Today was a free day on our tour with an optional trip to Port Townsend to see the largest remains of a convict colony. This is an important part of Tasmania’s history, but also a bummer. We’ve seen great photographs of the Bruny Island coastline, so we struck out on our own and took a boat tour. The island is 30 miles south of Hobart. A major part of it is national park without road access. The rest of the island is full of holiday homes and we even saw a campground. Another reason tourists come to Bruny is a gourmet food drive. You can sample local whiskey, stop at the Get Shucked oyster farm, buy medicinal manuka honey and cheeses, and drink local wine. We stopped at the chocolate shop along the way and had tea and a muffin before boarding a powerful speed boat for a coastal ride to the bottom of the country where the Tasman Sea meets the Great Southern Ocean.
As we drove through some rain on the way to Bruny, we were distracted by the largest rainbow we have ever seen. If you can find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, we could have found two. By the time we got on the boat, the sky turned blue and the bright sunshine almost made us warm. The boat crew gave us huge red rain cocoons to wear, a sign of things to come. It was an adrenalin filled ride especially where the two seas met. The Tasmanian Sea was choppy and the Great Southern Ocean had big waves. The nose of the boat bobbed up in the air and smacked back down. It was like a great amusement park ride, but made taking photos nigh unto impossible. One passenger spent a lot of her ride barfing over the rail. The rocks along the coast erode vertically, creating dramatic chimneys standing free the mainland. There were also sea caves some large enough to drive through. One cave was partially below the water line. As the water went in, it compressed the air and the water spit back out with a roar. The ultimate goal was to view the sea lion colony. Since salmon farming has started here, the lions have gained 25% more weight than usual. Life is good!
It was a great trip until it was time to leave the island and get back on the ferry. Today is Easter Monday, the last day of a four day weekend. We had to wait in line two hours before our turn finally came. The ferry shuts down even when people are still in line. Tomorrow our tour group leaves Hobart. We intended to leave with them.