Tasmania's premier island destination
19.01.2013 - 23.01.2013 21 °C
Although we could see South Bruny Island from Southport we had to travel almost 180 kilometers by road, vehicle ferry and beach to reach Cloudy Corner campgrounds in the South Bruny National Park on South Bruny Island. Since it was a school holiday weekend we were surprised to find a quiet and spacious campsite with fantastic views of Cloudy Bay. The sand on the 3 km stretch of Cloudy Bay beach is hard and easy to travel on but the off-ramp from the beach is narrow and very rough but no problem for the Land Cruiser and the Quantum. The campsite is one of the nicest on our trip with lots of private space, panoramic views over the bay, a place for a campfire, clean pit toilet, mobile broadband coverage and I could also tune the satellite dish in for TV in the evening.
Bruny Island is actually two landmasses - North Bruny and South Bruny - that are joined by a long, narrow sandy isthmus called The Neck. The vehicle ferry from Kettering to North Bruny only takes 15 minutes to cross the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and it cost us $65 return for the Land Cruiser and the Quantum.
Both the channel that separates the island from the Tasmanian mainland and the island itself are named after French explorer Bruni d'Entrecasteaux who explored the region and discovered it to be an island in 1792. In 1773 Tobias Furneaux was the first recorded European to land on the island at Adventure Bay. Four years later on 26 January 1777 James Cook's two ships, the Resolution and Discovery stayed in the bay area for two days.
On the second day, which was a marvelous sunny day, we did a pleasurable 3 hour wilderness cruise along the spectacular coastline of the South Bruny National Park. The cruise starts and ends at Adventure Bay and took us alongside some of Australia’s highest sea cliffs, drifted up close to listen to the awesome ‘Breathing Rock’, entered sea caves, passed through the narrow gap between 'The Cathedral', a majestic sea cliff, and ‘The Monument’, a tall slender stack. The columnar dolerite sea cliffs are breathtaking in their extreme ruggedness, towering over 200 meters above sea level. At the Friars and The Sisters where the Tasman Sea meets the Southern Ocean, we drifted quietly past a large haul-out, home to thousands of Australian fur seals.
During our stay on South Bruny we visited Australia's southernmost vineyard, Bruny Island Wines, at the sleepy little island settlement of Lunawanna. They specialise in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and we bought a couple of bottles of each. They also serve meals and we had Bruny Island oysters and Chardonnay for lunch. On the way back to the campsite we took the winding and misty forest 4WD track through South Bruny National Park.
We also visited the Chocolate Factory, Get Shucked Oyster Farm and Bruny Island Cheese Company where we were served in Afrikaans by an ex-South African.
We left Bruny Island feeling very reluctantly after our delightful stay consider it to be one of the best on our tour. We took the ferry back to mainland Tasmania and travelled north to Hobart where we will explore the capital city for three days.