I drove to Bruny with my friend, Super Kay. Kay had
once dated a penguin in his native Germany and
could not stand the thought of visiting Tasmania without visiting Bruny.
We had about a week to travel around together before his
onward flight to New Zealand. When he suggested Bruny
Island, I put up no argument.
It's a scenic 40 minute trip south of Hobart to the town
of Kettering, where over 10 ferries per day make the 20-30
minute roundtrip to the tiny island. Ferry prices
depend on whether you're a regular visitor, a pensioner, a
senior, and what kind of vehicle you're going over with.
All ticket prices are roundtrips. It is assumed that
anyone going to Bruny will be leaving Bruny, which doesn't
hold true 100% of the time. Some people have to die on Bruny.
We had troubles from the very beginning. My 1996
Ford Futura wagon needed a new starter motor, although I
didn't know it at the time. The car would sometimes
fail to start, and one such time was just before we were to
drive onto the last ferry. We managed to push it
aboard, with the help of some local Aussies. I was
lucky in this regard that my car was the last one on,
because when we arrived on Bruny, the car also failed to
start and had to be rolled off.
of Bruny (left to right): Source of
replenishment Bruny's only pub in Alonnah; advanced
degrees from Bruny institutes of higher learning;
Doug standing barefoot on the dirt roads of Bruny
those halcyon days of 2006, one went to visit penguins and immerse
oneself in nature on an island with just 520 residents.
Times have changed slightly since then. The population has gone up
20%, the island has its own
web site, and its now promoting itself as a venue for food, dining,
and wine. It's hard to see the island changing all that
much. The Fluted Cape walk would still be a highlight hike
from Adventure Bay. Cape Bruny still boasts its lighthouse.
The Neck is still where the island is divided into two and the penguins
come out at night to seek future life partners.
Bruny remains a magnificent getaway for residents of Hobart.
The island has enough amenities that you won't feel you're deprived, but
it's also as bare basic and undeveloped as you're likely to see during
your time in Oz. A few days here will leave you feeling refreshed
and possibly deprived and cranky.
Bruny Island is nature time. Doug and
Super Kay camped. Our first night there, we drove from the ferry
to the Neck to see the penguins and stayed there until dark. We
pulled the car into the first camping spot we saw and pitched out tent
at night, playing frisbee on the beach till midnight. The next
day, we camped in a windy area near Adventure Bay and watched my tent
get blown away as
albino kangaroos hopped among the grounds. At the time there
wasn't much in the way of true hotels or lodges.
Super Kay was due to go back to Germany within two months, and I
remember during one of our hikes the look of depression that would cross
his face when he thought of German taxes. Things have since
worked out very well for Super Kay. He proposed to his fashion
model girlfriend atop the Eiffel Tower. Bruny Island has long been