MARCH 28 : Last Wednesday and Thursday were our last days touring Tasmania – before we knew that we will have to leave the island. On Wednesday we visited Mt. Wellington and on Thursday, we went to Bruny Island.
Mt. Wellington is a tall (1271 meters) mountain overlooking Hobart, the capital and largest city in Tasmania. There is a narrow, winding road that leads up to the top of the mountain. As you climb up, you are surrounded by trees so you do not see much of the view. Only after you cross the tree line, does the panorama open up, and you find yourself seeing the city far, far below together with all the natural beauty of Tasmania – the many coastlines and mountains.
The road is often closed because of weather conditions, but it was a beautiful sunny day and we drove to the top without a problem. In spite of the nice weather, at the top of the mountain it was extremely windy – so much so that with some gusts the campervan shook in a frightful way. We bundled up and went outside to get a closer look at the incredible scenery. The photos speak for themselves.
On Thursday we went to Bruny Island, a small island off the southern coast of Tasmania. We contemplated not going because to reach the island you need to take a ferry, and were unsure if this is a good thing to do in this time of social distancing. It turned out not to be a problem at all. The ferry is a flat barge that you drive onto, and stay in your car for the 15-minute crossing. During more normal times, there is a deck and chairs you can use to enjoy the view, but now they were closed.
Once on the island, our first destination was The Neck. Bruny Island has two parts – North Bruny and South Bruny. They are connected by a very thin strip of land – an isthmus in more geographical terms – known as The Neck. At The Neck, you climb a staircase (230 steps) to see the view. There is also a rookery there – a place that penguins come to shore in the evenings. A boardwalk leads to the rookery that offers incredible views of the long pristine beach.
Our next stop, was the Bruny Island Lighthouse. This is a lighthouse at the very far end of South Bruny. To reach the lighthouse, we drove on a gravel road (which we are not supposed to do with a rental campervan), but this was what they called a maintained gravel road – it was packed down and no potholes. Although the going was very slow, we drove 45 minutes towards our destination. At that point, there was a sign that the lighthouse is another 5 kilometers and the road is no longer maintained and not suitable for caravans. The road quickly became rocky and full of holes and as we bounced around, we decided to go back. However, we spotted a sign for a scenic viewpoint 300 meters ahead. We decided to brave the road for 300 meters more and park there and walk the rest of the way to the lighthouse. What we did not notice while driving the car, is that the road is very up and down – the last 4.7 kilometers was not the easy walk we thought it would be. About halfway there, there was a scenic lookout and the lighthouse finally came into view. It is a really nice lighthouse with huge rocky cliffs next to it. At that point, seeing that to reach the lighthouse it would be up and down a very large hill, we decided that was close enough and headed back to our campervan. We had reached our goal of seeing the lighthouse, just not in close detail.
After an hour of driving back, we reached the area where we were supposed to spend the weekend. On the way, in a field, we saw an amazing white wallaby that this area is known for. I did not take a photo because the wallaby was far away and the campground we were going to, is known to have many of them around. How I regret not taking that picture because it was only a few minutes later that we discovered that all tourists must leave Tasmania by Sunday midnight. We never made it to the campground, and instead, returned to the ferry and began to plan our departure.
If all goes smoothly, we should be in Perth tomorrow.