Brown's River

Brown's River, on which the township, of Kingston is so nicely situated, was so named after Mr. Robert Brown, the botanist accompanying Flinders on his voyage in the Investigator. He arrived at the Derwent in the Lady Nelson in February, 1804, and returned to Port Jackson in the Ocean on August 9 following. During his sojourn at Hobart Mr. Brown made four excursions, two north and two south of the city. In the first of the latter he crossed Brown's River, and reached North-West Bay. The native name of the river is Promenalinah.

From Dr. James Ross's "Hobart Town Almanack" of 1830:-

"At the upper end of Macquarie Street, near the Military Barracks, the road leaves Hobart Town for Sandy Bay, one of the original settlements made soon after the evacuation of Norfolk Island, (in 1808). It winds along the side of the water, and the ground is divided into a great number of small, but well cultivated farms and gardens, too numerous to particularise In this place. From Mr. Hogan's farm, three miles down the river, a bridle road on the right conducts to the top of Mount Nelson, the view from which will amply repay the traveller the trouble of ascending. The country appears like a map stretching at the feet, affording a prospect as far as Cape Raoul, the whole of Storm Bay, and the high hill on the north end of Maria Island. Beyond this are the farms of Mr. Sharp and Mr. Fisher, opposite to which is a long, hard, sandy beach, on which the Hobart Town races are held on New Year's Day. This affords one of the pleasantest rides in the vicinity of Hobart Town, extending as far as Crayfish Point, the property of Mr. Cartwright.

Besides the road along the coast by Sandy Bay, there is another track leading along the ridge of Mount Nelson to Brown's River, a distance of about 10 miles from town. It is a small stream, taking its rise in Mount Wellington. At the crossing place is the romantic little farm of Mr. Lucas, the chief constable of the district. This place is celebrated for the best potatoes that are brought to Hobart Town, the soil being deep light, and sandy. About half-way up towards Mount Wellington, the new road, which is now making to the Huon River, and Transylvania, or country on its banks, also crosses this rivulet. Still following the banks of the Derwent, a a mile from Brown's River, we arrive at Blackman's Bay, on which are several small farms. This is a very romantically situated little settlement, with a fine sandy beach in front. The potatoes which grow here are as celebrated as those of Brown's River. Between the bay and that river, at the distance of about 100 yards from the sea, is a remarkable aperture in the earth, of about 150 feet in circumference, and 30 in depth, which is effected by the ebb and flow of the tide through a subterranean passage in the rock underneath.

To the south of Blackman's Bay the coast assumes a different character, and rises into perpendicular cliffs of hard ironstone rock, the most lofty of which, at about six miles farther to the south, opposes itself to the swell of the ocean from Storm Bay. Before reaching this point, and at the only landing place for a boat on this part of the coast, are the farms of Mr. Mansfield and Mr. Lovett, the pilot. Close to the house of the latter, is the Signal Station, called Mount Lewis. The road here terminates, and the traveller, if he wishes to continue his journey, must take a boat and sail to D'Entrecasteaux Channel 40 miles in length, and from one to three in breadth, dividing Bruny Island from the main." 1

  • 1. KNOW TASMANIA - The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 25 December 1929: p 3