Bruny Island – day 2 (part 1)

This morning we woke to a few spots of rain. Juniordwarf was quite upset by this and demanded an umbrella. When we told him there wasn’t one, he said he’d get his own umbrella.

The nearest available umbrella-type object was the cover of his camp chair.

ImageInnovative.

Today’s maximum temperature in Hobart was forecast to be 38 degrees.

We had no idea how this would translate to Bruny Island, and whether we should expect a scorching hot day or whether being surrounded by water would make things cooler, whether it would be windy or what would happen.

All we knew was that 38 degrees wasn’t going to be pleasant, and that it might be better to be either under a tree somewhere in water or in an air conditioned car.

One of the plans we made before we arrived was to do a few of the shorter walks available on the island. We thought that the Mount Mangana walk, through what looked like cool-ish forest would be something we could do before it got too hot.

Mt Mangana, at 571 metres, is the highest peak on Bruny and is in a State Forest Reserve. The guide to Bruny says that the track “ascends through the many and varied species of flora and fauna which make up this amazing rainforest”.

We headed back along Coolangatta Road to find the start of the walk.

ImageIt was an unusual walk. It started out with similar rainforest to the walk we did yesterday, the main difference being that there were lots of rocks and it was quite a bit steeper at the beginning.

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As we walked, the trees got thinner and smaller.

ImageObviously if you’re going up to 571 metres, there’s going to be a bit of an incline.

We weren’t sure whether the track was a loop that would bring us out higher up the road, or whether we’d reach the end and have to turn around to come back. The map seemed to indicate a circuit, but the “90 minutes return” sign suggested otherwise. After we’d been walking for 45 minutes, we started to wonder if we’d reached the middle and were heading out of the forest, or if we’d eventually get to an end point.

The forest was constantly changing.

ImageWe’d get out of the rainforest into a more sparse, drier and warmer area with scrubby trees and rocks, and think that we must be near the end, then all of a sudden the track would start to descend back into rainforest again.

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It felt a bit like Groundhog Day.

Eventually we got to a clearing, where there was a huge maritime radio tower.

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I had to stand on a rock to see the coastline. It was a gloomy overcast day, so it wasn’t the perfect viewing time, but it was still a nice view – I wished I could have gotten a bit higher to see over the trees.

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It seemed like that was the end of the road, so we had to turn back. The trip back down was easier, though there were some slippy parts, especially when clambering over the rocks, and a couple of times Juniordwarf wasn’t as careful as he should have been.

This tree looked like a bear’s head.

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After we got back to the car, we continued along Coolangatta Road, and found the other lookout on the way. There was an interesting board about the Island’s trees, and apparently from this point the view took in all the different types of areas of vegetation that could be found on the Island. It was a pretty good view to The Neck from here.

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We ended up at Lunawanna on the Western side of the Island, and decided to have lunch at the winery, Bruny Island Premium Wines.  This is a lovely spot, with great wine and fantastic food. Who could ask for more?

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It certainly didn’t get to 38 degrees and the storm that was expected seemed to be passing us right by while we were having lunch, with just a change in the wind to signal something was going on.

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We were pretty happy about this. Tenting in a 38 degree storm wasn’t the most appealing thought.

I could have easily stayed there all day, but we had more exploring to do.

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