Here we were, on Bruny Island, and right at the doorstep of a Wilderness Journey which has been tagged “One of the Greatest 100 Trips of the World” (by Travel and Leisure 2008 Year Book).  Of course, we HAD to do it !  As we were staying in Adventure Bay, the departure point for the trip, we wandered down to the booking office late one afternoon and decided to book for the following day as strong winds were forecast for the day after.

The morning dawned and it was pouring with rain.  Not just pouring, teeming with rain, relentlessly and driving.  Heavy wet stuff combined with wind and a chill temperature of about 8C.  If we had been at home, we would have cancelled the trip and stayed by the fire, or at least indoors.  However, this is Tasmania and the weather changes hourly, so feeling optimistic we set out for the warm coffee shop alongside the office.  The rain continued to pour and the fog set in and I was thinking “this is hopeless, we won’t see anything…”  but I was wrong.  As we set off for the jetty to board the Yellow Boat, miraculously the rain stopped!

The boats are named the 4WD of the sea and are designed to cruise in all weather every day of the year.  They are safe and comfortable and look like a jet boat with zodiac sides which apparently allows for manoeuvrability and gets close to cliff faces and into sea caves.IMG_8808

Once aboard we were given floor length wet weather gear complete with hoods and told to put them on as it was likely there would be spray and it would be cold!  Once that was done the skipper handed out ginger tablets and then told everyone this was an adventure trip – not a luxury cruise – and to expect the unexpected.  Here we are in our glamorous attire:

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We set off out off Adventure Bay, round Penguin island and travelled along the spectacular coastline towards some rocks known as The Friars.  All the while the skipper was talking about the early history of Adventure Bay, of the aboriginals and the early explorers.  The co skipper, a lovely girl called Belinda, then spoke about the wildlife and what we would be seeing.  These included Australian and New Zealand Fur Seals, Dolphins, Seabirds by the hundred and perhaps Whales.

The cliffs were amazing and are 272m Jurassic Dolerite sea cliffs formed 160 million years ago.  Apparently they are among the tallest in the world.  This was awesome. We saw “Breathing Rock” which was a blow hole and quite incredible, went into deep sea caves and passed through some narrow gaps between sheer cliffs which had our hearts in our mouths – the skipper had obviously done this many times before!  We drifted out to the point where the Tasman Sea meets the Southern Ocean and luckily for us it was relatively calm.



Yes, we went through this gap….


And this one….



The Blow Hole

There are giant kelp forests – and many of them.  It was everywhere and is fascinating stuff. It’s a wonder someone doesn’t farm it – but maybe they do.


We found hundreds of seals basking on the rocks and they were quite unperturbed by our presence.  The smell and the noise they make is something else!



Note the kelp growing along the edge of the rock and the high tide mark.

There were thousands of birds all with their own habits – the albatross are among my favourite and watching them take off from the ocean, fly around and come in to land is quite fascinating.


Other birds were nesting on the rocks and clearly had hierarchy !

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We drifted into calm bays and then ventured into the wild ocean and all the while the rain stayed away and the sun even appeared.  It was a magnificent day and one I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who is in Hobart or on Bruny island.


On the way back – and feeling good!


The calm of Adventure Bay.

For more information about the tour go

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