Channelling (Day 3) – 12 of 12 July 2015

A very belated conclusion to our weekend in the D’Entrecasteaux Chanel in July.

Sunday was going home day. We had another leisurely breakfast and coffee. Lots of coffee, before packing up and checking out. (Pro tip: If you ask your 8 year old to get everything of theirs out of their room, you actually have to go in and make sure that their definition of “everything” is the same as yours.)

(1 of 12) I had to go back as we were leaving to take a picture of the red door on the cottage.

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1 of 12

We drove down past the marina to the start of a short walk to Kettering Point. (2, 3 and 4 of 12) There’s a lovely view from the marina all the way around to Bruny Island.

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We spent a while there watching a sea bird circling in the sky and diving for fish. It was mesmerising.

(5 of 12) The Kettering Point walk continues to Trial Bay, where we had stopped briefly yesterday on our drive to Woodbridge. It’s a lovely walk through the bush and, for some reason I can’t explain, I felt a strong feeling of connection to this place. I’m not a coastal person and as far as I know I have no family history in this area, so I don’t know where this came from, but it was a feeling that sat with me for most of the walk.

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5 of 12

(6 of 12) After the walk, we finally went back to Grandvewe to buy our cheese.

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(7 of 12) We decided to have coffee in their café, where there’s a great view back to the water.

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7 of 12

The options were coffee and tea with normal milk, or for $2 extra you could have it with sheep’s milk. I normally drink black coffee but I wanted to try sheep’s milk, so we all ordered our drinks with that option. It certainly tasted different to any milky coffee I’d have before. Both Slabs and I thought the sheep’s milk made the coffee less sweet, although the staff member who served us said that sheep’s milk is sweeter than cow’s milk. Whatever, it was different, and I’d definitely have it again.

(8 of 12) Juniordwarf had a pot of tea. His report was: “It tastes a bit like sheep cheese. It tastes like English Breakfast tea with sheep cheesy milk. It’s delicious . . . (second taste) Yep, this definitely tastes like sheep’s milk. And cheese.”

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Not too sure about that.

We spoke to a fellow customer who was new to Tasmania, and she told us how much she loved the state and that she’d been spending every weekend getting out of Hobart to see new places. It must be great to have the freedom to do that! I felt a tiny pang of envy.

(9 of 12) Juniordwarf enjoyed a conversation with the sheep before we left.

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9 of 12

Our final stop was the Oyster Cove Inn in Kettering for lunch.

It’s a nice pub right near the marina where the Bruny Island ferry leaves from, so you get a lovely view of the boats if you sit close enough to the window.

According to the website it was originally the summer home of one of Tasmania’s richest men of the 19th Century, Alfred Cotton. It was converted into a guest house in the 1930s and a hotel in the 1950s. (10 of 12) Despite the later additions and renovations to the building, you can still see what the original house would have looked like from the deck.

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The deck is lovely, but it was a bit cold for us to want to sit out there. (11 of 12) It has some interesting sculptures dotted around, which I’d like to find out more about.

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11 of 12

The dining room was packed when we got there, and we got the last free table. (12 of 12) The meals were great, and I think I liked mine better than the meal I had at Peppermint Bay. I’d definitely go back there.

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12 of 12

Nothing eventful happened on the way home. As always, the weekend had gone too fast. I was sad to have to leave and I hope we get another chance to spend time in the area soon.

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Project Life – multiphoto page

I’ve often though about doing a full page photo in the divided page protectors because they can look stunning. Also it’s cheaper to print 6 4×6 photos than a 12×12 enlargement. (Welcome to Tightarse Tuesday, a new regular feature on this blog.)

I finally decided to give it a go after seeing Annette’s post (which I’ve reblogged here).

It’s a photo of the Cape Bruny Lighthouse from our trip to Bruny Island earlier this year. I used a Becky Higgins Design B page protector.

The main reason I did it was that none of the photos I wanted to use on this spread worked with Design B, so I basically had an empty page in my album.

Problem solved.

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Bruny – day 3

The final day of our mini break and it was time to pack up the campsite and head home.

We weren’t sure what the queue for the ferry would be like, and didn’t want to get home too late, so we decided to just do a couple of things on the way back to Roberts Point.

ImageAfter a quick coffee at Adventure Bay, we headed to the Berry Farm for morning tea.

We got there before it opened, but a friend had told us about a pretty little beach nook near the Berry Farm, which (if we’d found the spot she was talking about) we agreed was gorgeous. We went for a walk before the Berry Farm opened.

It’s called Two Tree Point, which is at the mouth of Resolution Creek. Can you see why?

ImageThere is a board nearby that outlines the history of the area.  It says that the area is listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register.

ImageIt has “historic and and cultural significance as it is able to demonstrate an important aspect of Tasmania’s history. The area has changed little since 1792 and is evocative of the landscape that would have been experienced by 18th century European explorers.”

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The board shows a picture painted by Lieutenant Tobin, the Principal Artist on Captain Bligh’s 1792 expedition aboard the Provenance. It is thought that the two trees that overlook the bay today are the same two that were painted by Lieut Tobin, though according to the Heritage Tasmania website, this has not been conclusively been established. If they are the same trees, this means they are at least 250 years old.

Either way, it’s a very pretty spot and I’m glad we had the chance to stop there.

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We walked over the road to the Berry Farm.

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Unfortunately we weren’t there at the right time to pick any berries, but made up for that with morning tea.

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And after that, what better place to go than the chocolate factory

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Yes, Bruny has so much great food, it was going to be hard to leave.

We tasted the delicious fudge and had to buy some. Well, we needed a present for our friend who was looking after our animals while we were away. We might have also had to buy some for ourselves too.

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Our final stop before heading back to Roberts Point was the Neck Lookout.

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There were steps.

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Re-igniting memories of Lady Barron Falls, Slabs counted them. 237.

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The view was worth the climb. There were clear views both to the north

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and south.

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I’m glad we came here today instead of yesterday when it was gloomy and overcast. That was great for the lighthouse, but wouldn’t have made good viewing from the top of 237 steps.

The Neck is also the place you come to see the little penguins come to shore at dusk. That experience is on our to-do list for next time.

So after a fun morning, all that was left to do was to drive back to Roberts Point to catch the ferry. We arrived at the gate shortly after the previous ferry had just left, and the queue was about three cars when we arrived, so we had just under an hour to wait.

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And then the ferry arrived.

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We were on it, and our mini-break was over.

Farewell Bruny.

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You are lovely, and we’ll be back.

Bruny – day 2 (part 3)

After we’d finished exploring Cape Bruny (Day 2, Part 2), we still had enough time to head back to north Bruny and visit the Get Shucked Oyster Bar and Bruny Island Cheese Factory.

Get Shucked was great. 

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You can buy oysters to eat there with a beverage of your choice, or to take away. There were several different styles, but we opted for natural.

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Juniordwarf has a bit of a phobia about oysters, ever since I got sick one day, which I put down to a bad oyster – but I really don’t know. He’s been obsessed about ‘bad oysters’ ever since, and has been worried that if anyone eats oysters ever again they’ll get sick.

So it was a huge step for him to try an oyster today and I’m very proud that he did.

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Despite the look on his face, he nodded a lot and said, ‘I like oysters, I do, I do.’ But one was enough.

Not to worry, more for us!

Oysters and a glass of Tassie Sauvignon Blanc. What a lovely way to wind down the afternoon.

The Bruny Island Cheese Company is just down the road from Get Shucked. We were too late for the café, so no woodfired pizza for us, but were able to taste some of the cheeses on offer.

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They were great cheeses and I liked them all. Some more than others, and it was interesting to see the differences in our tastes. (1792, which is matured on Huon Pine, had a very interesting flavour from the wood that I really liked.)

The cheeses are hand made and aged in the rind.  It was interesting to see the difference between the size of the newer cheeses compared to the ones that were more mature. The reduction in size is due to the water loss that occurs during the ageing.

The lady at the cellar door explained that most factory-made cheese is not aged in the rind because the manufacturers don’t want to lose the volume that is lost during the rind-ageing process. It’s aged in plastic so it doesn’t lose water. (At least this is what I think she said . . . feel free to correct me if you are a cheese guru and understand how all this works.)

We restricted ourselves to one cheese to take away, the raw milk C2, which was high on my list of favourites. The plan was to have some of it with one of our favourite wines later in the evening.

When we got back to the campground Juniordwarf and I decided to go over the road to the beach. Four years ago, Juniordwarf would very reluctantly go into the water, and he’d freak out whenever a wave came near him. We have video footage from one trip of him asking if he could turn the water off.

Now he’s a lot more used to the water and it’s hard to get him out. He started out with his usual trick of holding up his board shorts so they didn’t get wet.

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Not long after, he realised that it was much more fun to actually get in the water. He ended up rolling around in the shallows laughing hysterically every time a wave crashed over him. It was hilarious to watch.

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Dinner tonight was a BBQ at the campground, and we were visited by a little group of wrens that had been around the whole time we were there.

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After dinner we had this.

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Tonight I watched a yellow full (ish) moon over the beach until it was sucked into low lying clouds. Beautiful.

Then I went to sleep listening to the sound of crashing waves. Today was awesome.

Bruny – day 2 (part 2)

After lunch on Day 2, we headed south to Cape Bruny Lighthouse.

Most of the road is unsealed, and it was a lovely drive. To get to the lighthouse, you drive through part of South Bruny National Park.

There are two main sections of this park at the southernmost part of Bruny: the Labillardiere Peninsula, where the lighthouse is, and the south-western coastline on the main part of Bruny. The two sections are connected along the coastline of Cloudy Bay. There is also a small section of the park at Fluted Cape, near Adventure Bay.

There’s a pretty lookout spot over Mabel Bay just before you get to the lighthouse.

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The lighthouse is located on Cape Bruny. You get a good view of it (and its replacement on the left-most hill) as you approach.

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It’s Tasmania’s third lighthouse, constructed after a number of shipwrecks in the area in the mid-1830s. It was first lit in 1838. It was decommissioned in 1996 and replaced by a solar-powered light nearby.

There is a short walk from the car park to the lighthouse.

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Juniordwarf tried out his photography skills. (Note hair. It was windy.)

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This is the view looking back from where we walked over Lighthouse Bay. There is a small cottage that is the lighthouse museum that you can see in this picture (it’s the smallest building to the front).

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It was still overcast when we arrived, and the sky was grey and gloomy. It was a perfect backdrop for this rugged part of coast, which was very different from the sandy beaches in the northern parts of the island.

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I love the coast when it’s like this. It’s moody and a bit threatening. Unpredictable.

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We didn’t do any of the walks this time, though there are several walks in the area, including a 5-7 hour circuit of the peninsula. One of the people at the camp ground told us she’d done that walk the previous day. I think it’s one I’d like to do one day, but I’m probably not quite up to something that demanding right now.

I’ll add it to the list.

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.

Bruny Island – day 1 (part 2)

My criteria for a campsite are quite simple. I like my comforts. Specifically, I like to stay somewhere with an “amenities block”.

I have done roughing it camping (aka Proper Camping) in the distant past, so to distinguish that from what we normally do, I shall refer to our weekend as a “tenting” weekend rather than a camping weekend.

The public campsites on Bruny are, as far as I can tell from the Parks & Wildlife website, Proper Campsites. For people who do Proper Camping.

We stayed at the Captain Cook Caravan Park, near Adventure Bay, which is on South Bruny.

Adventure Bay was named after the ship “The Adventure”, which was the ship of Captain Tobias Furneaux, who first landed there in 1773.  Captain James Cook also landed there, in January 1777, and reportedly collected grass, water and wood. The area has several monuments and plaques commemorating the landings of various ships’ Captains from years past.

The caravan park has a mix of cabins, van sites and tent areas. Some privately owned sites, some basic cabins, some on-site vans, some new villa units and lots of families with kids. It has a huge “campers kitchen” with stoves, a sink, and basic appliances, plus kitchen tables and even a TV. There’s a barbeque area and, most importantly, an amenities block.

There are no designated tent sites if you want an unpowered site, so you can just set your tents up anywhere within the tenting areas.  The day we arrived there was heaps of room, so we didn’t have to set up anywhere awkwardly close to anyone else. And we were comfortably close to the amenities block. (You can see this is important to me can’t you?)

ImageOnce we’d set up the tents (which I’ve become an expert at due to weekends tenting with Juniordwarf in the back yard last summer), we went for a drive to the Mavista Nature Walk. It’s a fairly easy 45 minutes return walk through some pretty rainforest. It’s similar to the rainforests at Mount Field.

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And there were funghi (reminds self to take tripod on next rainforest walk to avoid this kind of result).

ImageAfter we did that walk, we went for a drive through some of the wet Eucalypt forest along Coolangatta Road. Wet Eucalpyt is the predominant forest here, with tall Eucalypts and a dense understorey of small trees shrubs and ferns – there are patches of temperate rainforest growing in the more sheltered areas. (Thank you to the sign at the Mavista Picnic Area for this information.)

We found one of the lookouts along Coolangatta Road, which gave us a decent view of The Neck that joins North and South Bruny, looking towards the Northern end of Adventure Bay.

ImageDinner tonight was at the Hotel Bruny near Alonnah.  It seems like a very popular place, and was very busy.

Apparently they are famous for their chicken parmy. So I went for the salmon. As you do. It was very good.

ImageWe weren’t there quite late enough to see the spectacular sunsets over Sunset Bay, but there was some very nice light to take some photos by as the sun began to set.

ImageI used an app called Autostitch for this photo.

ImageImageThis looks a lot darker than the sky actually was.

We got back to the campsite just before it got too dark. I’m not a fan of driving at night at the best of times, and even less so on roads I don’t know.

After it got dark, I wandered over the road to try and get a picture of the rising moon between the trees, over the water. Phone cameras are not ideal for this purpose but, sans tripod, mine did a better job than my camera did.

ImageI’d like to say I slept very well on such a beautiful night, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

Never mind. It was nice to be away and outside.