With stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, a national park, rare wildlife and world class produce, Bruny Island has a little of something for everyone. For us a visit to the island was all about food and wine….a Bruny Island gourmet tour.
The island is very close to Hobart. Only thirty minutes down the coast and a fifteen minute ferry trip across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel from the mainland town of Kettering and you will be enjoying the gourmet delights of the island.
The channel and the island are named after the french explorer Bruni D’Entrecastreaux who, after exploring the area in 1792, found it to be an island. The earlier explorers, Forveaux (1773) , James Cook (1777) and Bligh and Flinders (1788 & 1792) had all landed on the coast in Adventure Bay but had not realised it was an island.
Bruny Island is not small…..it’s about one hundred kilometres long. It’s easier to imagine it as two islands joined together by a small isthmus known as the Neck. At certain times of the year, the Neck is home to nesting southern penguins.
Our guide Nicole, mentions that following the birth of the island’s latest baby, the population is now six hundred and eleven! Most live on the Southern island. The school is here, the only pub is here and so is the general store. This is also the base for the the island’s only policeman.
Bruny Island Cheese Co
We start our tour on the North Island, home to one of the state’s most famous cheese companies, the Bruny Island Cheese Co.
Nick Haddow began the company in 2003 and it wasn’t long before Bruny Island Cheese Company was recognised as one of the best artisan cheese makers in the country. He also costarred in the TV series the Gourmet Farmer which helped introduce Tasmanian produce to the world.
Because of Nick’s perseverance, Australian’s have, since February 2015, been able to make cheese from unpasteursed milk providing the rind is cooked. His raw milk cheese was my favourite of the four cheeses we tried.
What a great name for a company! The beautifully clear waters surrounding Bruny Island are the perfect environment for growing oysters, and so, at Get Shucked, a very generous tasting plate of these wonderful oysters disappeared in seconds….so fresh, so succelent! If you’re an oyster lover, you’ll love these delicious bivalves that are farmed literally over the road….you can’t get fresher than that.
Our next stop was Adventure Bay on the Southern Island. The bay was named after the ship ‘Adventure’ captained by Tobias Furneaux who visited in 1773. Adventure Bay offered shelter and abundant fresh water so was used by Furneaux and subsequent explorers.
At the northern end of the bay, Two Tree Point which is listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register, stands at the mouth of Resolution Creek. The creek was originally known on the early explorers charts as the Watering Place…the place where they could replenish their supplies of fresh water, but it’s name was changed by Captain Bligh in 1788.
Because of a painting of the two eucalyptus trees painted at the time of Bligh’s visit in 1792, the trees are thought to be over 250 years old.
We then went in search of the rare white wallaby which is found near here. The sun was shining, it was hot and the white wallaby was hiding though we did see the more common grey wallaby!
A driver stopped us on the road to tell us that she had just spotted a wombat even though they are not found on the island. It turned out to be an echidna trying desperately to hide from us!
Bruny Island Wines
Apple trees and grape vines were first planted in Adventure Bay by Bligh in 1788. Today, Bruny Island Premium Wines, a small family owned and operated vineyard, is run by a direct descendent of one the islands first settlers who arrived in 1878. Richard and Bernice Woolley who bought the property in 1997 now have 600 pinot and chardonnay vines. Their vineyard is Australia’s southern most vineyard and produces cool climate wines which we tasted along with a wonderful lunch that showcased produce grown on the island.
Bruny Island Providore
All we needed now was dessert! Luckily for us we were close to Bruny Island Providore, the outlet for Bruny Island fudge, truffles and chocolates. We tasted different flavours of the home made fudge. I recommend the Persian fudge…a mix of fig, dates and orange!
The House of Whisky
Our last stop was the House of Whisky where over 45 single malt whiskys can be tasted.
I hadn’t realise that there was such a huge whisky community in Tasmania producing whisky of such a high standard. Tasmanian whiskys have won top prizes on the world stage. The secret’s in the water!!
Heartwood Malt Whisky won the ‘World Independent Bottler of the Year 2015’ award whilst Sullivans Cove French Oak which was judged the worlds best single malt whisky in 2014, won another coveted world wide award in 2015
Other distilleries making an impact in Tasmania include Lark Distillery, Nant Distillery and Redlands Estate which is one of the only paddock to plate whisky distilleries in the world.
Don’t worry if you’re not a whisky drinker. I tasted a Hellyers Road whisky creme liqueur that could have proved to be quite addictive if it had not been time to leave to catch the ferry!
The perfect finish to a great day!
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys
As part of our Tasmania Tastecation with Travelodge Hotels, we were guests of Pennicott Wilderness Journeys
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys offers award winning tours from Hobart to Bruny Island including our gourmet tour, the Bruny Island Traveller. If you’re a seafood lover, the Tasmanian Seafood Seduction tour looks fabulous or if your interest is in seeing the island’s rugged coastline, the Wilderness Tour could be for you!
Service is wonderful..we were picked up from the Travelodge Hobart and dropped back there at the end of the tour. Our guide Nicole was knowledgeable and gregarious, making the tour a really fun day on Bruny Island.