The Southern Ocean and Bruny Island

Trip Start May 18, 2005
Trip End May 18, 2006

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Since we had no car and there was no public transport in Hobart around Christmas we had to go on a tour to see anything outside Hobart. And what a tour it was.

We were driven out to a place called Kettering, about 50 miles south of Hobart, where we boarded a boat to Bruny Island, a national park. We then drove across to the south Island (the north and south islands are linked by a sand bank) to Adventure Bay where we were given morning tea and fresh baked muffins which was great because it was a bit nippy here.

After that the fun really began. They took us out in a speed boat around the coast, popping in and out of caves and spotting wildlife. They squeezed the boat through the tiniest little gaps they could find, very exciting stuff. Add to this that there were 15 foot swells all around us and you had a pretty wild ride.

But apart from the roller coaster aspect the scenery is amazing. There are sheer cliff faces towering above you, mad looking caves and gaps for the boat to pop into and explare and the wildlife is something else. The water is so clear to. They told us its the last unpolluted ocean left in the world.

Towards the end of the island the boat turned to the left and headed out into the open ocean towards so specs we could see in the distance. After about half an hour of bashing thorugh the waves (and a few seasick passengers) we fiinally reached the rocks which were officially in the Southern Ocean - ie Antartica!! I was delighted with myself. There was no ice, but it was feckin freezing and wild beyind belief. There was a seal colony on the rocks and we got up real close to them. It was amazing to watch them diving off the rocks and playing around in the water right next to you. And all this in the massive swells that were smashing onto the rocks. Amazing stuff. We even got to see some Black Faced Cormorants nesting and rearing thier chicks right above the seal colony, which was quite a priviledge as they are highly endangered. This is the last place in the world where they nest.

So we made our way back to the mainland for a great lunch, trying to spot dolphins and whales, but we didn't see any :-(.

But what a great day, one of the highlights for me so far.
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