Yesterday, I had a chat with Terry, a “long-term resident” of the campground who knows Bruny Island like the back of his hand. He persuaded me to stay one extra day on the campground in order to hike to Fluted Cape first, and then to Cape Queen Elizabeth.Jenny, on her side, will bike to the lighthouse. I might see her again somewhere in the North in about two weeks.
On my way to the start of the Fluted Cape I had a stop to another chocolate factory, but unfortunately this one was not as good as the one of Tasman Peninsula. Afterwards, I went quickly to the grocery store to buy some supplies for this unforeseen extra day on Bruny Island. Finally I began the hike to Fluted Cape, an easy steady climb in an eucalyptus forest. Unfortunately, I was not lucky enough to spot some white wallabies that Terry told me I might see there.
I had lunch at the top of the cape, enjoying impressive views on the rugged Tasmanian coast.
The track continued with a sometimes steep downhill that offered impressive views on the cape’s dolerite cliffs.
Back at sea level, very nice boards told me about the massive whaling activity that once happened here. Whales used to come in winter in Tasmanian waters to mate and breed. In the early 19th century, they were massively hunted for their oil, which was used for lighting, heating, lubrication and a range of manufacturing processes. As soon as whales were spotted, the six-man crews would row out in the bay, harpoons at the ready. Generally, the first harpoon shot would not kill the whale. Instead, it would tow the whalers’ ship on several kilometres before getting tired. Then, the final stroke was given and the whalers had to bring the whale back on shore. This bloody industry collapsed in the early 1840’s because of the overfishing (the breed time of whales is 3 years!). Now, whales population begins slowly to recover from this massacre.
After this hike, my body felt that it had had enough for today so instead of doing the second 3-hours walk and 25km of biking to get there, I decided to have an excellent berries ice cream, then a swim in Adventure Bay back at the campsite. I also took profit of this rest afternoon to plan the next weeks of my stay in Tasmania before the Overland Track. After some savvy calculations, I decided that I had enough time to do a side trip to Cockle Creek, the southernmost place in Australia that can be reached with a car.