Planet View: S43°17.495’ E147°19.716’
Street View: S43°17.495’ E147°19.716’
We finished up our tour of Tasmania with a few days on Bruny Island, just south of Hobart. To access Bruny a ferry departs the small harbour town of Kettering every hour or so for the 25-minute ride across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to North Bruny Island. Bruny is split into two portions – north and south – separated by a thin stretch of soil known as The Neck. Similar to Tasman National Park, Bruny National Park is one of Tasmania’s newer National Parks and covers most of the coastal area of South Bruny Island. After disembarking the ferry we took some time to explore Adventure Bay, the main settlement on the island, where I threw in a line for a few mullet and some Australian Herring while Lisa took a jog along the beautiful white sand of the bay’s beach. The bloke next to whom Carol was sitting at the Twenty20 in Hobart recommended we stay at Cloudy Bay at the very southern end of the island, so we ventured down through the towering Eucalypt forests to Cloudy Bay during our first afternoon. The Cloudy Bay campsite (S43°27.859’ E147°15.215’) is accessed by traversing a few kilometers of beach, after which it’s a short but steep jump-up into the beautiful campground. We shared the spot with another family or two, the large area in the Eucalypt forest was a beautiful spot with a fabulous beach a short walk through the scrub and a couple of lauded hiking trails beginning next to the campground. I even ran into a few Echidnas whilst searching for firewood. We unfortunately weathered quite a fierce storm, with hail and some crazy winds, during our night at Cloudy Bay so didn’t really get to appreciate the area as much as we could have in nice weather, but it’s definitely a spot not to miss.
For Lisa’s birthday present my grandmother shouted Lisa (and me) to a trip on a Bruny Island Cruises tour of South Bruny Island. We were due to take the tour on our second day on the island, but in the face of the horrendous storm the night before the skipper of the cruise company detailed that the cruise would likely only cover a small portion of its regular route and those with flexibility should return the next day. Flexibility, that’s us! So I went and found a campsite on The Neck while Carol, Greg and Lisa explored some of the Fluted Cape hiking trail to the top of the striking dolerite cliffs that stretch along South Bruny’s east coast.
We were very thankful for the honesty of the Bruny Island Cruises owner when we woke for our third day on the island: no wind and glassy seas. Now if you think of a honking steamship with a casino and bars when you hear the word ‘cruise’ that’s not how Bruny Island Cruises operates. Forty-nine passengers are loaded in a military-inspired, aluminium-hulled speedboat, which has almost 800 horsepower of propellers jetting it through the water. Passengers in the front half of the boat are required to be strapped down (tight) to their seats while the boat’s in motion and everyone’s provided with waterproof slickers for the hair-raising ride. Lisa and I managed to secure the two seats at the very front of the boat, and while this did mean we felt the worst of the bumps and rolls of the ocean we were afforded the best views throughout the tour. The three-hour trip took in no shortage of the striking dolerite cliffs of South Bruny’s eastern shores, beautiful rock formations and some extremely powerful blowholes. The wildlife was brilliant, with a range of seabirds including albatross and petrels up from Antarctica for summer as well as a colony of Australian Fur Seals amongst The Friars at the very southern tip of Bruny Island. The crew on our boat were fantastic, they were a wealth of knowledge on the surrounding environment and always made sure every one of their passengers was enjoying the trip (the Tim Tams they fed us sure kept us all Happy!). Everyone had some serious adrenaline pumping as the boats are piloted through gaps in the cliffs and into caves, one gap we shot through at full speed would have only been a metre-or-so wider then the boat! It was awesome, just awesome! Lisa said it was better than any theme park ride she’d ever been on. If you find yourself in Tasmania, make a point of trying to get on a tour with Bruny Island Cruises.
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