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Exploring Bruny Island

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We arose early today and made for Christine and Barry’s where Kerrie wanted to do a couple of loads of washing, allowing Barry and I to spend a couple of wonderful hours fishing from the little cove at the bottom of his garden.

An amazing experience of catching fish after fish.
An amazing experience of catching fish after fish.

Using a screwdriver and hammer we harvested huge oysters.

All this amid a backdrop of a deep blue bay overlooking the small Satellite Island a few hundred metres away.

We made for Cloudy Bay first down at South Bruny which is mostly dirt road but in good repair.
As we arrived we were greeted with the breathtaking visual images of huge lonely and rugged cliffs surrounded by emerald and blue waters.

Cloudy Bay is a popular surfing beach.

Cloudy Bay is a popular surfing beach.

We walked into the bay itself over hills covered by low growth shrubbery passing a myriad of tiny rock strewn bays thick with kelp swaying in the waves.
This wild place seemed to have a voice that called one to come and stay awhile in the remote, windswept ruggedness and drink in the solitude completely devoid of the seemingly important humdrum of life in “civilised” society.
We made or way through forests that stretched to the very water’s edge and on to the Cape Bruny lighthouse.

Wild and rugged coast line to Cape Bruny Lighthouse.

Wild and rugged coast line to Cape Bruny Lighthouse.

This was a mesmerising place for me and I think Barry, as we experienced something of what made our father fell in love with a similar place at Godley head in Christchurch and lived at the light keepers’ cottage there.

The solitude life of a lighthouse keeper is compensated by the magnificent veiws.

The solitude life of a lighthouse keeper is compensated by the magnificent veiws.

The utterly spectacular panorama captured the imagination and as I walked around the old cottages once filled with the families of Lighthouse Keepers from long ago.
I found myself back in time 100 years or so walking the pathways up to the large white lighthouse tower, built in 1836 by 12 convicts.

Built in 1836 and was in commision until 1996 when the new solar powered automatic light took over.

Built in 1836 and was in commision until 1996 when the new solar powered automatic light took over.

I lived for a moment in the daily routine of lighting the lamp each evening at first with Sperm Whale oil, later with Kerosene and later still starting the 110 volt generators which powered up the light.

I could see the sailing ships approaching the DEntrecasteaux Channel where in 1835 three ships were wrecked which resulted in the light being built.

I could see the unchanged magnificence of the land and seascapes almost exactly as the successive Keepers and their families would have seen them.

I could sense the grief at the deaths of 2 infants, the hard work in maintaining the 184 acres of rough country so that it provided vegetables, grass and hay for livestock such as the horses and bullocks used to drag supplies up the steep 3 mile trek from Jetty Beach where the remains of the jetty built in 1860 can still be seen.

The community at the lighthouse must have been bustling since one of the Keepers families consisted of 12 children.

I could easily have stayed at this wild and beautiful spot for a long time.

360 deg views keep you turning to try to capture it all.

360 deg views keep you turning to try to capture it all.

Reluctantly leaving the lighthouse we travelled to Great Taylors Bay and experienced for a while the peace and tranquillity of crystal clear, glassy smooth waters washing over brilliant white sand.

We then drove up north to sample the human side of the Island at the Bruny Island Cheese Company where we sampled delicious home made cheeses, breads and spreads and a great coffee before making our way to the Chocolate Fudge factory where sample the most delicious, melt in the mouth, fudge before driving back to Barry and Christine’s place at Alonnah.

Shucking fresh oysters while the sunset at Allonah.

Shucking fresh oysters while the sunset at Allonah.

We had an amazing meal of fresh Oysters and fish as an entrée followed by one of Kerrie’s special roasted silversides and veges.

Absolutely dead tired we arrived back at our little home in Adventure Bay for a great nights sleep accompanied to the lullaby of the gentle surf.

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