The D’Entrecasteaux Channel has been whipped into a frenzy. The ferry plows through the waves smacking at its side and even though Bruny Island is barely visible its paddocks and trees manage appear appealing.
|Bruny Island Cruises|
We wind down through rolling hills and along the narrow spit of sand that separates the vast Tasman Sea to our left and the Channel to our right. Timber cottages grip the hillsides determined to capture the heartbreaking views. The only industry visible seems to be farming: cattle, sheep, oyster, cheese and salmon. There’s even a chocolate farm.
We arrive at a seaside hamlet where neat holiday huts and fishermen’s cottages pump wood-smoke from stone chimneys. Since we’re here to take to the ocean on a Bruny Island Cruise on this winy day I’m a little concerned to discover we’re in a place called Adventure Bay.
|Sunlover Holidays stars on Bruny Island Wilderness Cruise|
Several open-decked, open-sided boats battle at their moorings and you can imagine my apprehension when told they’d be taking us out into the heaving Tasman. We’re issued thick, red jackets which cover the entire body from head to foot. I look to the storm-whipped seas beyond the bay and as I drop my head in silent prayer I notice a label stitched to the front of my waterproof gear. It says, ‘Stormy’.
Three massive, super charged outboard engines purr. Our skipper nudges the throttle and we gun across the bay and slice effortlessly around the headland. Before us, an extraordinary coastline of magnificent, vertical cliffs rise from the ocean to soar more than 250 metres above us. The incredible manoeuvrability of the Bruny Island Cruise boat puts us right at their face, despite the threatening sea.
|Bruny Island Wilderness Cruise|
We hurtle towards a massive rocky finger thrusting skyward at the edge of the plunging cliffs. A tiny gap of water appears between fingered monument and land mass. We’re headed directly for it. We squeeze through the gap at tooth loosening speed, too scared even to shiver. I throw a concerned glance back at our skipper. He’s grinning.
We edge forward hesitantly to a point at the cliff face that seems strangely unremarkable. The outboards roar thrusting us backwards just as the rolling swell climbs the rock. A haunting, guttural bellow emanates from the depths as an angry gush of seawater surges from its hidden abyss to rain down upon the deck of the boat.
|Bruny Island cliffs|
We gun south, barely metres from the jagged land’s edge and scoot into a tiny bay. The dark opening to a sea cave yawns at the point where the cliffs plummet into the sea. The skipper pokes our nose into it and we rise and fall at its entrance with the surging ocean.
If it wasn’t for the absolute power and stability of the Bruny Island Cruise boat, I’m convinced that right about now I’d be turning the key in Davey Jones locker.
With a brutal squall behind and a lurching sea beneath, we dash home, screaming across the heaving swell. We finally turn into Adventure Bay, frozen to the core but utterly invigorated by the entire incredible experience.
Tasmania excels on many levels when it comes to offering the traveller something unique, breathtaking and inspiring, but the ace up Tassie’s sleeve is always Mother Nature. This time, once again, she turned it on but in a way that was completely unexpected.