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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bruny Island, Tasmania

The Neck

The Neck Lookout

Coal Bay

Only a 15 minute ferry ride

Bruny consists of two islands joined by a narrow isthmus called "The Neck". North Bruny is drier and suitable for sheep farming and South Bruny is more mountainous. Both islands have spectacular scenery with deserted beaches and abundant wildlife.

Captain Bligh of "Mutiny on the Bounty" fame visited Bruny Island twice, once in 1788 and 1792. In one visit his ship's log reports that the captain "landed 21 bream on rod and line within one hour". Fishing in the area was so successful in the early days, farmers used to boil up 44 gallon drums of Abalone to fatten up their pigs. Today, Tasmania provides approximately 25% of the annual world harvest of Abalone which is a major contributor to their economy.

Tasmania's first apples were planted here by the Bounty's Botanists David Nelson and William Brown. They also planted breadfruit and vegetables but when William Bligh returned 4 years later, only the apple tree had survived. Later Tasmania became known as the 'Apple Isle' and sent fruit to European markets.

Bruny is a quiet, undeveloped and unspoiled place and I think the locals want to keep it that way, there is talk of buying up land so they can keep the developers out. There's one shop, the bowling club serves meals on a Friday night and there's a pub 15 kilometers up the road. Like us, I think most people are here for the eco-adventure cruise.