POSTED: 7 April 2018
We camped that night at Triabunna which is close to where the ferry leaves for Maria Island. It was cold but waking early enabled me to take some beautiful views of the sunrise over the harbour. Maria Island was declared a National Park in 1972 and offers an interesting history of convict and industrial ruins. It is also appealing for its beautiful natural features such as beaches, forests and limestone cliffs.
Commissariat Store, Maria Island
After exploring the old Commissariat Store and remains of the Darlington convict village, I did the 4-hour return hike up a peak called Bishop and Clerk. This is the highest point of the island. It offered great views back towards the mainland and out to sea in the other direction. The highlight for me though was seeing the art of nature so beautifully in the Painted Cliffs. These extraordinary cliffs have been stained various colours by water running down their rock faces.
The Painted Cliffs
After the ferry returned us to Triabunna we drove south to Kettering for the ferry across to Bruny Island the next morning. We arrived 20 minutes before the sailing at 7.45am and couldn't understand why we were the only car waiting and there were no crew anywhere. It didn't take too long to realise that daylight saving had finished and we were actually an hour early!
The islands of North and South Bruny are separated by a thin strip of sand dunes called The Neck. They are both rugged and very scenic, especially the south. Our initial destination was Adventure Bay - a place with a rich history of whaling stations and a shelter for explorers like Tasman and Cook. I did the Fluted Cape walk there and although light rain spoiled views out to sea, the highlight of the walk is awesome sea cliffs. Bruny is famous for its wildlife and as I returned to the car and I was fortunate to see a rare albino wallaby.
The Neck, Bruny Islands
We did a walk around Cloudy Bay before going to Cape Bruny on the southern coast of the island. This windswept point has an old lighthouse built in 1836 that has expansive views over to mainland Tasmania’s southernmost reaches. The cold southerly wind meant we didn't stay there very long and drove right up to Dennes Point at the northern tip of the island. It was a much warmer and more pleasant place to wait for the ferry which departed early evening.