NOW: BRUNY ISLAND
Our last stop in Hobart was MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art. We went to the basement to see the Museum of Everything Exhibition – a collection of everything – drawings, paintings, models, sculptures. After the pussycat tea party exhibit we had a cup of tea ourselves in antique china just like the pussycats! In the MONA Gallery there are no signs but the gallery owner tells the story of each work through a phone with ear phones which each visitor can borrow for their visit. We really enjoyed our visit but this was no ordinary gallery and there was too much to see in just one visit!
The ferry trip from Kettering to Bruny Island only takes 15 minutes. Some people visit Bruny for the day but we took the Tvan and stayed a week.
There’s a lot to see and do on Bruny Island. We camped at The Neck – a thin strip of sand between D’Entrecasteaux Channel on one side and the Tasman Sea on the other. Bookings are not taken for most campsites on Bruny but they can fill up quickly.
After a breakfast cooked on our Ozpig we headed to Adventure Bay to board the fast boat on a journey to the great Southern Ocean. We had planned a fast boat ride from Port Arthur to Tasman Island but the seas were running a 5 metre swell which didn’t sound like fun. The swell had dropped to 3 metres so we were more confident of a great day out.
We cruised close to the dolerite cliffs where the seaweed clings to the rocks and the waves pound. The swell was running at 3 metres once we left the bay and entered the Tasman Sea. The cruise took us between tall rock spires, up close to the Breathing Rock and past the spire known as The Monument.
We could smell the seals before we saw them basking on the rocks and diving about in the swell. Lots of sea birds live here as well on the small islands and cliffs. Muttonbirds were floating and diving. Interestingly, muttonbirds dive with their wings out and use their wings underwater to help them dive and swim.
We had waited for reasonable weather for our fast boat cruise but everyone was given a bright red raincoat in case the seaspray came their way. We stayed nice and dry with just an occasional splash but because I’m so tall my red raincoat reached right to my boots!
Bruny Island lighthouse is at the southernmost point on the island with three lighthouse keeper’s cottages and a graveyard that reminds us of the harsh conditions people lived in in 1836 when the lighthouse was built. On the lighthouse tour we climbed the stairwell to look out to the last little island that marks the edge of Australia 40kms away on the horizon. The small villages of Alonnah and Lunawanna are on the road to the lighthouse and when you put the town names together in the local Aboriginal language you get Bruny Island.
In the north at Barnes Bay some buildings remain of a quarantine station that operated for many years protecting us from diseases and ensuring new plants were safe for propagation. The beaches were calm and protected – perfect for a local picnic of smoked salmon, artisan bread and Bruny cheese.
We took the scenic route when we left Bruny from Kettering along the coast road through little villages of Flowerpot, Gordon, Garden Island, Cygnet and on to Huonville. The minor roads, while narrow and often gravel are just as quick as the highways which bounce and bend anyway!
NEXT: THE SOUTH EAST
See you on the Emu Track
Cheryl and David