 years ago the Supply River Flour Mills closed down. This mill was the first of its kind in Australia.
Where are the ruins of the Supply River Flour Mills?
First off let me explain that I’m talking about the island state of Australia called Tasmania. Bass Straight divides Tasmania from the mainland of Australia.
The Tamar River Estuary runs from Bass Straight in the north through to Launceston, a distance of 70 kilometres, and roughly about half way down, a river flows into the Estuary from the left. Its name is Supply River. There’s a little waterfall that divides the fresh water from the salt and it’s at that point the Flour Mill was built.
I’m going to share this with you as one of the Tamar Valley Discovery Trails I’m putting together for you.
We parked near the bridge and walked along a 400 metre track on our way to find the ruins. Only 400 metres! On checking from the bridge later we could actually see the ruins but they are fairly hidden owing to overgrowth. Wow, I could hardly believe it was there all the time as we just drove on by!
We walked up beside the river, and as you can see, the tide was almost at it’s lowest ebb. Only a little stream remained. The little yellow and white boat lay stranded in the mud.
Continuing up the track, the river bed was covered with rocks with only a trickle flowing through.
After a Full Day’s Journey we found the Ruins! Just Kidding!
Around a few bends and there stood the ruins before us. We were advised to keep to the formed walking track as the walls were unstable. They certainly looked solid enough to me but I wasn’t about to test it.
A closer view. Not much left after being ravaged by fire and flood. The building was built in 1825 and finally closed in 1889.
For possibly thousands of years before, the Pannarlapannaa people of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community came here for drinking water, and to collect shellfish and swan eggs.
European explorers first visited the area in 1798 but it was in 1804 they stumbled upon this river as a “very good and convenient place for the watering of ships”. They named it Supply River.
The Flour Mill had two large water wheels at work, one on the side and one to the back. It was the largest mill of its kind and was responsible for supplying the newfound Sydney colony. But gradually steam-powered mills took over.
What a Great Place for a Swim!
Directly in front of the Mill there was a nice swimming hole at low tide. You can easily see the line where the tide reaches each day. Above this point it’s fresh water all the way.
Taken a little upstream as we found our way to the ruins of the old weir.
Made by Aboriginals? I Wonder!
We found an interesting rock there which to me looked like it contained holes made by the Aborigines. I haven’t been able to find any documentation that suggests that but they looked highly suspicious to me.
The track winds through the bush between the mill ruins and weir. You can see how the land was hollowed out making a ridge between the track and the river. This was the old water race that ran from the weir back to the mill to turn the water wheels. I couldn’t quite follow how it worked but it was easy to see what they had done.
See the bridge in the distance? As you can see it wasn’t far off the beaten track.
To see a picture of what the old mill looked like before it was destroyed, follow this link: Actual Supply River Mill. You can see how the verandah came right up to the water’s edge.
Apparently there was only enough water coming down Supply River to run the mill for 8 months of the year. Launceston and surrounds receives hardly any rain in the summer, so it’s easy to image the water drying up.
I found this wonderful video online where they used a drone to photograph the area. It will give you a good idea.
Time to Enjoy Nature
We enjoyed some time clambering over the rocks just above the swimming hole. A lovely little waterfall burbled its way through the rocks. If I stayed there, when the tide came fully in I would be completely covered with water!
Here’s my husband Selwyn acting as if he’s on the top of the world!
Lovely Bird Life of the Area
On our way back we were delighted to see some beautiful ducks sunning themselves.
A number of white faced heron were checking the shallow water or perched on the rocks looking for food.
Beautiful black swans swam gracefully by. Did you know that all swans in the southern hemisphere are black?
A Short Walk But Oh So Much Fun!
We didn’t feel we had been up there for all that long, but as you can see, the yellow and white boat had lifted off the mud and was now floating in the river. The 3 metre tide had turned and was on its way in again.
We slipped back up here two days later to see if we could catch it on the full tide. As it turned out, the tide was on its way out again. We’ll try again later.
How we enjoyed this experience with the water wheel flour mill. How about you? What wonderful benefits of walking exercise do you find? Will you share them with me and my readers? Please fill in the comment section below.
All that scenery does make for a beautiful walk. It really does make it enjoyable. It’s funny that I have been up on articles about walking and its benefits – I think it’s a sign for me to get up and do it.
Im really thinking of googling some trails near me and I can drag someone to enjoy a nature walk with me.
That sounds like a wonderful idea! Please enjoy as it’s a wonderful way to go. thanks for commenting.
Wow what amazing photos!! I don’t believe that I would see anything like what you have shown in your post here where I live. Walking is great, I agree. But your views and what you have seen is magnificent. Thank you for sharing….I would love to go walking where these photos were taken. Great site!
Well Matt’s Mom, it’s time to start saving! Come on over and see it all for yourself. I really appreciate your comments and thank you for taking the time. So glad you enjoyed my site.
What a neat post! Sure there are plenty of physical benefits to walking and staying active, but I never thought about it that way. I guess the opportunity for adventure and discovery is a real benefit of walking. Nothing like your own two feet to get the job done – no need to worry about modern technology breaking down!
I really enjoyed reading this – very cool story and you got some amazing pictures!
Yes, you are quite right Steph! It’s also great from a financial point of view… it doesn’t cost much to walk. It’s something anyone can do, anywhere. Of-course, the scenery is different in every part of the world, but there is just so much to get out and explore. We all need to do more of it.
Thanks for your great comment… appreciated.
Oh my goodness, how beautiful! You’ve got my travel bug itching to make a trip to Tasmania now! It would mean a little further than a walk for this Texas girl, but according to these pictures (AND THAT VIDEO!!) the trip would be more than worth it! How wonderful it is to enjoy nature while exploring new (to me) terrain… now to start saving for air fair and a good pair of walking shoes!
Haha Ashley, I’m so glad you enjoyed my post! Tasmania is a beautiful place with so much wonderful scenery, amazing history, and an abundance of healthy foods to eat. Very satisfying on many levels. It would be great for you to come and visit. Yes, I do encourage you to start saving now!
You are blessed to have all these beautiful scenery near to you. Enjoy
it, and also the places where you can reach by walking.
Yes I believe we are truly blessed for the lovely scenery we have surrounding us. Walking is the best way to appreciate it I find, plus giving us exercise at the same time. Really cool. Thanks for your comment Hannes.