It’s funny how the phrase “the mainland” can mean two quite different things in Tasmania. You would assume, on the surface, it’s a reference to the “rest of Australia”. But on ABC Radio’s “Country Hour” the other day, I heard someone from King Island refer to “the mainland” as the “rest of Tasmania”. And I heard it used similarly today on Bruny Island.
Before undertaking today’s “Bruny Island Traveller” tour, I hadn’t realised how big Bruny Island is. Though I thought it was some kind of tiny island off the coast of Hobart, it’s actually 362 square kilometres in size, and there’s a difference in the landscape between North Bruny and South Bruny. Some animals are found only one of the islands, for example.
As we caught the ferry from “the mainland”, I was blown away by the beauty of what was ahead of us. And then on the island, I was surprised by how “coastal” it was. With today’s warm temperatures, it was even a little “tropical”. Though of course, at other times of the year, I’d imagine it’s quite different.
Along the way, we tasted food from Bruny Island, in particular, and Tasmania, more generally, including cheese, oysters, fudge, wine, gin and whisky. We also enjoyed lunch at “the southern most winery in the world”, where I chose an excellent 2013 Pinot Noir to accompany the lamb (we could see the sheep in neighbouring paddocks, which was a little confronting for some on the tour).
Though I wasn’t the youngest by far, most of the group were in their 60s and 70s. Though one of the walks (to the top of a hill) proved a little challenging for one of the older women, it was a fairly sedentary tour.
For me, there were a couple of culinary discoveries, which included the locally grown honey and cheese, and the stout made with whey from the cheese-making process. I bought a small bottle of the stout, and I’ll do my best to find something to eat it with tomorrow night. (I don’t have room for dinner tonight. I’m “too full”).
On top of that, there was the discovery of how beautiful the island was.
Our tour guide Tim was excellent: knowledgeable and friendly.
We left at 7.45am, and I was back at my apartment at around 5.15pm. $155.