“We are living on an island, under an island, under an island, at the edge of the world.”
Sometimes you find a holiday spot that’s just so beautiful that you feel torn between telling everyone about it and keeping it a secret so it doesn’t get overrun.
That’s how I feel about our time away on Bruny Island last week. Given that my blog audience is a small one though, and that most of you live many thousands of miles away, I feel safe in spilling the beans.
Chez Discovery is an environmentally friendly two-bedroom house on the Labillardiere Estate on the southern part of Bruny Island. It is set among 1500 acres of forest and coastline, and shares a boundary with the South Bruny National Park, home to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse.
Getting to the house was a bit tough on our poor little city car – the roads on Bruny are quite rough and ready – but once we’d arrived it was more than worth it.
Where to begin? With one of the many walking trails that allow you to explore the forest? With the artists’ studio that was set up with pastels and paper for DorkySon to use? With the private beaches and the clean, cold sea? With the bottle of champagne our hosts Adrian and Allegra had left for us? Within five minutes of stepping through the door, we knew that three days wouldn’t feel like enough.
We did our best to find the balance between activities and downtime though. We walked every day. DorkySon flew his kite, and had a first fishing lesson from DorkyDad. He thought it was brilliant… especially when he got his lure caught on a log for the third time and I had to strip off and go in for it. Brrrr. We saw all kinds of incredible birdlife, like black cockatoos, scarlet robins and a swift parrot. We saw wallabies off the porch one night, and heard possums scampering outside the next. We shared fresh oysters with Adrian and Allegra, and talked about all the people we had in common. There were quite a few of them. Oh Tasmania.
By the end of the trip, we were so relaxed that DorkyDad was starting to forget about the possibility of snake encounters, and I was starting to worry a little less about spiders. Although…
We only left the estate twice. On our first day we went for a wonderful lunch at Bruny Island Premium Wines. DorkySon ate a steak faster than I’ve ever seen anyone do in my life (must have been all that fresh air). DorkyDad and I sat with a surprisingly warm sun on our back, sipping wine and eating burgers as big as our heads. Then we all shared the most delicious cheesecake, served with ice cream and local cherries.
On our second day, we went for a visit to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse. We stood still and quiet for a good while, feeling quite overwhelmed by the view. Talk about the edge of the world. And then we decided it was time for another lunch at the vineyard. The cheesecake really was that good.
In the evenings, we read books, listened to the birds, and watched the sun set. We went to bed early and slept with that happy exhaustion that only comes from long walks and sea air. There was no TV, no email, no iPad for the entire time. It was a good reminder that sometimes you need to switch off – that so much of what we consume each day through our many devices is just unnecessary noise.
Bruny Island is a special place. From our house in Hobart to the door of Chez Discovery way down on the south part of the island it is less than 3 hours, including a ferry crossing. But you feel like you have come to another world entirely, to a place that puts everything in perspective.
We can’t wait to go back.
(P.S. This morning I got a card in the post from Allegra saying thank you for coming to stay, and including a single domino that DorkySon had left under a sofa cushion!)