Bruny Island

This morning we awoke with plans to board a car ferry to Bruny Island, but first we needed breakfast. We got ready for the day and walked a short distance to a very popular bakery in Hobart called Jackman & McRoss. There was no seating available and it looked like a long wait to get a coffee so we just grabbed something to eat and walked back with it to the apartment to eat it. Ronnie went with the pork and apple sausage roll and I chose the duck, cranberry and walnut sausage roll. Ronnie and I tried each others and we both thought the one we chose for ourselves was the best one, so we agreed to disagree. The duck sausage roll wasn’t as dry as the pork sausage roll and I liked that about it. They give tomato relish to eat with the sausage rolls but this tasted more like a salsa. Not a bad combination though. It was an enjoyable breakfast and was perfect for the day ahead.

To make it to Bruny Island you need to drive about half an hour south and board the Bruny Island Ferry that departs every 30 minutes from about 7:30am to 7:00pm. You can take a bus over as part of a tour and a fair few people probably choose this option as many car rental companies don’t allow their vehicles to go to the island but we chose one that did. You really need a means of transportation other than walking to get around the island because it’s no small island. It’s just over 1 hour driving from one end of the island to the other. So, we arrived for the 10am ferry and were ushered on the boat by the crew. It was our first time on a car ferry. It was weird to be sitting in the car and moving, but not driving. The ferry only takes 15 minutes to get to the island so you don’t really need to get out of your car during this time.

We made it to the island and were quickly exiting the boat to start our day on the island. We started driving and spotted all the food places we’d be coming back to later in the day after we hit the main viewpoints. The first viewpoint everyone visits is the Neck Lookout. It’s a part of the island where it gets really skinny and the beaches almost meet except for the road in the middle. There were 270 stairs to climb up which wasn’t too bad but we did feel a little tinge of soreness in our calves and thighs because of how much other walking we had done. The view was pretty cool but the viewing deck was quite crowded with people. We then walked down to the beach to feel the fresh sea breeze.

I convinced Ronnie to drive us to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse. This is often written as a must see on Bruny Island but it is a really long drive to the other side of the island on a windy narrow gravel road. Apologies to Ronnie for him having to do this because when we arrived there was barely any parking to actually stop to see the lighthouse, but we managed to find one. I also regretted it because there was a short, steep hill that we needed to walk up to get close to the lighthouse and I was about done with that. Still, we went all that way so we walked up, looked at the lighthouse and the views over the ocean and then went back the way we came for lunch.

We intended to have oysters, a cheese platter and then honey ice cream but the way we’d driven it was easier to do it the other way around so we did! So first, we pulled up to the Bruny Island Honey Pot and were greeted by the owners two sweet cattle dogs. We went inside and bought some milk chocolate covered honeycomb and some honey ice cream to share. I thought it would be ice cream made there. It was pre-packaged ice cream from the Tasmanian Valhalla brand but it was still nice and a good snack to whet our appetites for the food to come.

We then moved onto the Bruny Island Cheese and Beer Co. This was a pretty cool place with a cheese store, a bar and nice outdoor seating. We were there to eat a cheese platter and that’s what we did. I can’t really recall what the cheeses were exactly but they were all really yummy. One was a really young cheese called One Day Old cheese. It was really soft like mozzarella. There was also a camembert type cheese amongst the mix, my favourite! The last cheese was a semi-soft creamy cheese that was Ronnie’s favourite. We ate it with fresh sourdough bread, yum!

We then went off to our final food stop of the day and the one we were most nervous about. Being from inland NSW we don’t typically eat oysters. They’re not something we were introduced to growing up and we never considered ordering them on any menu before, but Bruny Island has a well known oyster shack called Get Shucked and we wanted to try them. Ronnie was nervous that they would be slimy and hard to get down and he only intended on eating Oysters Kilpatrick. I wanted to try at least one natural. They offered a mixed dozen of oysters with three different types – Asian fusion, Kilpatrick and Natural with four of each kind. We got this to share. It was a long wait for the cooked oysters and after we’d waited quite a while we were wondering if it was really worth it, but let me tell you, we walked out of there raving about them.

I tried the first oyster, a natural one, with just a squeeze of lemon. They had the salty ocean water in the shell with the oyster. I scooped it into my mouth, chewed it once or twice and then it went down a treat. So delicious! Ronnie’s first one he tried was an Asian Fusion one. This was a panko crumbed oyster with a rice noodle salad under it in the shell. He ate the oyster alone and the salad after. He liked it! He liked it much better on the second one though when he ate the salad and oyster together. We then had a Kilpatrick one each. These were Ronnie’s favourite. They were a bit spicy for me but really yummy. Before we finished these cooked oysters I convinced Ronnie to try a fresh oyster telling him it’s the not the texture he thought it was. He said he’d try it because he’d try almost any food at least once. He had it with some lemon and threw it back. He was pleasantly surprised by it’s taste and texture. I could have eaten at least a dozen more but the wait was long and we wanted to head back to the ferry so we stuck with the shared mixed dozen. Wow though, so amazing!

We waited a little while with a lot of other cars for the next ferry nervous we’d have to wait another half an hour for the next one. We made it on though in prime position for a nice ride back to mainland Tasmania and drove back to our accommodation for a nice rest before dinner. We watched Lord of the Rings, packed our bags and napped before dinner. Our dinner was a late one at 8:30pm. We had a reservation at Landscape Restaurant & Grill after reading the excellent reviews online. It’s a restaurant that is kind of a gallery on it’s own as it shows landscape art from a Tasmanian artist called John Glover. We arrived and immediately knew we were in the fanciest restaurant we both had ever been to. All of the waiters were in suits, wine was being decanted on a bench nearby and the vibe was just super fancy.

We were seated and a man with champagne came over and said ‘Happy Anniversary!’ and poured us a free glass of champagne each. I was so shocked and confused about how they knew we had been celebrating our anniversary but I remember when I booked the restaurant online they had tick boxes for if you were celebrating a special occasion and which one it was. It was a nice gesture and we happily drank our bubbles. It also would have been very expensive champagne because the glasses of wine started at $17! We also were given freshly made bread to eat while we decided on our orders. We then went on to ordering dinner.

We were happy to go all out for our last dinner in Tasmania and we each ordered three courses. For my entrée I ordered char-grilled octopus with potato, nduja and fennel. It was quite tasty and it was pretty spicy for me. Ronnie got rice-crusted calamari with miso, yuzu aioli and smoked chilli. Ronnie’s dish was the winner here. The rice-crust on the calamari was really good.

When I booked this restaurant I looked at the menu and always intended to order steak for my main course because they cook them on a special Argentinian grill and they are known for their steaks. I just didn’t feel like it though, so I ordered lamb loin and confit belly with, turnip, roasted onion, kale and a rich jus. Ronnie decided on a pasta dish – hand cut fettucine with mushrooms, hazelnuts and truffled pecorino – since he hadn’t had a pasta dish on the trip yet. We both enjoyed our mains, they weren’t mind blowing but they were nice.

I had been wanting this dessert on the menu since I first looked in online a while ago. It was smoked honey ice-cream and on the menu online it said it came with an apple, walnut and ginger sponge, but this night it was being served with a crumble and roasted figs. I still ordered it but I’ve discovered I really only like figs in jam form. The ice-cream was pretty good. It wasn’t the dessert I thought it would be but I’m glad to have tried it. Ronnie tried the mascarpone parfait with plum, lemon verbena (a flower?) and green tea meringue. Ronnie very much enjoyed his dessert and was happy with his choice.

The final bite of the night was a complimentary whisky chocolate truffle each. They were deliciously creamy, cold and really rich. After this we settled the bill. It was the most expensive meal we ate on the trip, not surprising though as it was truly fine dining.

We drove back to the Airbnb and crawled into bed straight away. We had time in the morning to finish packing our bags to fly home as our flight wasn’t until the afternoon.

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