Fluted Cape, Bruny Island, October 2013

I think we've all got a bit out of the habit of the monthly walk!  So there were just five of us for this walk, on the "Show Day long weekend".  Robert and Di were already on Bruny Island, travelling around in Wanda - read about that here.  Lyn, Sophie and Brett caught the 9.30am ferry from Kettering, and stopped en route to pick up cheese and bread from the Bruny Island Cheese Factory.   They arrived about 10.40am at the ample carpark at the far end of the historic Adventure Bay beach.  This location is called Cookville and is apparently where the first apple trees were planted in Tasmania by botanists Nelson and Brown, who arrived with William Bligh.

The Fluted Cape walk is 6.5 km long, protected within the South Bruny National Park, and is well described in the current edition of  "100 Walks in Tasmania":

The authors recommend doing the loop counterclockwise, and we found that to be pretty sensible - this way you have an easier slope going upwards, and the steeper sections are on the descent).  It's also on the list of Tasmania's Great Short Walks:

The walk now commences from the beach, so from the carpark you take the track down to the beach, then walk along to the right and look out at the end of the beach for where the track steps up into the bush.

The walk is quoted as taking 2.5 hours, assuming minimal breaks.  We set off at about 10.50am and had a pleasant walk up the hill.  It wasn't steep enough to stop us chatting all the way!  The bush was pretty, open eucalypt forest, typical of the east coast/island vegetation.  When we got to the 250m high cliffs, the views towards the Tasman Peninsula were magnificent.

We looked down at a couple of Bruny Island Adventure Tour boats nosing into the bays, and then saw a pod of whales, several adults and young ones, frolicking under the cliffs!  How beautiful.  I was glad I had my binoculars!

The walk downwards along the clifftop was quite steep, and has recently been moved inwards, away from the edge, which is a good idea.  The casuarina needles and seedpods are thick on the ground, making the track quite slippery.  The views on the way down are beautiful, over the rugged fluted dolerite cliffs and pristine waters.   The rich kelp forests are very healthy, and the sealife must be incredible in there.

The pebbly beach at the Gulch might be a good spot to stop for lunch.  We kept going and reached a cleared area close to Grass Point, the site of an old whaling station, at about 1pm.  There were a few bones still in the undergrowth.

Our picnic lunch was yummy, including a few Bruny Island gourmet treats.  After about 20 minutes, the walk back from here was level and easywalking, taking about half an hour to get back to the beach.

We got back to the carpark before 2pm, so this walk took us a total of 3 hours, including our lunch stop.  It was a very pleasant loop walk, well recommended!

We were a little worried about possible huge queues to get on the ferry given it was the end of the "long" weekend, so Robert and I headed to Robertsons Point with Wanda, and got there well ahead of the 3.15pm sailing.  Lyn took Sophie and Brett for a look around Dennes Point, to remember old holidays and possibly plan another one.