We were finished with boat work for the time being and looking for a morning respite. We'd walked down to the Bruny Island Ferry Terminal before. It's only a 10-15 minute walk from the marina. We'd previously noted the times for the ferry departure while also noting that walk-on's rode for “free”. One of our favorite words. I packed a couple of sandwiches and a bottle of water and we headed down to the ferry dock. We were heading to Bruny Island. The island is actually more like two islands with a tiny isthmus in the middle connecting the two halves. First explored by Bruni D'Entrecasteaux in 1792 from whence it got its name, Bruny Island was home to sealers and whalers by the early 1800s. From top to bottom, it's nearly 100km long, so we weren't going to see much of it in our few hours, but we were looking forward to the change of pace and a nice hike.
The morning was warm and sunny and just boarding the ferry was good for the soul. The 15-minute ride across the D'Entrecasteaux Channel on the M/V Mirambeema was uneventful, but it was great to be back on the water if only for a few minutes. Once on the island side of the channel, life slows down. There is a small shop at the ferry-boarding area, but nothing else. Once all the vehicles had debarked, there was no more traffic. We had the place to ourselves. We climbed the hill for views of the channel and Bruny's verdant, hilly landscape.
We saw a brown falcon soaring in the blue sky. Birds chirped and fluttered. We added a spotted pardalote to our birdwatching list. Flowers were in bloom and sheep grazed on the grassy hillsides. Bruny is known for its cheese, wine and smoked salmon. We regretfully missed the Oyster Fest which was held last weekend. We saw signs offering tours, land for sale and 100% Tasmanian wallaby pies.
There's much to see on this island and it's better seen by boat. Beautiful bays and anchorages, a very scenic lighthouse and lots of history await us here. This short trip has whetted for appetite for more. The island is criss-crossed with walks and hiking paths. The east coast especially has been visited by Captains Tasman, Furneaux, Flinders, Cook and Bligh, many of whom anchored in Adventure Bay and we intend, of course, to follow their lead. Soon!