What a wonderful day

Bruny Island Travel Blog

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Looking back towards mainland Tasmania and the direction from which I came from the neck of Bruny Island

My first stop on the island today was the lookout at the neck. Bruny Island Neck is the sandy isthmus where short-tailed shearwaters and little penguins nest that connects north and south Bruny. The ferry terminal is at Roberts Point on the north Island, which has the more benign landscape of the two islands. The south island is slightly larger and more populous than the north and has more for the visitor to enjoy, not that it is crowded; the most people I came across in one place was the neck lookout and I’m sure everyone just did what I did and that is hop off the ferry and stop next at the neck. I met some people from Melbourne and another couple from Europe were there, I had a chat with the people from Melbourne and they had a giggle that I had come so far. :) They asked me where to find the best fishing, but as I am not a fisherperson, I was unable to help. One of the men said that the locals like to keep their fishing spots secret and that they couldn’t get anyone to tell them where to go to find fish. I commented that I don’t think that is necessarily a Tasmanian trait and that I’m sure most fisher people of the world prefer to keep their fishing spots secret. He agreed with me.

It is a long climb up the stairs to the lookout at the top with no platforms to break the journey, so you just have to stop on a stair to catch your breath, but the view no matter where you are is gorgeous. Off to the east are the boardwalks and viewing platforms that snake their way across the dunes for the nightly viewing show that has the penguins coming in from the sea to nest.

All that waiting for the ferry and I needed to go
I wouldn’t be seeing them this time, but I might take the chance to go back before I leave for the northern hemisphere. The climb to the top is well worth it, the 360-degree views are spectacular. Even with the weather being finicky, it was stunning. I picked a great time to go though, because I had pretty clear skies and what cloud there was gave a great atmosphere to the sky. I would look in one direction and the sky was blue with white fluffy clouds then I would turn and look in the other direction and the clouds looked moody and about to unleash their torrent of rain at any minute, then I’d look in that direction again a few minutes later and there would be blue sky. You just can’t tell...

After spending some time at the neck, I drove all the way south to Cape Bruny through the gorgeous farmland and some magnificent forest, where the only lighthouse on the island stands in the cold winds coming up from Antarctica. It is a 70-minute drive from Roberts Point along some sealed and some gravel roads to the lighthouse. It was freezing when I got out of my car so I buttoned up my jacket, pulled my hood over my head, and went exploring. There were two lots of people there when I arrived, one lot already up at the lighthouse, which sits on a hill from where the car park is, and the other person in a red jacket was a little further up the path taking some photos of the view. I made my way over towards where I first saw the person in the red jacket and saw that he was taking a photo of some stunning scenery. I stayed there for a little while taking shot after shot and just staring at the beauty before making my way up the paved path to the lighthouse. I passed the other party coming back down and when I got to the top of the path the person in the red jacket was heading back down. He looked very miserable and I hoped it was just because of the weather. I said hi and continued on my way. It was extremely windy up where the lighthouse stood, but the views are dazzling. I could see all the way to mainland Tasmania in one direction and in the other towards New Zealand (I could not see New Zealand) I could see the Friars where I went on the boat trip with dad when he was here to see the seals. It was too far away for me to see the seals, but I knew they were there.

on my way up to the lookout at the neck on Bruny Island
:) I understand that on a clear day if you look towards the southwest, there are two white islands sitting out there somewhere about 22 nautical miles away. They are not ice or snow covered islands nor are they a couple of stray icebergs drifted up from Antarctica, but two small land masses where generations of sea birds have left their white deposits, and as there is nobody out there to clean up after the birds the islands are now white. I couldn’t see these either but those isolated sea stacks are the southernmost outposts of the Australian continent and the continental shelf is a further 15 nautical miles into the southern ocean.

From the lighthouse, I watched as red jacket guy got in his car and drove off, and another party in a people mover arrived and made their way up the path to where I was standing. I went back around to the southward side of the lighthouse to read a sign that has the information about the two little white islands and a few other facts about the lighthouse. As I was standing there, I stepped backwards and bumped into another person. It scared me half to death; I had not heard anyone come up behind me, as the freezing wind howling in from the south was too noisy. There were about half a dozen people milling around the lighthouse now, so I thought it was time for me to leave.

Back down at the car it felt positively warm compared to the temperature up at the lighthouse, and I said as much to the new party of people hopping out of their car about to head up the hill. I also told the guy he would be better off leaving his umbrella-ella-ella yeah yeah behind as is will do him no good in the wind up there unless he wished to impersonate Mary Poppins.

Make sure you stop at the two lookouts on your way to the lighthouse. The signs only show you where they are on the way to the lighthouse and not on the way back and it’s easy to miss them.

At 2:30 I stopped for lunch in a little cafe near Adventure Bay. I was tired by this stage and looking forward to a nice lunch and a bit of a rest. The cafe was bright and welcoming but the prices were high. I sat on the veranda enjoying the view and my carrot and coriander soup and cup of coffee; I had been driving for about an hour since leaving the lighthouse.

From these boardwalks you can watch the fairy penguins make their way up from the beach at dust to burrow in for the night
I didn’t think it would take so long to get from there to here, but there is a long winding dirt road I chose to take that took me up through the centre of the national park towards the highest peak and back down an equally winding dirt road to Adventure Bay. It was a good drive but a long one on an island only 63 km long (39 miles) from top to bottom.

When my cappuccino arrived I nearly called the waitress back to ask for some coffee with my froth, there was more froth than coffee and I felt a little let down as I was looking forward to a nice cup of coffee. It was still nice coffee, but just less than I would have liked, it did come with a little Easter egg on the side of the saucer though, so that was a bit of a bonus. :)

The cafe I was in was just across the road from the shore. I could hear the waves crashing and it made me want to find another guesthouse to stay in for the night so I could wake up to that magical sound. Alas, I had to be back at work at 8:30 the next morning so that was not on the cards for today.

My soup was utterly delicious and it recharged my batteries enough to get me back on the road and back to the ferry for my journey home.

I was one of the first cars on to the ferry for the trip back from Bruny; I was on the top level this time and only one car back from the front. I chose not to get out of my car again on this trip, I did have another big car parked very close to my door and would have struggled to get out, but that’s ok.

Something I forgot and that could have had me in a bit of bother was the fact that I didn’t fill up with petrol before leaving the mainland. There are a couple of service stations on the island and there is a reason they are not called petrol stations, they sometime don’t have petrol. I made it though and when I arrived back at my home the indicator light had just come on. It is something to bear in mind though, if you do ever plan a trip to Bruny. Something else to be aware of is to take anything you want with you, food, drink and other essentials. Again, there are a couple of general stores, but they are very general and sometime even run out of bread.

As I rode the ferry back to the mainland the sun was getting ready to sink down behind the hills in the west and seemed to be having one last bust of brightness before it disappeared for another night. I have had a wonderful unplanned two-day getaway and have thoroughly enjoyed myself. This getaway was the balm I needed to get my life back on track.

 I am back at home now and the feelings of pleasure I accrued while away are still with me. I came back home with a new lease on life. I am ready to hit the books and get back to my studies but now I can see the road ahead more clearly than before when all I could see was what was right in front of me, a job I don’t like anymore and a course that seems to be taking me forever to get done. I just needed a reminder that I still need to live my life now and that just because I have somewhere I want to be doesn’t mean I should stop enjoying where I am now. I had not allocated myself any time to get out and do the things I like to do, explore the countryside, meet new people and just stop to enjoy a moment for exactly what it is, just a moment. I had focussed all my attention on a point in my future but wondering how I was going to make it all happen. I realise now it will happen no matter how much or how little effort I put into worrying and stressing about it as long as I keep taking steps towards my goal. They don’t have to be giant leaps and bounds, but lots of little steps will still get me there. Thanks for persevering with me and joining me on my little journey, I hope you enjoy the photos I have added to share with you of my little unplanned getaway.

Sunflower300 says:
It felt like a week Rudolph. It was a wonderful getaway. :)
Posted on: May 01, 2009
Sweetski says:
Thank you dear Elke for sharing those lovely stories, your feelings and your thoughts. Without having seen them one by one, I can see below pictures are yet another marvellous bunch. I look forward to going through them.

Your mini escape feels like a week vacation to me. I am glad you are feeling all better now, focused once again and in touch with yourself in the here and now. I applaud you for turning around that dreaded feeling into a happy and enjoyable time.

I hope you are spared any further negativity, but in case some of it crosses your path again, make sure to escape to your French retreat.

Good luck with the studies! :)
Posted on: Apr 26, 2009
Sunflower300 says:
Thank you so much ladies. :)
It makes me happy that you enjoyed my little getaway.

Nicole I look forward to the day we do share a trip together. :)

Gudny I appreciate your words. Thanks. :)
Posted on: Apr 24, 2009
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Looking back towards mainland Tasm…
Looking back towards mainland Tas…
Looking back towards mainland Tasm…
Looking back towards mainland Tas…
All that waiting for the ferry and…
All that waiting for the ferry an…
on my way up to the lookout at the…
on my way up to the lookout at th…
From these boardwalks you can watc…
From these boardwalks you can wat…
The magnificent view from the view…
The magnificent view from the vie…
Memorial for Truganini – the las…
Memorial for Truganini – the la…
From the lookout at the neck
From the lookout at the neck
Looking towards south Bruny along …
Looking towards south Bruny along…
mind your step
mind your step
Looking east – next stop New Zea…
Looking east – next stop New Ze…
Looking back towards mainland Tasm…
Looking back towards mainland Tas…
Oh look, the cows are home
Oh look, the cows are home
A pretty country scene
A pretty country scene
Where I have come from (ferry Term…
Where I have come from (ferry Ter…
Some of the pretty country roads o…
Some of the pretty country roads …
Another pretty country road with a…
Another pretty country road with …
It was all so pretty I had to stop…
It was all so pretty I had to sto…
A home on the road to Cape Bruny
A home on the road to Cape Bruny
The beautiful view peaking through…
The beautiful view peaking throug…
The beautiful view peaking through…
The beautiful view peaking throug…
It was such a grey day I didn’t …
It was such a grey day I didn’t…
See what I mean
See what I mean
Another pretty rainbow for me to e…
Another pretty rainbow for me to …
The relief lighthouse keeper’s r…
The relief lighthouse keeper’s …
Pretty
Pretty
Even in rainy weather it’s still…
Even in rainy weather it’s stil…
Everywhere I turned there was some…
Everywhere I turned there was som…
See?
See?
The Cape Bruny Lighthouse
The Cape Bruny Lighthouse
The view changed every second with…
The view changed every second wit…
One minute it’s grey and dreary
One minute it’s grey and dreary
The car park and the lighthouse ke…
The car park and the lighthouse k…
The perfect horseshoe shaped bay
The perfect horseshoe shaped bay
Cape Bruny Lighthouse
Cape Bruny Lighthouse
Cape Bruny Lighthouse
Cape Bruny Lighthouse
The view from the lighthouse
The view from the lighthouse
I don’t know what this little bu…
I don’t know what this little b…
The stunning cliff faces off Bruny…
The stunning cliff faces off Brun…
Cape Bruny Lighthouse
Cape Bruny Lighthouse
Trying to keep out of the blusteri…
Trying to keep out of the bluster…
The beautiful view again
The beautiful view again
Heading back down the path to the …
Heading back down the path to the…
A pretty little flower near the li…
A pretty little flower near the l…
Back on the road past more pretty …
Back on the road past more pretty…
Sheep in a paddock
Sheep in a paddock
Driving through the forest in the …
Driving through the forest in the…
It was a long windy road the way I…
It was a long windy road the way …
I stopped for lunch near Adventure…
I stopped for lunch near Adventur…
Lunch was a lot pricier than on th…
Lunch was a lot pricier than on t…
Turkish bread for my soup
Turkish bread for my soup
An Easter egg with my coffee – I…
An Easter egg with my coffee – …
The lovely view from the cafe
The lovely view from the cafe
My yummy carrot and coriander soup
My yummy carrot and coriander soup
Gotta wash the car again
Gotta wash the car again
Trees by a fence
Trees by a fence
Still more of the beautiful view
Still more of the beautiful view
The yummy Bruny Island Fudge is av…
The yummy Bruny Island Fudge is a…
Nothing beats this view; I just lo…
Nothing beats this view; I just l…
Heading back to the ferry terminal
Heading back to the ferry terminal
Letterboxes in a row
Letterboxes in a row
Waiting for the ferry yet again
Waiting for the ferry yet again
... but who can complain with this…
... but who can complain with thi…
A gorgeous Aussie Gum Tree
A gorgeous Aussie Gum Tree
Still waiting... ahh pretty
Still waiting... ahh pretty
... still waiting
... still waiting
Here it comes
Here it comes
Ok, time to unload those cars and …
Ok, time to unload those cars and…
Oooo top deck this time
Oooo top deck this time
It didn’t feel as claustrophobic…
It didn’t feel as claustrophobi…
Bruny Island
photo by: Sunflower300