Exercise in the age of social distancing is proving for many people to be a difficult pursuit. Sports are cancelled, we're advised against going to the gym, and the social aspect which spurs many people along their fitness journey is gone.
Launcestonians do however have a number of short walks available to them, where it's easy to keep the recommended 1.5 metre distance between persons, get some exercise, and escape their houses in a safe environment.
A sunny autumn Sunday with a top of 20 degrees saw many locals enjoying some of the trails around Launceston. The Examiner looked at two popular ones to recommend for those wanting to escape the city.
Located barely 10 minutes from the CBD, the Tamar Island wetlands are a popular location for locals looking to escape year-round.
Although the visitor centre is currently closed due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the boardwalk walk to Tamar Island remains open.
The four kilometre return trek is among the most accessible walks in all of Tasmania.
The flat out and back trail consisting of boardwalk and crushed gravel, with seating dotted along the route, means families with prams and older walkers can enjoy the wetlands at their own pace, while joggers have more than enough room to pass freely as they tackle the course.
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For those who want to enjoy the trip and stop to check out the numerous species of birds and wildlife who call the area home, it's worth putting aside 90 minutes to two hours to complete the return journey.
Even now in late March it's worth noting that snakes are still active in the wetlands so children should be supervised at all times.
About 20 minutes down the East Tamar Highway, the Mount Direction walk is for those looking for something slightly more challenging.
Much like Tamar Island, the walk is approximately four kilometres return, but with a vertical ascent of 200 metres. This walk is one way to make up for missing leg day at the gym.
The start of the walk features an information shelter with pictures and stories relating to the semaphore system that operated at the site in the early 1800's.
A well formed gravel trail leads up the mountain, crossing the Bell Bay rail line via an impressive pedestrian bridge, before winding through dry sclerophyll forest to the summit.
Upon reaching the top of Mount Direction, walkers can see the the restored semaphore mast, an impressive structure that formed part of a system running from Low Head to Windmill Hill in Launceston.
Children especially enjoy exploring the ruins of dwellings believed to be used by signalmen during the 1800s and looking at the intricate cob styled stone trig marking the true summit.
- West Head, Narawantapu National Park - North West of Greens Beach, 4km, 90 minute loop.
- Lilydale Falls, East of Lilydale, 1.5km return, 40 minute return.
- First Basin to Duck Reach, Cataract Gorge Launceston, 6km, 90 minute return.