Bruny Island – Tasmania

From Left of Field we headed towards Hobart. Along the way Adrian had suggested a stop at the Salmon Ponds. This was a great experience with the kids being able to feed the salmon and trout as well as learn about how they originally brought the fish eggs to Australia from England and started the trout and salmon industry in Tasmania. After spending a chilly morning in the English style gardens we stopped in the little café on site for a serving of their beautiful crepe style pancakes. Whether you choose savory or sweet, you wont go wrong.

Bruny Island

Bruny Island is a short half hour barge ride using the Sealink Bruny Island ferry from Kettering. The cost of the ferry is by length, for us it was $85 return. All the details of times and costs can be found at by clicking the link above. Although the ferry is a short ride the kids really enjoyed it. They are able to get out of the car and explore the barge, they even got to go up and see the captain and check out the view from the bridge!

Before arriving on the Island we had asked a few fellow travellers on their experiences about where to stay and what to do. We understand that every families preferences are different but we love hearing from others and their experiences.

While on the island we decided to stay at the Bruny Island Landscape Supplies. John and Sheryl have provided a great RV park where you get power and water for $20 per night (no charge for kids). Pets are welcome and there is plenty of wildlife onsite too. We decided to stay on the island a week, and the only problem we found with this site was the distance from a lot of the attractions on the South Island and also from the dump point at Alonnah. In saying this Sheryl mentioned that they are in the process of improving the site with toilets and dump point on site part of the plan. If we were to come back to the island I think we would probably split our stay or stay down on South Bruny because of the activities we like to enjoy.

Cape Bruny Lighthouse

Speaking of attractions . . . there is so much to experience on Bruny. Other than the fishing, our favourite experience was the tour of the Cape Bruny Lighthouse. Our tip is to book online before arrival or arrive after lunch to avoid all the tour buses. The small museum onsite is free entry and has some very interesting artifacts. The record of the tides and swell over time really intrigued us, and there is a pin board where you can record your home location.

The lighthouse is one of very few that is still in its original form. In the transition to modern lighting and power many lighthouses were gutted and their lenses etcetera thrown over the cliff. Luckily this one was preserved and the new, much smaller, LED solar powered lighthouse was built on the adjacent hill. The tour of the lighthouse is $35 for a family (children must be over 5 years) and lasts around 30 minutes. We were lucky enough to have the tour to ourselves, allowing us to get the tour guide to capture some great photos for us and for the all of us to ask plenty of questions. You will get the history of lighthouses like how they were built, how they were manned, the characters who manned them, and how they worked. To us the cost was well worth it for the information we learnt from the informative guide.

Fluted Cape Walk – Or Grass Point Walk

For a more natural experience we highly recommend the Fluted Cape Walk. Another of the Tasmanian 60 Great Short Walks, this is a 2.5 hour return walk that takes in the history of whaling in the area, some awesome rock stacking, the beautiful Grass Point and then up to the very high cliffs of the Fluted Cape.

This walk isn’t for the faint hearted, or for children. There are exposed high cliffs very close to the track and some points of the track are very steep.  A more tame and child friendly walk is the 1.5 hour return walk out to Grass Point only. You will get the history, and some views of the fluted cape from this lovely walk. We enjoyed this with the kiddies and even took our fishing rods out to wet a line. For more information on this walk check out the Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania Website.

The Food and Drink

Bruny Island is renowned for its fresh produce and amazing food. We thoroughly enjoyed a lot of it while we were there. The kids enjoyed a visit to the Bruny Island Chocolate Co and also The Honey Pot. Being able to view the inside of a working beehive was a highlight. And tasting the fudge and chocolate is always a pep up for everyone.

For the adults our highlights were the meal we enjoyed at Hotel Bruny. Dean and I shared the amazing Seafood Platter for Two which included all local produce where possible. We enjoyed oysters, fish, salmon, calamari, scollops, chips and salad. It was one of the most epic seafood platters we have ever eaten, and what the best part was . . . there was an abundance of local produce on the plate! The kids meals were also beautiful and fresh!

The other meal we really enjoyed was our visit to Get Shucked! We are both big oyster fans and had heard that the oysters that come out of these waters were divine. We enjoyed the mixed dozen oysters that come natural, Kilpatrick and Asian style. These were so beautiful. It is the first time we have tasted Asian style, and it is absolutely a style I plan to make in the future. They also do bowls of chips for the kids, and have a fully licenced bar onsite to enjoy a G&T with your oysters.  Take away is also an option, which we did ready for our 3 month anniversary on the road!

The last and most expensive stop that we enjoyed was The House of Whiskey. There is a cost associated with the tastings here but they were well worth it for the knowledge and information that we gained about the production of gin and whiskey and how to do it justice when drinking it. For me, Amy, I thoroughly enjoyed the gin tasting and brought home with me a small bottle of the Seclusion Limited Release Satellite Gin. This gin is super special, in that when tonic water is added it causes a chemical reaction and changes colour.  Added to this it tasted amazing. Dean tried and brought home the Lake Pedder Honey, Orange Zest and Spice Tasmanian Mellifera. We walked out a little poorer, but we have some lovely gin and whiskey to enjoy with our mates when we catch up with them in the Red Centre!

Other Attractions

Depending on your budget there are plenty of adventures you can go on. We chose not to pay for the big tours, but plenty of travellers we spoke to believed that the tour was well worth the dollars. For us we were much closer to home when we were trying out the fishing spots, four-wheel driving and visiting some of the more remote locations on the island. Our recommendations were a visit to Cloudy Bay, the inland 4WD track from South Bruny across to Adventure Bay through the Mount Midway Forest Reserve, and also a drive to the most northerly point, Dennes Point.

In conclusion we loved Bruny. Well worth the ferry cost and we can see why it is a really popular holiday destination for Tasmanian’s. We recommend trying to visit in the quieter periods so that you can enjoy the island, rather than waiting in line and dealing with the traffic. No matter your budget, you can have a ripper experience on this island.

In our next and final installment of our third month on the road we hit the sand and snow. When it goes live click here! In the mean time hit us up with your questions below.

Tasmania’s Central South

Our third month on the road has been a big one for new experiences. As you can see from our Polarsteps above, we are really filling in the state. We caught up with the Targa Tasmania, experienced our first house sit and finished the month with sand and snow. Bruny Island was also part of our adventures. With so much to share with you to plan your own adventures we will do May over a couple of posts. With so many tourist attractions closing in the cooler months, we want to show you there is still so much to experience in Tasmania.

Derwent Bridge and the Targa Tasmania

Epic fairy floss sunset at Derwent Bridge

Targa Tasmania

For us racing fans, any event that you can attend for free is a bonus. The Targa Tasmania is a tarmac rally that has been held on the amazing winding, twisty and hilly roads of Tasmania since 1992. When we realised we would be in Tassie for this event our aim was to try see at least one of the stages. For us the stage that traveled through Derwent bridge fitted in with our plans.

We parked ourselves in the free camp at the Derwent Bridge Wilderness Hotel which is right on the Lyell Highway. It wasn’t our intention to be so close to the action, but on the morning of the stage we awoke to the support teams surrounding us, and heading into the hotel for breakfast. Throughout the day we enjoyed chatting to the support teams, watching the club drivers file through, before the big guns reached us later in the afternoon. It was an eventful day with around 8 cars ending up on the back of tow trucks, only one being a serious accident where everyone walked away safely. The cars drove straight past the back of our van between stages, and so it was an all round enjoyable experience.

The cars and crews, right behind our caravan.

Derwent Bridge Attractions

Also whilst in Derwent Bridge we hit up some of the local attractions. The Wall is an amazing wood carving display by renowned artist Greg Duncan. The carvings are spectacular and many have been left purposely unfinished to show the process. Camera’s are not allowed inside, so you will have to go there and experience it for yourself.

On a rainy afternoon we headed out to the beautiful Lake St Clair. The information centre has the most amazing warm fire on a rainy day and plenty of displays and information for the kids and adults alike. The kids also got to see the other end of the Overland Track, and this has become a future goal for our family. The lake was also beautiful, even on an overcast day.

Other attractions that we really enjoyed was a visit to Tassies Belly Button (geographical centre of Tasmania), the old wooden water pipes and further out to Laughing Jack Lagoon which is another local free camp.

Left of Field – Mount Field National Park

The Left of Field experience is something that I had been hearing about from all the traveling mum’s since hitting Tassie shores. Left of Field is a bush camping experience that you need to have in Tassie! Adrian will be your amazing host and he will go above and beyond to ensure that your experience is one to remember. Bonus, if you stay 3 nights or more you don’t pay extra for your kiddies.  

You are welcomed to site with the tradition of a Chupa-Chup while you do the “boring stuff” at check-in. This is the time where you book your amazing outdoor bath experience, and pick from the draws of decadent bath bombs (more on this later). Adrian can fill you in about the amazing walks that you can take from the site without having to move your car, visits out to the amazing Gordon Dam, and how else you can fill your time in the local area.

Mount Field National Park

On our first day in this beautiful area we took a walk along the edge of the Tyenna River to the beginning of the Mount Field National Park. We had our eyes peeled for Platypus, but were unlucky on this instance.  We walked the easy track into the beautiful and well-known Russell Falls. This fall is accessible by wheelchairs and is a super easy walk for the kiddies.  We reached this fall in no time, so pushed on up the many many steps to the top of Russell Falls and then onto Horseshoe Falls. Here we went back to the fun of treasure hunting and found ourselves geocache while we were there.

We then returned back to the information centre and explored the many items on display, and then ordered ourselves a take away cuppa and enjoyed that while the kids played at the lovely park. This park area extra enjoyable on a beautiful warm Autumn Day.

The Gordon Dam

On the next day we headed off towards the magnificent Gordon Dam. This long and sometimes winding drive is well worth the effort. The road takes you out through the recent fire ravaged areas of Adamsfield Conservation Area, and then onto the glorious views over Lake Pedder and onto Lake Gordon.

The fire ravaged areas of Adamsfield and Strathgordon.

Lake Pedder is best viewed from the lookout at the western end of the lake near Strathgordon. Pedder is the overflow area for Lake Gordon, and together form part of the Hydro Electric system in Tasmania. At the lookout you can learn so much about the area that surrounds you, including why Lake Pedder continues to exist. The view is pretty epic too!

Lake Pedder Lookout

After the lookout we continued onto the epic sight that is the Gordon Dam wall. Completed in 1978 the Gordon River Dam is a major gated double curvature concrete arch dam with a controlled spillway. The wall is 140m high and 198m in length. With the wall in place Lake Gordon has a capacity of 12.4km cubed. The walk down onto the wall isn’t for the faint hearted. Descending the many grate stairs down onto the 2.7m wide wall is a little heart pumping. But once on the wall the views down the gully and also back across the dam and just spectacular.  

The Twisted Sister

We broke up the long return drive with a short walk to the Twisted Sister. This site was one of a long running protest to ensure the continued preservation of the area. You can still see some of the ropes in trees where the protesters had themselves tied to the trees. Along the short walk to the epic eucalyptus there are many chance to view some epic trees and amazing lichen. Upon arrival at the Twisted Sister we were awestruck by it’s size and boggled by how it became to be. Even with some Google searching we couldn’t find how it came to be twisted!

The Outdoor Bath – Left Of Field

Our final experience in our time at Left of Field was the amazing outdoor bath. Yes the air temp was a chilly 5 degrees, but I wasn’t missing out on this amazing experience and it was Mothers Day to boot! The kids and I met Adrian at the communal fire and were led to the secluded area where the bath has been placed in the most magical circle of trees. Lanterns hung from the tree, the campfire roaring, and the bath full with steaming hot water . . . what more could you want. There is an endless supply of hot water to continue to keep the bath warm on these chilly nights. You are your selected bath bomb and lay back to stare at the stars, enjoy the crackle of the fire, and just be.

I will admit it was a little squishy with the 3 of us in the bath, but Adrian has plans to fix that with a second bath being installed in the coming months. For me I would say this has been one of my most memorable experiences in Tassie. Spending the time in the bath with the two beautiful beings that made me a mum, and just appreciating the journey we are travelling on as a family. It was beautiful to just be and appreciate life!

Whats next for us . . . . Onto Bruny Island. Click here for the post when it goes live! In the mean time hit us up with any questions below!