Gourmet Tour of Bruny Island

6 February, 2014

The Neck joining North and South Bruny Isands

Bruny Island Safaris bus collected us from our apartment at 7.55am.  One more couple to collect from a visiting cruise ship in Hobart port, then off we head south to Kettering and line up to catch the next ferry to Bruny Island.  A ferry leaves every hour, so we have time to order a quick coffee, very welcome as we did not have time for breakfast.

It is amazing how quickly the ferry loads with vehicles such as cars, trucks, tourist buses plus passengers, and it seemed no time until the loading platform was raised and we were headed off for North Bruny Island.

Our first stop Bruny Island Berry Farm, most of the berries now finished, but we had the opportunity to see the plants that are there and to meet three WWOOFERs (Willing Workers On Organic Farms), two girls from Japan and one from France.  Workers stay for several weeks working on the farm in exchange for accommodation and food, and of course the chance to explore Bruny Island – they looked happy!

Could not resist a morning tea of scones with jam and cream and a taste of Elderberry Juice, although the elderberries were not grown on the farm.  The property is opposite a scenic beach on Adventure Bay so we had time to cross the road and walk on the white sand to see the site of Restitution Creek where Tobias Fureaux (sent to find explorer La Perouse) found fresh water for his vessel’s crew.  Adventure Bay is named after Captain Cook’s ship (on his second exploratory journey).

The Berry Farm is opposite the white sands and sparkling blue waters of Adventure Bay (left) and the cafe (right)

We travelled along a section of road where white wallabies are sometimes seen, but although we saw a small Blue Tongue Lizard and almost collided with a Paddy Melon, no white wallabies to be seen today.  Our Guide, Aaron, did spot a native pepper  tree, so stopped and climbed to pick a few leaves for us to try – very peppery!

Next stop was Cape Bruny Lighthouse, now manned by volunteers who stay in the cottages once inhabited by lighthouse staff.  The lighthouse is the 4th oldest in Australia, and from the base of the lighthouse we had beautiful views over Adventure Bay (below right).  The small islands on the  northernmost  point of the bay are called The Friars.

Lunch was at the Bruny Hotel, again with wonderful views over Adventure Bay – I had a Smoked Salmon Salad while Pete tucked in to Marinated Lamb Rack – delicious….and I did take a photo!

There is a lookout at The Neck, the isthmus between Adventure Bay and Isthmus Bay, where you can climb the 237 steps to catch a breathtaking view of how the “neck” joining the North Bruny Island with South Bruny Island was formed – easier going down the steps than climbing up!  I wasn’t sure if I could make it….but persistence paid, and it was a really easy climb to the top, and well worth the climb (image at top of page).

The Bruny Island Cheese Factory was next on the agenda (above left and right) to taste-test some of their wonderful cheeses, made on their premises, and see the other Tasmanian produce available.  “Get Shucked” oyster shop was our next stop (below left and right) where we tasted the wonderful Pacific Oysters caught opposite the shop site – bought a dozen to have for dinner with some cheese and wine…wonderful!

Due to the shortage of time (and too much time spent at the cheese shop and oyster shop) we drove to The Bruny Island Smokehouse & Wine Bar to taste some of their delicacies (below left and right).

Shame we could not have stopped for longer however our last stop on the way back to Hobart was the little known, but very famous Nutpatch Nougat Chocolates at Kettering.

We were at the ferry in lots of time for the next crossing, it had been quite a warm day so we took advantage of buying an icecream to cool off.  Once we were off the ferry, it was a quick run to the Nutpatch.  This business never advertises, referrals are all by word of mouth (pardon the pun), his chocolates and their famous nougat is exported all over the world.  Of course we stayed longer than we should have but our host John Zito (below left) was most congenial, explaining the process of chocolate making (and providing tasting!) so we all left with some purchases, and feeling very contented with the experience.

Back to Hobart to stock up on some bread and crackers and a bottle of Shiraz to enjoy with our oysters – life can sometimes be tough!!

Tomorrow we journey south again to the Tarhune  Airwalk

Coming in to load vehicles and passengers on Bruny Island

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