On Hobart’s back doorstep, yet a world away in landscape and atmosphere, the Huon Valley and D’Entrecasteaux Channel can be enjoyed over several hours or days. The attractive marina of Kettering, just 40 minutes drive from Hobart, is the departure point for regular ferry service to Bruny Island. The name Bruny actually applies to two island joined by a narrow neck.
The south islands townships of Adventure Bay and Alonnah are only half an hour drive from the ferry terminal in the north. Once home to a thriving colonial whaling industry, Bruny Island is now a haven for bird watching, boaters, swimmers and walkers along it’s sheltered bays, beaches and lagoons. Wild Landscapes, sea cliffs, birdlife, wildflowers, tall forests and a classic lighthouse are among the features of this national Park.
Unfortunately Bruny Island also has it’s sadder side. The Nuenonne (Aboriginal) people called the island Lunnawannalonna, and the park contains a number of Aboriginal sites. One of the most famous Tasmanian Aborigines, Truganini, came from Bruny Island. She died in 1876 and is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the last Aboriginal Tasmanian, when in fact many descendants of Tasmanian Aborigines live on to this day. It was alas from the aptly named Missionary Bay on the island that Reverend Robinson began his ill-fated campaign to round up the indigenous inhabitants of Tasmania for incarceration.
Bruny Island was explored by such famous navigators as Tasman, Cook, Bligh, D’Entrecasteaux and Flinders. In the early part of the 19th century whaling was carried out in Adventure Bay and at Grass Point structural remains can still be seen today.
The park provides key habitats for a variety of forest and heath plants, and threatened bird species such as hooded plovers, swift parrots and forty spotted pardalotes. There are also short-tailed shearwaters and little penguin colonies, while the marine environment is home to seals and whales.
Art at the Point Gallery
Attractive, modern Art Gallery featuring the work of Bruny and Tasmanian artist / craftsmen working in oils, water colours, printed, wood ceramic, glass and fibre. Below the gallery is a great beach, looking north towards the mainland.
As with a lot of beaching, the rocks are covered with Oysters
The Made on Bruny gourmet trail is one way to explore the island. Below are a few we sampled....
Get shucked Oyster Farm & Oyster Bar
Producing the World’s finest oysters in the pure water of Great Bay. Experience farm to plate freshness.
Bruny Island House of Whiskey
Offer an extensive range of purely Tasmanian single malts and gourmet platters.
Bruny Island Cheese Co.
Owned and operated by Nick Haddow who, after almost 10 years of working with specialist cheese in many different countries around the world, settled on Bruny Island in Southern Tasmania to start making cheese for himself. “I strive to be both an artisan and a traditionalist, who recognises that great cheese was made for centuries before modern technology played a role and I believe passionately in the old way of making and maturing cheese. For me, cheese making is a pursuit of integrity, authenticity and flavour”. Cheeses ranged from ‘Tom’ with a hard natural rind, in the tradition of the Tomme cheeses made in the mountainous French Savoire region, to ‘Saint’, surface ripened, soft oozy cheeses with a light bloom on the rind. ‘Otto’ celebrating Italy, is a simple fresh cheese wrapped in locally made Prosciutto, baked in the oven for 15mins.
Caring for your cheese...Mass-produced factory cheese is manufacturer to taste predictable and it need to be kept cold. In the fridge. Artisan cheese is different and happiest in a damp cellar between 10-14 degrees with relative humidity of 18%.
Set in beautiful woodlands, there is ample space to sit and relax and enjoy the good food, possibly with the company of a Supreme Fairy Wren.
Relics of a past era
Whilst travelling around, there are other sites to be seen. In the cloud, high on one mountain pass, we came across these ery relics...
Like the hardy bushmen who worked these machines they are beginning to fade with time.
Chained to a big stump, the HAULER was driven by the STEAM POWERED BOILER, which created about 14 horse power.
The millers used LOCO to take the cut timber to the jetty at Lunawanna, until operations were suspended due to the Second World War.
Most of the timber cut here was blue gum and was used for ship building. A ship’s keel, 98 feet long, was cut from these forests and sent to New Zealand to build the backbone of a mighty vessel.
And we met some locals...