It didn’t take living on an island to make me realise that I never want to live on an island. Despite growing up in the countryside – or perhaps because of it – I’m a city girl through and through. Nevertheless, Bruny Island is stunning and my time here is giving me an interesting glimpse into island life.
Bruny Island is about 100km from top to bottom. It’s made up of North Bruny and South Bruny, which are connected by a thin strip called ‘The Neck’. Bruny is a real island, ie there are none of those newfangled bridges connecting it to civilisation. Oh no, getting there means taking a good old fashioned ferry. The novelty of this wears off really quickly and it’s often quite the pain in the arse.* Also, a lot of the roads, including stretches of ‘Main Road’, are unsealed and a bit of nightmare to drive without a 4×4.
The tourists, most of them Tasmanians, come for the walking tracks, the beaches and the wildlife. Being an island, Bruny obviously has a lot of beaches and they are quite lovely. Some are all about the surfing, others involve a 2km walk to get the water above your knees at low tide.
Bruny has only 600-ish residents, meaning that everyone knows everyone else, and their business. There’s one policeman, one pub, one off-licence, one place to get petrol. It’s the kind of place where everybody helps each other out. So, a local might travel back to Bruny as a foot passenger, knowing that they’ll find someone they know on the ferry who can give them a lift home. And the guy from the nearby cafe leaves loaves of bread in our letterbox at the end of the day.
Island life. It’s different.
* Especially when you miss the ferry by about two minutes and have to wait over an hour for the next one. And the cafe has closed** so you have to wait outside in the rain. Yep, it’s raining at this point. Of course.
** Why does everything in Tasmania close at 4pm? Not cool Tassie, not cool.