Playing The Numbers Game: The Battery Point Sculpture Trail


Maybe some of you have wondered about the odd numbers that sometimes appear in some of my challenge posts. “Why is Hobart littered with random numbers?” you are probably asking. I started to write this post a long time ago now but it was never finished.  I didn’t have enough photos to do so. I always intended to go back and take more but life intervened.  I think it is time to explain.

Naomi and I both like to walk both for pleasure and for exercise. I am far too lazy to exercise just for the sake of getting fit so I don’t enjoy walking just for exercise. For me walking usually has to have a practical purpose like walking to the shops.  When I walk for fun I like something pretty or interesting to look at and maybe take photos of and when I have someone to talk to as well it doesn’t feel like exercise at all.

One day we met up in Hobart and treated ourselves to a pub lunch at Irish Murphy’s in Salamanca Place. Then we set out to do the Battery Point Sculpture Trail. This is about the third time we had planned to do this walk. The previous two times it rained. This time we were lucky and got all the way to the end of it but I didn’t manage to take that many photos.

Fast forward several years and I found myself with a free afternoon and decided to do the walk again and take photos of the places I didn’t photograph the first time. I still didn’t get them all and I probably never will.

The Walk:

I have written about Battery Point before. It is an older part of Hobart named after the gun emplacements that were built in case of an attack by the French and later the Russians. Neither event ever happened and the guns are no longer there. Our walk took us through residential streets with houses looking over the Derwent and down laneways to the waterfront and through little pocket-sized parks where you can sit and watch the water activity.

The Sculpture Trail is a signposted walk that begins near the converted silos at the far end of Salamanca Place. Each point of interest is marked by a number which is significant in some way. It’s pretty easy to follow the route as there are bright orange signs at each location and even arrows pointing the way. We had looked at the walk map online but had forgotten to print a copy. It didn’t matter, we found our way easily. We did digress in places so that we could admire the houses we walked by and take a rest in one or two of the little parks. The information sheet says that the walk takes an hour. It took us longer and of course, as you end up near Sandy Bay you then have to come back again.

The old grain silos at Salamanca now converted to apartments
The old grain silos at Salamanca now converted to apartments
The first number on the scultpture walk.
The first number on the sculpture walk.


Soon after we came to Tasmania the silos, no longer needed for grain storage, were converted to apartments. Near them stands the first sculpture, sandstone blocks encased in steel, forming the number 1833. Convict labour was used to build the wharves and many buildings on Hobart’s waterfront. They quarried the stone, broke it and dumped it to create the foundations of the wharf.  The New Wharf was opened in 1833.


This marker is located near the CSIRO Laboratories where scientific research is carried out.

The guide book says:

 The number derives from a small square socket 12.43 feet above sea level which was the base point for all levels surveyed in Tasmania.


To find 628 you have to walk around the back of the CSIRO building on Castray Esplanade and take the path along the waterfront. It is a map encased in glass. Here is what the guide book has to say about it.

If you’d been standing here at the height of the last Ice Age, you would have seen an ancestral river valley, then a broad saltwater estuary as glaciers melted – thousands of years later, you could have watched the first square-rigged sailing vessels enter the harbour.
Today, we can see Sydney-Hobart racing yachts cross the finish line, watch fishing boats come and go and see Antarctic supply ships heading south to the ice – one expansive estuary, many scenes and uses.

The Sydney Hobart Race is a race over 628 nautical miles. The small building here is used to signal the official endpoint of the race.


Again from the guide book:

The very difficult to photograph, 2 000 sculpture is perhaps the most subtle along the trail. It is a tribute to the thousands of Salamanca workers whose hard labour once ran the city. Upon close inspection you’ll find etchings of women who once worked in the jam factories.

The tribute to factory workers.


1923 is a topiary hedge and according to the guide book as well as reflecting the hedges of the smart houses in Battery Point, it is also the year that a proposal for more natural parklands was defeated in favour of building 26 residential housing lots. Seems like not a lot has changed. Developers still rule. I didn’t manage to get a good photo of the hedge but I did photograph some of the interesting homes in Clarke Street where this sign is located.

1923 Hedge
Photo by Flickr user Alan Levine 8 Dec 2011


313 is the number of boats launched in Hobart during the 1800s. This sculpture is actually floating in the water and I couldn’t get a photo of it. Here is a link to one I found on Flickr.


This is another quirky installation. It is rusty metal in a huge ditch which once housed a winch which was capable of hauling 1,250-tonne boats out of the water. Instead of the ditch here is a nice view of the Derwent looking towards Sandy Bay and a link to a photo of it on Flickr.


Illuminated at night this one is not much to see during the day. Although the guide I took this information from doesn’t specifically say so I am guessing that the number represents the number of shipwrecks.


1909 was the birth year of Tasmanian born Errol Flynn.  The park, Errol Flynn Reserve, is the end of the walk. Errol Flynn Reserve has an off leash dog park and a playground nearby.

After leaving there we decided that rather than returning to Salamanca via Arthur’s Circus we would walk to Sandy Bay Road where we had the option of either walking or catching a but back to the CBD. After a cold drink and a rest we decided to walk.

So that is the mystery of Hobart’s random numbers, well some of them anyway. As for the mystery of why it took me so long to finish this post some of these places were very tricky to photograph and involved a lot of walking up and down steep hills and climbing steps.

Signage at Errol Flynn Reserve,
Signage at Errol Flynn Reserve,

I didn’t go as far as Errol Flynn Reserve on my recent walk though. Instead I decided to head back in the direction of Salamanca Place and enjoy more of the lovely houses in Battery Point.


This is the information from the Hobart City Council website about the walk.



I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


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