Take an eclectic photographic trip around Tasmania, Australia, with me. I had two weeks there in February with a rental car .. thankfully with a GPS.
Kiwi Travel Writer talks food, travel, and tips
Heather Hapeta lives in Aotearoa-New Zealand: real travel, real adventures, real stories, real photos. Recent destinations Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan and Hong Kong – now NZ destinations due to COVID travel restrictions
Off out for a day tour with Grayline (Melbourne, Australia) as well as visiting a wildlife sanctuary and riding the Puffing Billy, we had food in many ways, including for some fellow passengers feeding birds.
Interestingly the chef at our dinner stop -‘for the best roast beef you will ever have’ our driver had told us – insisted that the alcohol in the jus would have been ‘cooked out’ – an old chefs myth that’s repeated all the time so I was not surprised she didn’t know. (See here for the facts from the US Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory which calculated the percentage of alcohol remaining in a dish – based on various cooking methods)
While many on the day tour I took (Bruny Island Safaris) wanted to see a white kangaroo – they, like animals everywhere, refused to turn up for us to see. We did learn there is no such species as an albino kangaroo, they are simply variants within the normal species of kangaroos and an albino can occur in any species of kangaroo red or grey kangaroo, wallaby or a pademelon.
The tour is an eclectic mix of food, nature, and history. At the top of the Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve we see a monument to an Aboriginal woman, Truganini, and on my return home I did a little research.
Firstly, Bruny Island is called Lunawanna-alonnah in the native language and
Truganini is said to have been born around 1812, a Nuenone woman.
The arrival of Europeans brought violence, brutality and disease to her world and she had two alternatives – adapt or die.
Like much of history there are conflicting opinions about the veracity of her story. Nevertheless, her history sounds appalling: she was the daughter of an elder of the Nuenone people; saw her mother stabbed to death by whalers and her sisters abducted by sealers. It doesn’t finish there. Her uncle was shot, her husband-to-be was murdered by timber-workers who cut off his hands and left him to drown before she was repeatedly raped. And still it continues, her brother was killed and her step-mother kidnapped by escaped convicts and her father died within months. She’d lost her entire family.
The Nuenone people, a band of the south-east tribe have connections with Lunawanna-alonnah (Bruny Island) and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel which separates it from Tasmania’s mainland. The first white settlers landed in Tasmania in 1803 and by 1836 the surviving first Australians were thought to be about 300. Another estimate says only 150. Either way the result is a humanitarian nightmare. Most of this information gleaned from www.Wonthaggihistoricalsociety.org.au
Here are few photos from the most enjoyable day …. esp as we were all picked up and dropped off at our Hobart accommodation
Another story I’ve written about Bruny Island include cheese, oysters and berries
From oysters, berries, and cheese through to chocolate, my gourmet food and sightseeing day trip with Bruny Island Safaris had it all: beaches, history and wildlife and for any foodies delight, meeting some of the producers of our food tastings.
One of those producers was an ex-teacher who turned an Adventure Bay paddock into a productive berry farm in only 3 years. A berry I’d not heard of was my favourite – Jostaberry – a thornless blackberry-gooseberry cross.
The Bruny Island Cheese Company has artisan cheeses, great breads, and many other foods in their shop and cafe-restaurant. It was a very popular stop, not just with my group but many others who were also enjoying tastings or their meal. The award-winning chutneys, pâté, & pastes (made on site) at the Bruny Island House of Whisky were award-winning for me too – of course, others preferred the whisky tasting 🙂
Bruny Island is about the size of Singapore, has a population of 600, and thousands of visitors each year – with nearly all arriving by the regular and frequent vehicular ferry (15 mins, no booking needed).
More blogs to follow!
Oh yes shucked oysters! My next blog will be about the food tasting I did while on a day tour with Bruny Island Safaris. Oysters will lead the way of course – watch this space in a couple of days.
Many thanks to Grayline for hosting me on this fun day trip which included the Puffing Billy trip (see an earlier blog) food, wine and chocolate. It also had stop at Healesville Sanctuary which is part of Zoos Victoria and we arrived just in time for the bird show.
I think the best way to introduce you to this sanctuary is to give you a slideshow about some of my time there … naturally being there in the flesh is way better and I hope this encourages you to pack a picnic lunch and go, or do as I did and go on a day tour with Grayline.
Let have another look at that bird that hit my camera, which hit me and created a huge lump and cut in my eyebrow – seemed it didn’t like the close up i wanted to take! I don’t know what part hit me, maybe the straps hanging from his legs, his body or wing, but whatever it was, it was an unexpected and hard wallop!
Travel writers – just going that extra length to get a story huh!
More blogs to come from my recent Australian trip, but no more such bird encounters.
Just got home at midnight last night: but here are a few photos from my first day in Melbourne, Australia to give you a taste – these are from a great day tour which included food, wine, wildlife, and a Puffing Billy!
I did this tour with Grayline and for more about this day tour and my other activities during the past 3 weeks make sure you sign up to get my blogs by email (top right hand corner of this page) and/or follow me on FaceBook, Pinterest, Instagram etc – get the links off my website www.kiwitravelwriter.com)