The island was named after the French explorer Bruni d’Entrecasteaux who explored the Channel region and discovered it to be an island in 1792. It was known as Bruni Island until 1918, when the spelling was changed to Bruny.
The first image below maps all of North and South Bruny. The second image shows a dotted line indicating the path of the vehicle ferry from Kettering to North Bruny, then the road across and down North Bruny towards The Neck.
We drove off the ferry at Roberts Point on North Bruny and passed Roberts Hill to the right. Who was that Roberts? Was he one of the three, who in 1826 discovered coal in the area of Adventure Bay on the east coast of South Bruny? Or was he an aboriginal man also known as Black Bob who was granted 10 acres of land on Bruny Island by Governor Arthur in the first half of the nineteenth century?
Soon after Roberts Hill, with Barnes Bay to the north , the Missionary Hills rolled across the landscape on the southern side of the main road. If I had not been aware we had ferried across to an island I would have sworn we remained in mainland Tasmanian locations such as inland from New Norfolk, winding through parts of the east coast around Triabunna, or many other places. The colour of the cleared grass paddocks and hills, the character of the forests usually comprised of casuarina, acacia, banksia and eucalypt trees, and the shape of the undulating land seemed the same as those of areas on the nearby mainland. It is a worn landscape with no mountainous escarpments. It is, of course, the same geological age as the land across the other side of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
As we headed southwards, passing places of interest that we would return to before leaving, a glistening expanse of water, Great Bay, sparkled to the west.
Twenty five minutes after leaving the ferry we had reached the thin isthmus stretched between north and south Bruny, and we had Isthmus Bay to the west and the large spread of Adventure Bay to the east. Half way along we stopped at The Neck’s viewing platform for the Trugannini lookout, climbed and climbed and then climbed some more on well-made steps (with small rise depths for comfort) and reached the summit for panoramic views.
Jeanette watched me walking up.
The photos taken by Jeanette and I from the top are predictably similar: one of mine, then one of Jeanette’s.
This part of Bruny offers a natural home for a Little Penguin (also known as Fairy Penguin) rookery. The constructed walk ways hover over their burrows and allow visitors to appreciate these native birds without directly interfering in their passage to and from the water at dawn and dusk. Just as I was amazed last year by the steepness of the snow clad mountains which South Georgia Island and Antarctic penguins climb to nest, I was impressed by the difficulty these penguins would encounter clambering up the scrubby bush and steep sand dunes of the Bruny Neck. The first is mine and the second is a photo by Jeanette.