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Bruny Islanders produce ingredients for one of the best foodie tours in Tasmania 

March 31, 2014
Bruny Islanders produce ingredients for one of the best foodie tours in Tasmania

GoSeeAustralia's Agnes and Nick toured with Bruny Island Safaris to Kettering and the ferry to Bruny Island. Access to Bruny Island is by vehicle ferry. Bookings are not required. The Bruny Island Ferry, Mirambeena, departs from Kettering, 40 minutes drive south of Hobart from 6.35am week days.

The 10 hour Bruny Island Safaris tour is pick-up and return within the Hobart CBD with the ferry fare, lunch, wine and chocolate tastings included in the price.

The beautiful South Bruny National Park, Bruny Island provides a Tasmanian wilderness experience. On land, visitors can venture into the wilderness on one of the many Bruny Island bushwalks. On sea, take an eco-cruise and explore the stunning coastline of the island. Bruny Island is home to fur seals, fairy penguins, white wallaby and provides excellent opportunities for birdwatching.

Bruny Island Safari bus in line to board the ferry
Bruny Island Safari bus in line to board the ferry

It is also the country of Truganini, great survivor of Australia's Black War. The Nuenone people, a band of the south-east tribe have connections with Lunawanna-alonnah (Bruny island) and the D'Entrecasteaux Channel which separates it from Tasmania's mainland which span 30,000 years.

Editors Note: A link to Truganini and the Black War and an Information Article from the GoSee free library of more than 1000 articles is at the end of this story.

On the corner of Brisbane and Campbell Streets in Hobart, Tasmania is the Penitentiary Chapel designed as a chapel for the male convict population in Hobart in the 1830's it included 36 solitary confinement punishment cells.

Building a church above solitary confinement cells was Colonial Architect John Lee Archer’s innovative solution to the need for both as Hobart’s convict population continued to grow.

The chapel served the adjoining Prisoners Barracks or Penitentiary, which later became the Hobart Gaol. In late 1859 the Nave and Eastern Transept of the Chapel were converted into two Supreme Criminal Courts. An execution yard was added to the western wing of the chapel.

The Campbell Street Gaol was one of three prisons in Tasmania where executions could be carried out. A total of 32 people, including one woman, were executed at the gaol between 1857 and 1946, when the last hanging in Tasmania took place. The Penitentiary Chapel was never consecrated as a church. The court rooms, tunnels, cells and gallows can be toured either by day or on an evening tour.

Snug Caravan Park camp kitchen and TV lounge
Snug Caravan Park camp kitchen and TV lounge

Snug Beach Caravan Park has absolute beach access 25 minutes (30 km) from Hobart via B68 Channel Highway on the magnificent D'Entrecasteaux Channel between Kingston and Kettering.

Snug is in a great central location for day trips to Hobart, the Huon region, the Channel region, and Bruny Island. The car ferry to Bruny Island is only a five minute drive.

Snug Beach Cabin and Caravan Park accommodation options include a range of fully self-contained Holiday Cabins, some with water views, Studio Cabins and spacious Powered and Unpowered Sites for caravanners and campers. Snug has a post office, supermarket, tavern, Caltex service station and a popular butcher.

Kingston, the largest township south of Hobart is only 10 minutes away with all the major banks and supermarkets. Disabled Facilities are available, please contact Snug Beach Cabin and Caravan Park directly for exact facilities available

Snug Beach and nearby attractions and things to see and do include:

Surf beaches or calm swimming beaches suitable for kids.

Great fishing – sea or river. Boat ramps nearby.

Bruny boat tours discovering cliffs, seals and dolphins (10 min).

Explore the Huon Trail and Southern Region.

Drive or hike up to Mt. Wellington (snow in winter!) (20 min).

Tahune Forest Air Walk (1 ½ hr).

Antartica base at Kingston (10 min).

Sea Kayaking from Kettering . (10 min).

Hastings Caves and thermal springs (1.5 hr).

Hartz Mountains National Park (1.5 hr).

Mountain bike tours to Mt. Wellington.

Vineyards and wineries.

Snug falls bushwalk. (10 min).

Numerous hiking and 4WD tracks.

Port Arthur convict settlement.

Golf Courses, Tennis, Horse riding.

Channel Folk Museum (5 min)

Wooden boat centre. (20 min)

Peppermint Bay regional produce. (15min)

The famous Salamanca Markets are on in Hobart every Saturday.

BISH tasting of smoked salmon trout wallaby and chutneys
BISH tasting of smoked salmon trout wallaby and chutneys

"Craig of Bruny Island Safaris picked us up from Snug Caravan Park at 8.20am. He will pick up from any accommodation in Hobart – Nick and I were the last on board", Agnes said .

"After a run down the Channel Highway we drove onto the ferry at Kettering, which was an interesting experience". "We saw lots of boats in the Kettering Harbour, Craig explained that this has become very popular as the mooring fees are much lower than other places, and many people from the mainland even keep boats there and come over for their holidays", Agnes said.

"First stop on Bruny was Bruny Island Cheese Co, where we had a tasting, with cheese available to purchase. There is a café there and meals are available", she said. Then on to the HotHouse Café in Adventure Bay for morning tea which is a quaint restaurant with a magnificent view from their gardens. The homemade scones here are famous and absolutely delicious", Agnes said.

"Then a scenic drive via Lunawanna to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse. Craig’s father was apparently the last kerosene lighthouse keeper there", Agnes said.

"Spent some time there exploring, the views are spectacular", she said.

"From there we drove to Alonnah and the Hotel Bruny for lunch, which was included in the fare. Most of us had the seafood chowder which was excellent, I had beer battered fish and chips which was also very nice", Agnes said.

Villa at Cap  James Cook Caravan Park Bruny Is
Villa at Cap James Cook Caravan Park Bruny Is

"We stopped at the Adventure Bay lookout which has 238 steps to the top for a spectacular view, before moving on to Get Shucked Oyster Bar and a taste of fresh oysters" , she said.

"We passed the Captain James Cook Memorial Caravan Park along the way also, but unfortunately had no time to stop".

"Another tasting at the Bruny Island Smoke House (BISH), they have wonderful fare including smoked salmon, trout, wallaby, a range of chutneys and pates, and whisky tasting is also available".

"Meals are available there as well', Agnes said.

"Along the way we saw some rare Bennetts White Wallabies, which only exist on Bruny Island"

Agnes said. "Craig drove us around the Island for hours, everywhere you turn the views are amazing!", she said.

"Back to Kettering on the ferry, and then came the piece de resistance, Nutpatch Nougat and Confectionery Shop located in an abandoned service station in Kettering".

"Owner Giovanni creates handmade chocolate of all kinds, using only the finest Belgian chocolate".

"The variety is huge, all made on the premises by the owner and his wife", Agnes said.

"They also own hazelnut orchard, and make their own nougat, specialty cakes which are all hand crafted".

"We saw a photo of one cake that was a special order, a zoo with all the animals, trees and plants, it was amazing".

"Giovanni exports to a number of overseas countries such as America, Hong Kong and others, as well as around Australia".

"He does no advertising at all, it is all by word of mouth, and he can’t keep up with the orders".

"Needless to say I was unable to resist spending some money there", Agnes said.

"I should mention that Giovanni gave a talk and some demonstration of how the chocolate is made, together with tasting".

"The kids loved it. His most famous chocolate creation is a Crème Brulee chocolate, soooo good".

"The Nutpatch tasting experience is exclusive to Bruny Island Safaris".

"This was a huge day, it started off overcast and cloudy, but developed into a lovely day by early afternoon".

"Craig dropped us off at Snug Caravan Park again around 5pm, tired but very happy".

"This is one great tour, I would suggest a must do as you would not experience all that we did if just driving around on your own", Agnes said.

Bruny Island lighthouse
Bruny Island lighthouse

Bruny Island sits off the south east coast of Tasmania. The Islanders are producing some of the finest gourmet foods in Tasmania, making Bruny Island Safaris one of the best foodie tours in Tasmania departing Hobart.

Three km from the ferry terminal, overlooking Sykes Cove and Barnes Bay, Bruny Island Smokehouse (BISH). BISH is a beautiful stone building, made with timbers and stone from the property. The Smokehouse is fully licensed, and serves award winning fine foods, local wines and ales. All produce is smoked on site and served on its menu. Opening hours may vary through seasons, so phone for meal bookings.

The coastlines are dominated by towering sea cliffs, mountains, seabirds, penguin colonies, seals, whales, shipwrecks and sweeping white sandy beaches.

Bruny Island Safaris is a direct introduction to some of Bruny Island's short walks, sites, history, culture, wildlife and gourmet food. The Safari takes the guess work and stress out of driving yourself.

Bruny Island Gourmet Food and Site Seeing Tour includes:

Cape Bruny Lighthouse.

White Wallaby.

Truganini Lookout.

Mount Mangana.

Adventure Bay.

Bruny Island Ferry.

Two Tree Point.

Bruny Island Oysters.

Bruny Island Cheese.

Smoked Salmon.

Bruny Island Wine.

Bruny Island Berry Farm.

Hothouse Café.

Chocolate tasting and making at Nutpatch Nougat in Kettering.

Hotel Bruny.

Lest we forget: 

Truganini great survivor of Australia's Black War faced adapt or die alternatives for her people

Ag speaking with the guide at Penitientiary Chapel
Ag speaking with the guide at Penitientiary Chapel
Bruny Island Cheese Company tasting
Bruny Island Cheese Company tasting
Cars coming off the Ferry
Cars coming off the Ferry
Huon Pine sculpture at Bruny Is Smoke House
Huon Pine sculpture at Bruny Is Smoke House
Quality seafood Bruny Is
Quality seafood Bruny Is
Snug Cottage bedroom
Snug Cottage bedroom
The hangmans noose with trapdoor below
The hangmans noose with trapdoor below
The rare Bennetts White Wallaby Bruny Is.
The rare Bennetts White Wallaby Bruny Is.
Snug Caravan Park cottage exterior
Snug Caravan Park cottage exterior
Snug Caravan Park cottage kitchen
Snug Caravan Park cottage kitchen