Bruny Island is only 40minutes by car from Hobart, then a 20minute Ferry ride from the town of Kettering. The cost of the ferry is $25 for a car in 2008.
There is a visitor centre at the Ferry terminal at Kettering. You can stay on the island or do a day trip as we did, found this was enough for us, it depends on what you want to do.
Bruny Island is made up of a North and South Island, being joined by a narrow strip of land called "The Neck." Native wildlife is here, and there is boardwalks and viewing platforms so you can see the Shearwaters and Penguins. An interpretation board is here, and in peak times, a Ranger will be there at dusk.
The best time is September to February.
The Neck lookout is here. The countryside on the island is gentle, with wild coastlines and raging surf. Beaches are quiet, you see farmhouses and lighthouses.
It has a rich heritage of Sealers, Whalers and Explorers.
AUSTRALIA'S 1ST APPLE TREE was planted by William Bligh, of the Bounty fame, in 1788 at Adventure bay. It thrived in the climate, and later became the Nation's orchard, Tasmania is known as the "Apple Isle" The Bligh museum is a privately run museum at Adventure Bay.
A full day tour of Bruny Island can be done from Hobart, or Bruny Island Charters has eco tours, departing from Adventure Bay. Inala Tours have Birdlife and Wildlife tours.
There is plenty to keep you busy here for a full day or more..............
The Shot Tower is located on the Channel Highway at Taroona, about 10ks from Hobart.
It is 48 metres tall and round, was built in 1870. You can't miss it (look at the photo)
It used to be used for the manufacture of lead shot. Molten lead was dropped from a great height, the sphere cooling sufficiently not to flatten when hitting the water at the bottom. There is a 259 spiral staircase to the top.
There is a small museum, gift shop and tea rooms.
Open daily from 9am to 5pm., and the cost is $5.50 in 2010
We didn't climb to the top, evidently the views are good of the Derwent River estuary
Should you be looking for something different to do on a day trip, you could do worse than do a loop out through Bothwell, an historic village north west of Hobart, then cut across to the Heritage Highway and back to Hobart.
Bothwell is an interesting old town, dating back to the 1800's and features Australia's oldest golf course as well as some fine Georgian architecture.
The thing about the Airwalk is that it's changed the area dramatically. Before, those who loved the forest used to visit with few others taking the time. Today, it's a totally different crowd and there are thousands more of them.
They've come not so much to see the trees but to get the thrill of going along a 20 metre high boardwalk (actually, metalwalk). The climax (pic 1) is the seemingly unsupported section at the last lookout. Only about half who arrive at the start will actally go out to the end; the swaying motion tends to put many off for some reason.
I sometimes lament that it's no longer the purists who come here but then I think that at least it does get the person who wouldn't normally come into a forest here and, hopefully, some of it will rub off on them and their children and we'll have new generation who appreciate the real Australian bush.
It's located 28 kilometres from Geeveston and you'll have no trouble finding it.
On the way in you'll pass other walks such as Zig-zag Track, Keogh's Creek Track, the Look In, the Big Tree and, if you really want to go out of your way, try and find The Big Stump. These are what used to attract people here but, co-incidentally, less people visit them now than used to before.
As the main entrance to Tahune you can buy your AirWalk tickets here, as well as local crafts and wood products. The bistro serves local fare, hot meals and great coffee. For those who prefer to have a barbecue, the Bluestone Shelter and barbecue sites are close by. A new attraction at the Centre is Southern Forest Threads, a spectacular hand-made quilt, presented to Forestry Tasmania as a memento of its strong ties with the Huon Valley community. Twenty-two women took part in the project, including the Southern Spinners and Craft group and the Huon Valley Quilters, contributing more than 700 hours of labour.
This 597m walk amongst the trees gets you 20m above the ground. The highlight is the cantilever that is 48m above the river level, providing fantastic views of the forests and the junction of the Picton and Huon Rivers.
Admission fees (2009):
Adults - $22.00
Again, unlike many others, I am putting this in my top 10 of things to see in Tasmania. This superb forest has trees of such significance that I used the "monuments" classification for them, and why not? Hundreds of years old, towering up to 99 metres, these surpass many of man's great achievements by just surviving.
This walkway reaches the tree, and I urge you to look at its girth at this point, 20 metres above the ground! Yet still it looks huge. The reason for that is because it is one of the largest flowering trees (and hardwood) in the world. It has shrunk to 85 metres since I first saw it but contains an estimated 360 tonnes of timber though the sign at the site tells you 406 tonnes. They are using a more up-to-date measuring technique these days.
A tragedy happened in 2003. The biggest tree in Australia was killed when they were logging the area (taking down several other giants) and a concerned forestry worker tipped off the greenies about this magnificent tree. In the forestry workers wisdom, while backburning to clear the area recently felled, the tree, by now named "El Grande" caught fire and was killed. Another 80 metre giant over 400 years old bit the dust.
These unfortunate random acts have had a positive side however that I find extraordinary. They have spawned a register of significant trees and, in 2000, the tallest was deemed to be the Styx Bigger Tree. Since then, 34 have been listed as being taller!
The current record holder is named Centurion(see other tips for pictures).
In the Tahune there are many walks and you would do well to allow yourself a day in this area. These days the big attraction is the Tahune Air Walk and I have a separate tip for that.
If you enjoy walking, an excellent way to spend a day is to walk on the mountain which is so close to Hobart.
Wellington Walk Maps are available at the Tourist information Centrefor the more adventurous and I would really suggest that if you intend walking to the summit, you choose one of the honeycomb of tracks and avoid walking up the road.
One track starts from very close to the Cascade Brewery and I have seen a platypus there about five minutes into the trip. This path goes to Junction Hut through rainforest and open bush, from there other trails take you either up the mountain or past a waterfall to Lenah Valley.
Be prepared for sudden weather changes though. The summit of the mountain will be at least 10C cooler than Hobart and has a strong wind. Wet weather gear is essential.
Not much exciting about the Derwent bridge. Structurally, it's not very impressive, but the view going across the Derwent River is excellent. Also, if you drive across, you have to pay attention to which lanes go which way. That is to say, the bridge has 5 lanes and depending on the time of the day, the middle lane switches from Hobart inbound to Hobart outbound and back. You'll have to cross it on your way from Hobart to the Airport or vice-versa.
Well according to fellow VT'er ScottForster, in 1973 at about 3am a large barge, the
Illawarra, ran into a pylon and two sections of the bridge descended into the river. Several cars plunged into the river after the sections had collapsed. There is a classic picture of a car poised with it's front wheels hanging over
the edge of the bridge. Instantly Hobart was a divided city and commuters had to travel by boat across the river while it took three years to repair the bridge. So as unimpressive as the Derwent may seem, it has a somewhat dark blemish in its history.
While it takes a good 3-4 hours to get there from Hobart, the destination is well worth the journey. Freycinet National Park is one of the worlds most precious gems, and certainly one of Tasmania's most beautiful parts. Within Freycinet N. P., there are many trails for hiking, there is a camp ground and there are beautiful beaches and lovely mountains that make it an ideal place to enjoy nature. Please see my page on Freycinet N. P. I have provided the link for you.
Seamandrew's Freycinet National Park
Just a bit north of Hobart, is the small town of Louisville which is where you can take the ferry across to Maria Island. There's a small town (village really) n the Island called Darlington but the rest of the island is laced with trails for the eco-tourist to explore. This picture, from right across the Prosser Bay, was about as close as we got to the island but we read the hiking there was excellent. Time didn't permit for us to go this time, but we will next time!
There are a number of beaches north of Hobart that seem a bit out of place. For an island, considered to be in a temperate climate zone, these beaches look very tropical. The one pictured here is Boltons Beach which is part of the Boltons Beach Conservation Area. We passed this beach on our way to beauitful Freycinet National Park (visible in the picture across the Great Oyster Bay). Some of the beaches are just an hour or so north of Hobart.
Arthur Circus was part of an original grant to the Reverend Robert Knopwood. This site was purchased by Governor Sir George Arthur in 1829. When he resold the land almost 20 years later, the auction advertisement described it as "delectable building sites in a neighborhood that will inevitably become the Resort of the Beau Monde". Well, that never happened, but Hobart is still quite a lovely little town and this little spot in located in the Battery Point part of Hobart is just as lovely.
Most people completly forget that tasmania actually has snow! Even though it doesn't get much Ben Lomond in the north east of the state (3hrs form hobart) can be a bit of fun with some mates. As you can see, if its sunny, then you can almost ski in a tee shirt!
THe hill as 6 lifts about half are t bars and the other half are pomas
As far as terain goes it can be very limited. However, you can almost always find a decient piece of fall line to play in.
Whatever the conditions its better than not skiing al all!
There are many trails, the most famous and very long one is The Overland Track. It takes several days to complete and includes the famous World Heritage Site: Cradle Mountain. I was not fit enough to do it at the time. I just did short one day walks. Another thing to remember is to head back to camp BEFORE sundown!! We got caught out one night and it was scary! Not only is it spooky (just the sound of wind and animals! whooooo...) but also dangerous! It started to snow when we were heading back and we couln't see the tiny trail at all!! We were both on our butts quite a few times! But the scenery made it all worth it!!
Here are two more amazing photographs by Peter Dombrovskis. It really looks like that, like another world. Tasmania has totally unique and VERY isolated wilderness.
One of the most beautiful spots I was at in Oz, was the southern-most cape of Tazzie..This walk to get there is about 3-4 hours return. Now, I'm not a hiker in any sense of the word, but this was a nice, easy, flat path that started in a tiny place called Cockle Creek. There is a tiny hostel there that was nice and only cost $12. Except for the no-heat factor, which gave me an unpleasant night, but the walk made up for it. At this point, I head to Hobart and those things are there.
The Antarctic Adventure Center in Salamanca when in Hobart was very interesting. I enjoyed the mini planetarium that was there since the sky is very different from the Northern Hemisphere that I'm used to.
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