Bruny Island

Bruny Island is the same size as Singapore but that’s where the similarity ends. Singapore has a population of 6 million, Bruny has a population of 650 permanent residents. The island is accessed by a small roll on roll off ferry that leaves from the town of Kettering. There are north and south islands seperated by an isthmus called ‘The Neck’. The whole is about 100kms long and it’s got the lot – rain forest, dramatic landscapes, miles of gravel tracks and hidden sandy coves.

So, just our sort of place and on a very windy Sunday evening we got the last ferry across (about 20 minute trip) and then pulled into a free camping spot just after The Neck. We had made one of our now regular stops to buy fresh oysters. Tasmania is full of them and the Bruny Island oysters are reputedley the best of the lot. At about $16 for a dozen and then taken with a glass or two of Tasmanian Sauvignon Blanc they make a perfect end to any day.

We spent 4 days and 3 nights at this most beautiful of places following little tracks that go up with stunning views and down below tantalising small sandy coves just not accessible by foot. There are marvellous free camping spots including one behind the only pub on the island that serves the freshest of local food and of course those excellent Bruny oysters.

Our favourite beach of the lot was Jetty Beach, a mile long stretch of sand with overhanging trees at one end for shade and shallow calm water for swimming. The ride out to Cape Bruny Lighthouse at the southernmost tip is dramatic and the original lighthouse with its lovely little museum is still there. It was built between 1836 and 1838 using convict labour and was one of the last manned ones in Australia. The other significant thing about Cape Bruny is that it is the most southerly point in Australia that we can get to in a campervan. Then is Antarctica if you go south and if you go due west you have got 17,000kms before you bump into the southern tip of South America. Definately the edge of the world as we know it.

On the wildlife front Bruny has the only white wallabies. Apparently one was seen near where we were camping but we didn’t see it. However, we did see a 3 foot wide stingray gliding slowly along in about 2 foot of water at Jetty Beach with it’s deadly tail trailing along behind. We got some good photos but when it came back for a second look it was a bit too close for comfort.

We sat at a small jetty cafe on a beautiful sunny morning waiting for the ferry to chug over to take us back to the mainland whilst watching a couple of seals splashing about catching their breakfast. We commented that it was unlikely we would ever come here again as so far from home and not an easy place to get to but we will remember Bruny Island for a long time to come.

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