Home' Caravanning Australia : Summer 2010-2011 Contents Tasmania
150 • Caravanning Australia • Summer 2010-2011
The wry drive
Pirates Bay, Tasmania
As if Tasmania’s beautiful landscape was not enough, there’s
endless charm, intrigue and oddball flavour to be found in
many of its placenames. Be they major towns or faint
specks on the map, they add a fun dimension to driving the
picturesque peninsulas, forests and mountain roads of the island
state in Australia’s south east.
Heading north from the capital Hobart? Stop in for curiosity
value at Bagdad, Ouse and Nowhere Else. At Penguin, the
townsfolk have taken their moniker to heart, festooning the
footpaths – even the rubbish bins – with motifs inspired by the
local fairy penguins. While you’re near the north coast, you’d be
churlish not to stop at Nook. It’s not far from Paradise, in the
vicinity of Promised Land.
Going south, it’s all charm on the scenic route to Cygnet.
Travel down through Bonnet Hill, and hug the winding coastline
to see the picture-book settlement of Tinderbox, where dirt roads
amble high above the water. The Chimneys heralds the entry
back onto the main road, which leads to the delightfully named
coastal town of Snug (and, just to be thorough, Lower Snug),
said to be named by sailors who were able to snugly anchor their
ships in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel alongside it.
Across the channel is Bruny Island, to which you can catch a
car ferry from the pretty, yacht-dotted cove at Kettering. There’s
more name game to play on arrival. Trumpeter Bay, Fluted Cape
and The Neck grace the island that’s home to sheep, artisans
and a colony of fairy penguins.
Back on the mainland, it’s hard to resist just selling up and
moving in to a town called Flowerpot. Honeys Road and Fleurtys
Lane are possible addresses at this tiny settlement on the flat,
sheltered coast. Perhaps as a backlash to all this whimsy,
Flowerpot’s near neighbour is simply called Gordon. But further
around the peninsula, Eggs and Bacon Bay proudly declares
wryness alive and well.
On the neighbouring Tasman Peninsula the placenames take
on a more sinister tenor. It’s perhaps fitting for the route that
leads to Port Arthur, the old convict prison site with a dark and
The road signs begin harmlessly enough – Primrose Sands,
Dodges Ferry – and the landscape is magnificent. Gently winding
roads tease with watery glimpses of jade coves carrying
kayakers from point to point. The terrain is by turns lush,
sheltered and ruggedly rocky. It’s dotted with ancient oaks, thick
copses of upright silver wattle, and the occasional remnant of the
peninsula’s once thriving apple industry.
But once you hit Eaglehawk Neck, a distinct aroma of
toughness creeps into the map. Not just at Stinking Bay. There’s
also Pirates Bay, Penzance, Isle of the Dead, Purgatory Hill, and
sites like Tessellated Pavement and Devil’s Kitchen. The views
are breathtaking, but the map is riddled with portent.
As if in defiance of this trend, the tiny holiday settlement of
Doo Town flies the flag for whimsy again. The modest shacks
bear silly names that inspired the town’s comic moniker. ‘Doo
Nix.’ ‘Just Doo It.’ ‘Doo us.’ ‘Much-a -Doo.’ It’s clear that the
Tasmanian sense of levity and lack of earnestness has won out
on this patch of coast. Except for that one house that doesn’t
want to play ball, and calls itself Highfield. But what’s in a name?
Bruny Island (one of Tasmania’s best kept secrets) is
historically one of the most significant places in Australia,
being the first landing place of European explorers during their
voyages of discovery to the ‘Southern Seas’.
Bruny is a unique island with sweeping beaches, spectacular
capes, rainforests, wildflowers and abundant bird life.
Access to Bruny Island is by vehicular ferry ‘Mirambeena’
which departs from Kettering (approx. 35 mins travelling time
south of Hobart), 10 times per day.
The ferry can carry up to 65 passenger vehicles at any one trip
and the crossing time is approximately 15 minutes.
Care must be taken when driving at night to avoid damage
both to the wildlife and to your vehicle, so please drive slowly
Caravan Parks are located at Adventure Bay. Camping areas
are located at the Neck Beach, Cloudy Corner and Jetty Beach,
all have pit toilets. Firewood is not supplied and potted water
is limited so bring your own drinking water.
For more information about the Bruny Island ferry service:
For more information about Bruny Island:
or phone the Bruny D’Entrecasteaux Visitor Centre
on 03 6267 4494
Ferry Timetable Information 03 6273 6725
Bruny Island Ferry Company – Operator
316053AE_Bruny Island 10/09/10 2:27 PM Page 1
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