Friday, September 18, 2009
Hobart harbour - past
Hobart's present wharfs are built on reclaimed land.
In the days of the first fleet, ships docked in the Derwent River or tied up against the wooden wharf built on the tiny Hunter Island in Sullivan’s Cove. One of the first jobs assigned to the convicts was to construct a stone causeway joining the island to land. Today this area now has wharf buildings on it.
The information reads:
In the centre of this cove is a small island, connected with the mainland at low water, admirably adapted for the lands and reception of stores and provisions…
The Ocean and Lady Nelson are lying within half a cable’s length of the shore in nine fathoms. (David Collins, 1804)
In 1804 Colonel David Collins selected Sullivan’s Cove for the settlement on the Derwent. Hunter Island was linked to the cove by a causeway constructed by the first convicts. On this reclaimed sandpit the merchants built warehouses. For the first 30 years this area was the centre of commerce and shipping. At first there was a small jetty but no wharf and convicts, settlers and cargo had to be carried between ship and shore by boat.
It was not long before small shops were built along the causeway and land was reclaimed along the waterfront. After a fire wiped most of these out, new warehouses replaced them. Today these elegant buildings still grace Sullivan's Cove.
Pic: Information poster on waterfront and the section of the waterfront with restored wharf buildings