They refer to their yellow boats as the four wheel drives of the sea and advertise “Follow the Yellow Boat Road to Bruny Island”. They are Pennicott Wilderness Journeys who operate a 3 hour eco-adventure tour from Bruny Island.
We booked a boat cruise with this Company after hearing of their reputation and the worth of the cruise before we left on our journey. Initially we thought we would take the option of travelling from Hobart on the company bus but when we considered the matter of (a) getting into the city by 8:00am and (b) what to do with the car if we drove into the city, we decided it would be just as easy to drive down to Bruny Island ourselves.
The alarm shrilled at 6:00am but we were already up and preparing for our drive to Kettering (about 40 kms south of Hobart) to catch the vehicle ferry to Bruny Island. We had been advised to be in the ferry queue early as the ferry service is extremely busy at this time of the year and particularly so as Monday was a public holiday in Tasmania and the last day of a long weekend. As it eventuated we were actually the first car in the queue for the journey to the island and were first on the ferry and consequently first off when we landed on the island.
From the ferry terminal on Bruny Island it is about another 38 kms to the Adventure Bay location of Bruny Island Cruises (http://www.brunycruises.com.au/). We arrived at the parking area about 5 minutes ahead of the check-in deadline and proceeded to have a delicious morning tea of Blue Berry Muffins and good coffee.
With about 10 minutes to spare before the scheduled departure time we were advised to make our way to the jetty where four boats were awaiting loading of passengers for the tour. As it happened we were on the first boat and took our seats for adventure. The company hands out sea sickness tablets to those who want them and most of the passengers on our boat took the precaution.
The skipper introduced himself and his assistant and we moved away from the pier to allow another other boat access and were informed of the safety issues of the boat and other pertinent matters. We were also fitted out with full length wet weather gear for protection – and we needed this along the way. The skipper suggested that his job was every school boy’s dream – a 38 foot boat, three very powerful motors attached and someone else paying for the fuel. They might refer to the boats as the four wheel drives of the sea but they drive them like sports cars.
As we travelled the Coast of South Bruny Island we stopped frequently to look at the various sights such as sea eagles, amazing natural rock formations, sea caves, cormorants, natural arches, albatross, high cliffs, natural blow holes and of course seals. The skipper drives the boat through sea caves and between natural features, stops frequently for photo opportunities and generally ensures everyone is satisfied with what is available on the day.
There are often dolphins swimming along with the boats but we didn’t see any during our cruise. The trip south to the Southern Ocean and the seal colony took about two hours in all given that we stopped frequently for photo opportunities; while the return journey was about an hour.
After the cruise concluded we returned to company headquarters where we partook of a delightful lunch of pumpkin soup followed by a salad roll with a choice of smoked ham or smoked salmon and a choice of hot or cold drink.
Following the late lunch we drove back to the ferry terminal to find a very long queue of traffic waiting to leave the island. The ferry was docked and loaded its quota of vehicles for the journey to Kettering; once the ferry was loaded the other waiting vehicles (including us) then moved into the ferry queuing area to await the next trip. Our place on the road was quickly filled by other vehicles and I would expect the ferry was fully loaded on every trip that evening.
On the return journey, we were late in the queue and found ourselves on the lower deck of the vessel (we were on the top deck on the way over) and expected to be among the last off. However, when the ferry docked at Kettering we found that the unloading routine differed from that of the morning trip and we were among the first to leave the vessel.
The trip back to Hobart was uneventful and we arrived back at our camp about 5:30pm after a long but enjoyable day.