Sunday, 5 November 2017

Umbrella Point Bruny Island 2017

Today we're making the trip across the water to walk on Bruny Island, from the ferry terminal at Roberts Point to Umbrella Point (or One Tree Point if you prefer) and beyond.

The weather is cool, 6C after 20C the day before, but sunny as I walk up to Kettering to meet the group at the ferry terminal.

Our destination from the Channel Highway
I arrived just about the same time as the others, with plenty of time to spare. Both ferries are running and we're going on the small barge, the Bowen, for the first time.

The 'Bowen'

Leaving Kettering
I was amazed at the number of vehicles they managed to cram on that little ferry. Not quite rear wheels hanging over the water, but close. The trip was quite pleasant and no hint of the cold breeze I had anticipated. Being foot passengers, we travel for free.

Exiting Little Oyster Cove

Looking south. Kettering point just in view at the right

 We arrive on the other side and head for a gate in the fence beyond the little shop at the ferry terminal. Private property, but I understand the owner permits walkers, which explains the low security gate. Thanks to whoever you are.

Along the way, we'll have a look at a White-bellied Sea-Eagle and its large nest constructed from sticks and branches lined with grass and seaweed. Some nests are very old.

Keeping an eye on us

White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
Getting there meant a trek through very tall grass, but who's worried about snakes, it's too early in the season. Isn't it?

Back on track we walk south along the coast, heading towards Apollo Bay.

Looking back
Well, what can I say. It isn't too early for snakes. I was walking closely behind Peter and was just about to put my left foot down when a Tiger snake shot between us and partially under a clump of grass. Waiting until it heard me unzip the camera case, it zipped out of sight so I have no evidence. Peter did see it, though.

I later found out others had seen a whip snake. Anyway, there was plenty of heavy walking and banging my walking pole on the ground after that.

Needing a break, we stop for Morning Tea with a view of the mainland before us.

Morning Tea

Towards Woodbridge

 Tea finished, we continue along Apollo Bay. There are several houses built here, and a digger is working on another. The one below was under construction the last time I was here.

Nice little waterside shack or bunker.

On we go, heading for the end of the beach where we head up to the road for a while.

Despite the old sign leaning against a tree, the private land DOES NOT go to the high water mark. We are on public reserve land.

Apollo Bay Road
We walk along here for a while before heading left onto Lowes Road.

He's still here and doesn't look any older

I assume this was all cleared in the dim past

Up the hill on Lowes Road
We walk down the other side to the turn off that leads us to Umbrella Point.

Into the tall trees

Lowes Road continues, but not far

Umbrella Point appears on the right

This little bay has no name. Even an old bloke who lives on it and keeps his boat here doesn't know of a name.

Heading to the point for lunch
Lunch. Everyone has picked out their own log, rock or bit of ground
There are views all around and there is a fish farm just out in the bay.

Other side of the bay. We'll be walking there later


Woodbridge in the distance

Woodbridge jetty and Marine Studies Building

Salmon farm in the distance
 Some closer views of the farm below.

Looks like some sort of accommodation
After lunch we make our way back to the little bay and around to follow the coastline for a while.

Lots of tiny flowers out, but no orchids as yet.

Lots of tiny violets are out

Colourful lichen

The unnamed bay

Peter and Wayne explore old construction
We continue around and had a chat with the old bloke that owns the boat you can see in the distance, then move on.

Peter spots an orchid that Bob missed!

Bob wasn't all that impressed, so we move on. There are houses all around here, but we're walking on or near the shore which is a conversation area.

Eventually, we make out way beside Snake Island. Renate, who has helped clear introduced weeds from the island, says there aren't any more snakes there than anywhere else.

Snake Island

Snake Island Accommodation
Zooming in on the white notice on the side, I can just make out the Australian Coat of Arms. Is this an example of our tax dollars at work?

He hasn't moved since the last time I was here

Back onto the highways
 We make a loop back to the end of Apollo Bay and walk back the way we had first come this morning.

Deep gully at bottom. I don't think we lost anyone

We're not far from the ferry terminal now, and one of the traditions of walking on Bruny is stopping at the little shop and buying an ice cream to be enjoyed while we wait for the boat. Today was no exception.

Ice cream central
 A young woman struck up a conversation with us, obviously a north islander, and we managed to point out all the things wrong with living in Tasmania. I think we discouraged any idea if immigrating - we have to keep our population under control after all.

We had the double decker ferry on the way back and thought we'd have the top deck to ourselves. Unfortunately, there was an overflow from the lower deck so it was not to be.

We had 12 walkers and covered 11.04km in 4.02hrs. Weather was good, the snake was quick and my walk back to Woodbridge was pleasant.

The GPX track can be downloaded from HERE

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