FRIDAY the 21st.
7.45am: Up and about at ‘silly o’clock’ (must be the jet-lag) that ensured we were ready to leave in good time.
We’re off to Bruny Island, located off the south-east coast of Tasmania – an island off an island! It’s an organised tour, courtesy of Pennicott Wilderness Journeys that we booked last-minute before we left the UK.
Bruny Island is a natural wilderness, completely unspoilt by us humans! Each year, it gets around 150000 tourists and is growing in its popularity. We’ve got a full day there and so we don’t expect to back until tea-time. Our Tour starts from Adventure Bay with a three-hour boat-trip taking in the local features.
Not exactly a heat-wave for our trip, but it suits us! We’re travelling there in three stages…
Driving to Kettering (yes, really! No, THIS one not that one!) 😁 – and unlike at home, where the population is growing all the time, this particular Kettering is smaller, with only a population of 984 people! More of a village than a town.
All aboard the Ferry.
A mini-bus to our final destination. So why didn’t we just take the hire-car all the way there? Simples… No-one is not allowed to take a hire-car to this particular Island!
08.29am: We arrived with a few seconds to spare and met up with ‘Sam’ our mini-bus driver. He also turned out to be one of the deck-hands on our later boat trip too! After some quick introductions, he queued to get us on the Ferry
The Ferry crossing only took around 20 minutes, and Sam was soon testing the capabilities of the mini-bus along the narrow roads and tight bends (designed really for small cars) as we hurtled towards
certain death our final destination! It was only his knowledge of the island (and his natural Aussie humour) that distracted us from his heavy right foot! 😉
Clearly Sam, in his spare time, was a rally driver, and he seemed to know all the curves on the roads here, allowing him to completely avoid the use of the brake pedal!
pit-stop call was ‘Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve‘. I’m not sure what the ‘game’ was but a short (ish) walk up the 200+ steps gave us a great view!
It’s called the ‘Neck’ because it’s the thin strip of land ( an ‘isthmus‘ for you geography buffs) that joins North Bruny with its Southern equivalent. Although we only ascended around half the steps, it was still a great view. Back on the mini-bus, the rally-stage continued, with Sam heading for the finishing line at Adventure Bay.
10.45am: On arrival at Adventure Bay, we paid our Tour fee (around £82 each) and headed for our main briefing by Fran. She covered all the important points – the importance of layers, the duration of the tour, toilet facilities on-board – and, how much fun it was going to be!
11.05am: All aboard! And after a brief err, briefing by Jeremy, the Boat’s Skipper and one half of the Sam/Jeremy Double-Act, we were all kitted-out with the necessary waterproofs ready for our three-hour voyage of discovery.
11.15am: Our Boat took off (literally!). This vessel was amazingly fast, able to turn on a sixpence and to stop quicker than it accelerated. It soon became clear why we needed our red ‘oneseys’ because every so often, we were all soaked with the sea-spray.
Was it worth getting dressed-up and soaked for? Yes, most definitely, ‘yes’! We took in some amazing sights along the way…
Unusual rock formations… Caves… Seals… Birds… – it was all breathtaking!
3.10pm: The three hours passed in a flash and we were genuinely sorry it was all over. The whole event had been exceptionally well organised and we felt that we’d been educated and entertained in equal measure. Pennicott Wilderness Journeys come highly recommended if you’re this way for your holiday, looking for something ‘a little different’. We can’t recommend them highly enough! 👍
Our ‘treat’ was spotting a ‘painted wallaby’ as we headed for the Ferry home. There’s only 300 on Bruny (Wallabies not Ferrys) and we were lucky to spot one – especially as it was calmly sitting on someone’s driveway!
Things we learned about ‘Tassie’ today:-
- It has a thriving Whisky industry (at around £200 per bottle!)
- Salmon are bred here and sold around the world
- It had a very short-lived mining industry (due to the coal tending to explode when it got hot)
5.15pm: We’d done really well today – energy-wise – with no sign of any jet-lag. But just in case it hit us later, we ate early. Luckily for us, within a few paces of our Apartment was the well-known (in Tassie anyway) The Drunken Admiral.
We hadn’t booked and when arrived it was already heaving! They squeezed us in and we kept it simple, sticking to just a main course. Maybe the jet-lag HAD kicked-in as I forgot my phone, so no photos of our (rather tasty and generous-of-portioned) selection!
6.30pm: Time to plan tomorrow’s adventure. First thing (ish) we’re taking a walk to the local market – Salamanca – the famous Saturday Market. Then, we’re heading for Port Arthur a world heritage site (and ex-prison). It’s said to be the best preserved prison in Australia and is about a 90 minute drive from here.