Friday, April 10, 2015

Bruny Island

A day trip from Hobart to Bruny Island takes a bit of planning to fit everything in. We left Hobart a half hour later than we intended and ended up missing our car ferry connection at Kettering, 40 minutes south of Hobart.

That resulted in us having nil chance of catching our pre-booked 11.00am Bruny Island cruise from Adventure Bay - leaving us to rearrange our day a bit!

It gave us time for a leisurely drive down the length (mostly) of this beautiful island and a long lunch, picnic style at the famous Bruny Island Cheese Co. on Grand Bay (right near the famous oyster outlet - Get Shucked).

The hand made artisanal cheeses are absolutely delicious, but I think the wood fired sour dough bread is just as much a world beater as the cheese is.
We were lucky enough to be there just as the loaves were removed from the outdoor oven - Yum!
And time for a stop at the lookout over The Neck - the narrow isthmus linking the northern and southern land masses of the island.

The Neck is a fairy penguin rookery - not that we saw any in the middle of the day - just lots of evidence of their burrows in amongst the sand dunes.

I was interested to see that a memorial to Truganini has been constructed at the lookout - such a tragic story from Tasmania's undeniably violent past.
We got to Adventure Bay in plenty of time to catch a 2.00pm cruise - plenty of time to find one of the island's famous white wallabies in the surrounding bushland.
 We were thrilled to have made it and be on our way!
The boats take us south around the rugged coastline of the wild and isolated (and pristine) South Bruny National Park.
 past soaring Jurassic dolorite cliffs and dramatic cave formations...... 

 among the highest sea cliffs in the Southern hemisphere........

and past the dramatic "Monument" rocks.....  very fast actually...... in the narrow space between the rocks (with lots of squeals).
 The "breathing rock" turned on a great show for us.........

We eventually get so far South that we reach the Great Southern Ocean - which is much wilder than where we started (even though it's a "calm" day today). There's a large Australian fur seal colony here - all males feeding themselves to obesity ready for the seasonal trek back to King Island to breed with the females.

We get really close to them frolicking in the water....

 ...and lounging on the rocks of "The Friars".
It's a spectacular part of the world ........ and we saw sea eagles, rare black head cormorants, albatrosses and some very well fed garnets. ..the time just flies and it's easy to forget how really cold those fierce Southerly winds are. 

It seems like no time before we're back at Adventure Bay. It's a 40 minute drive back to the ferry and a good wait in the queue before we can catch the ferry back to the mainland. We count ourselves lucky to talk the guy working the coffee machine at the ferry stop into shucking us 2 dozen Grand bay oysters - harvested just this!.... while we admired the sunset over the D'Entrecastieux Channel.

It's been an amazing day - and we ended it with a glass of Piper's Brook Riesling (from NE Tassie) with those astonishing oysters and more cheese and bread...lucky us!

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