Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Bellerive Village

The Bellerive Oval is popular among cricket lovers around the world for hosting some of the most exciting test and one day international matches in recent times. The ground is rather different to many of the others found on mainland Australia probably due to the differences in soil conditions and climate. However, the attractions of the Bellerive Village are not limited to the cricket ground. It is also a popular sailing location and is home to the Bellerive Marina which has its own Yacht Club.

The Yacht Club was first established in 1926, to promote sailing in Bellerive Quay which was indentified by the regional government as being ideal for recreation sailing. Today the club has grown in membership to a total of 800 members and is the centre of high society in Tasmania.

Bellerive was first settled in the 1820s, and at that time known as 'Kangaroo Point', for the large numbers Kangaroos that would be seen on the shore. Even before this time a ferryman regularly crossed the Derwent, coming ashore in the Bellerive area. Following the first settlers, the area expanded rapidly, with roads to the farming districts of Clarence Plains, Coal River and Hollow Tree soon developing.

 By the 1830s the name was changed to Bellerive (meaning 'beautiful river bank') and the village had become the hub of eastern shore contact with Hobart, and several boats would cross between Bellerive and Sullivans Cove every day. Over time the village grew as more people migrated here due to the construction of the rail road and the expansion of the ferry services.

Bellerive Village still retains its colonial heritage and many of the historic buildings and houses are well preserved. Among these is the Clarence Hotel that was built in 1879, today is a popular gathering place for many of the town’s social events and is also a waiting point for people that use the ferry across the Derwent to Hobart.

Another historic building which is in fact believed to be the oldest in the village is the Police Station that was built in 1845. The original structure was built of sandstone and has varying uses during the course of history as a town council, library and today serves as community arts centre. Much of the original structure still remains intact and contains an original cell. Later cells, made from weatherboards still survive as well.

The old Bellerive Post Office, which was built in 1897, now houses both the Sound Preservation Museum and the Genealogical Society of Tasmania. At the point of Kangaroo Bluff is the 19th century British fortress known as Kangaroo Battery (built 1885) which is now a public park. (See Kangaroo Bluff Fort post)

Of the many historical properties in Bellerive, one of the most magnificent is Natone House. It was built in 1863 for Hobart judge Sir Valentine Fleming. He sold it in 1873 to James O'May, a pioneer of the Hobart Ferry Services, who expanded the house, adding a rear section and fine verandah. It is now National Trust of Australia listed.
From 1892 until 1926 the Bellerive-Sorell Railway had its terminus on a long jetty which extended into the Bay on reclaimed land which now makes up part of the boardwalk.

The curved shoreline of Bellerive Esplanade to Kangaroo Bluff is home to many historical homes overlooking the Derwent and across to Hobart & Sandy Bay. Bellerive is well known for its seafood and entertainment areas around the Bellerive Quay. Certainly well worth a visit for breakfast, lunch or dinner and a casual stroll along the esplanade and around the bluff to the Bellerive beach and Bellerive oval, checking out the Kangaroo Bluff Fort along the way. Bellerive Quay and its surrounds are a very popular tourist areas with the eateries, performance areas and general beauty of the place.