Kitchen Garden Guides

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bruny Island

image A half hour drive then a 10 minute ferry ride from Kettering landed us on Bruny Island for a 4 day holiday away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life....Funny how even living in Cygnet, rural Tasmania, feels busy now!

Pure white, squeaky sand beaches, crystal clear water, rugged cliffs, amazing views, unspoiled bush, wildlife everywhere, the incredible Bligh Museum, day after day of berry pancakes and coffee from the Berry Farm, and sleeping in a beach house by the sea....

Cook, Bligh, d'Entrecasteaux and many other explorers of the 1700's visited and mapped this part of the world. There is Two Tree point where fresh water could be found and it is not hard to imagine a square rigger sitting out in Adventure Bay while sailors and explorers gathered oysters, wood, water and botanical specimens, planting fruit trees, offering gifts to the Aborigines and naming peaks and bays.

image image Two Tree Point where the same 2 trees are still alive, as evident from a painting in the museum.
image Begun in 1836, the same year Adelaide was proclaimed a city, it took 2 years to build on this rugged, isolated spot. image
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The lighthouse at Cape Bruny is made of rocks hewn by convicts in the 1830's and is the second oldest in Australia, only accessible by sea for a hundred years.

We saw a Southern Right whale, rafts of mutton birds feeding at sea on their return from Russia and the Arctic, yellow-tailed black cockatoos, seals, echidnas and so many birds I have lost track of them all.... and between times we sat in the sun at the tables of The Berry Farm which must be situated in the most idyllic position of all of Bruny Island, and ate from Kathryn's delicious menu on this, the opening weekend for the season.

image Other food stops on Bruny should take a leaf out of Kathryn's book; they all lack what it takes to lure me back again, whereas I will relish another visit to the Berry Farm as soon as the berries are back in season when I am sure the menu will be exploding with creative dishes, and friendly smiles will make me feel welcome again..... and I will sit by the pond, a stone's throw from Two Tree Point, listening to the lap of the sea and imagining the creak of old wooden ships at anchor in the bay.

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We walked on beaches where the tiny footprints of penguins, oyster catchers and a myriad of other small creatures had left their marks overnight, where driftwood and fallen trees formed sculptures up and down the beach, where the Southern Ocean lapped the shores in lines of rolling, aqua waves.

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We went on the Bruny Island cruise, from Adventure Bay right down the rugged coast, where seals and dolphins play and we saw the Southern Right Whale not far from the boat. The 3 hour trip was excellent, informative and entertaining.

There is a simple little sign on the side of the Alonnah road announcing plants for sale so we headed up the driveway and were greeted by Ruth, in a breathtaking treasure of a garden which should be on everyone's list of places to go on Bruny Island. Ruth is in her 70's and her enthusiasm for her garden is infectious. The plants for sale are not only natives, but there are also hundreds of exotics she has grown from cuttings and seeds from her own garden. She walked us around her verandah from where her entire garden spreads out before your eyes. Sadly I have no photos but by the time we left we felt like old friends and now I have several plants in my garden as memories.

I look forward to another trip to Bruny Island and a swim in that beautiful but very cold water!


Tanya said...

Such a beautiful post; words and photos. I adore Bruny and haven't been back for many years but now I am longing to go again.

garden lover said...

Lets go to Bruny this weekend!

Pattie Baker said...

Two Tree Point! Tiny footprints of penguins! Sounds wonderful, and a world (or at least, half a world) away.