Kettering and neighbouring Woodbridge were once violent outposts where the local Aborigines were persecuted and maltreated by sealers and whalers who has set up camp here before the first official European settlement in Tasmania at Hobart had been founded. Today the area is noted for its orchards (apples, cherries, pears) and Kettering has become an important service centre for the local farmers. Like so much of the area south of Hobart, it has become a centre for commuters and alternative lifestyle dwellers.
Location: 37 km south of Hobart on the coast on the D'Entrecasteaux Channel opposite Bruny Island.
Bruny Island ferry
Kettering and Woodbridge nestle on the coast on D'Entrecasteaux Channel opposite Bruny Island - two tiny settlements across the narrow channel from the island's low lying hills. Kettering is the launching point to Bruny Island, but is charming in its own right with a sheltered harbour full of yachts and fishing vessels. With its Marina and its regular ferry service to Bruny Island, Kettering is an important tourist mooring and departure point. The Marine Studies Centre at nearby Woodbridge was specifically designed to cater for school children interested in marine biology.
Points of Interest include the Marine Studies Centre; Woodbridge Hill (580m above sea level, part of the mountain range which runs between the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and the Huon River); Oyster Cove Inn; Oyster Cove Historic Site (site of Aboriginal Station, Convict Penitentiary)
The area was first explored by Frenchman Bruni D'Entrecasteaux in 1792 and was settled in the early 1800s by timber cutters, whalers and sealers. At that time the area was a violent outpost where the local Aborigines were persecuted and maltreated by the sealers and whalers.
Oyster Cove: Oyster Cove, just north of Kettering on Oyster Cove, is where the last Tasmanian Aboriginal settlement was established in 1847. Aborigines from all over Van Diemen s Land had been rounded up some years earlier and isolated on Flinders Island in an attempt to stop the 'Black Wars' in which Tasmanian aborigines were being slaughtered in conflicts with white settlers. It stopped the 'wars' were stopped but heralded the beginning of the end for the indigenous peoples.
In 1847 the remnants, now only 44 people, were taken to a reserve at Oyster Cove. By 1855 there were just 16 people left and by 1869 only Truganini remained. She died in 1876 but it was not until 1976 that her ashes were thrown to the winds on the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. Today the area is noted for its orchards (apples, cherries, pears) and nearby Kettering has become an important service centre for the local farmers.
Nutpatch Handmade Fine Chocolate: Enjoy the sensation of tasting our hand made chocolate which once experienced will tempt you back for more. Fresh pure flavours which enhance the palette and linger long after you have eaten them. Nutpatch Handmade Fine Chocolate has selected Callebaut and Belcolade chocolate which we combine with the highest quality ingredients to produce our stunning range of pralines, nougat and chocolate creations.
Open: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Location: 2956 Channel Highway, Kettering.
Sail Bruny: For a classic sailing experience, join Sail Bruny on Ubique of Hobart, a classic Huon pine Lyle Hess 32 foot Bristol Channel Cutter. Enjoy a classic sailing experience in the waters around North Bruny Island. Whether it's for a day sail past historic landmarks and anchoring for lunch off pristine beaches, experiencing sailing with 2-4 people or chartering Ubique for a special occasion (parties of up to 6), what better way to enjoy beautiful Bruny Island. 3.5 hours introduction to sailing experiences also available.
The Oyster Cove Marina. 7 Ferry Rd, Kettering. Ph 0428 674 747
Raptor Refuge: The Raptor & Wildlife Refuge of Tasmania Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation established on a 20-acre property overlooking Kettering and the D Entrecasteaux Channel. The Refuge is a working refuge and not a zoo or wildlife park dedicated to the protection of Tasmania's raptors, however you can book a tour and get up close to some amazing Tasmanian raptors, while exploring the huge flight aviaries and our Education Centre.
The outstanding feature of this facility is three of the largest raptor flight aviaries in the Southern Hemisphere, purpose-built to flight train Wedge-tailed eagles, Sea-Eagles and other birds, during their recovery from injury. The third massive flight aviary has increased flight facilities considerably, as we now have an in-house policy not to mix Sea-Eagles with Wedge-Tailed Eagles not to mention that these birds need a lot of care and often considerable time for rehabilitation. The nets are salmon netting from the aquaculture industry and are 21m high at its peak and 26m wide.
Gordon (29 km south) is a pleasant village on the shores of D'Entrecasteaux Channel facing Bruny Island. Near the shoreline is a monument to Bruni D'Entrecasteaux, who spearheaded French interest in the region. In 1792-93 he discovered the Huon River, and the channel and offshore island which bear his name.
View from Mt Royal towards Bruny Island
Mount Royal Signal Station at Gordon was established on Mount Royal in 1823, 19 years after settlement of Van Diemen s Land when the area of the Colony was overseen by Colonel William Sorell (Lieutenant-Governor). It was built by convicts. It was one of a circuit of stations, the others were at Castray Esplanade, Mt. Nelson and Mt. Louis (near Pierson's Point). From these stations a comprehensive view of shipping movements In Storm Bay, D'Entrecasteaux Channel, and the River Derwent could he obtained by the use of mechanical semaphores (signal flags).
The first type used in Van Diemen's Land in 1829 was a copy of a type then recently invented for shipping intelligence on the west and south coasts of England. This semaphore had two revolving arms, one above the other. Each arm had three positions on one side of the staff, and three on the other, being revolved for that purpose. At first, the arms were operated by hemp ropes. These were found to perish and vary in length at different temperatures, so chains, consisting of rods of iron with eyes forged at the end and coupled by hooks, came into use.
The only intact semaphore station building today is at Battery Point, at Prince's Park, above Castray Esplanade. A visit to Mount Royal Conservation Park near Gordon, its historic convict trails and Mount Royal Signal Station provides an opportunity to uncover the old ruins and artefacts. Location: Kregors Road. Gordon.
Inverware Native Gardens
Inverawe Native Gardens is a Tasmanian garden landscaped along traditional landscaping lines. In 2001 this was 22 acres of weeds. Work commeced on the central section and that is the most developed part of the garden. Work continues on more far flung areas.
The gardens were created primarily as a showcase for the natural flora of Tasmania. Plants have been placed in a semi formal landscaped design and walking paths give access to the vast array of plants in its two distinct areas - a natural woodlands remnant and a former tidal swamp that has yielded to rich, grassy flats. Rabbit Hill, at the northern end of the grasslands, affords views across the gardens down North West Bay to Bruny Island. Being a fringe habitat, where forest and pasture meet the shoreline, the wetlands and the tidal flats is an ideal place for bird watching. Entry fees apply. Contact: (03) 6267 2020.
Location: 1565 Channel Highway, Margate.
Snug is a small coastal town located on the Channel Highway. A carbide factory operated at Snug from 1917. The carbide was used in the manufacture of acetylene gas. The factory was converted to a silicon smelter in 1979, but was closed in 1991. During the 1967 Tasmanian bushfires the town of Snug was devastated, two-thirds of the town s houses were destroyed, along with two churches and half the school. Snug is home to the Channel Folk Museum.
Snug Tiers is a Nature Recreational Area 8.7 km west of Margate. Walking tracks lead to a number of waterfalls, including the popular Snug Falls.
Coningham Beach on the southern shore of Snug Bay is one of Tasmania's most sheltered, offering year-round swimming and is suitable for paddling, boating and picnicking. The 500 m long beach faces northeast across the bay entrance and receives waves averaging up to 0.5 metres, which maintain a reflective to occasionally low tide terrace beach. Channel Highway leads south to Kettering. Little Coningham Beach occupies the next small embayment 200 m to the east and is a curving 200 metre long reflective beach, with boats moored off the beach. A few boat sheds and dinghies line the beach.
From the white sands of Coningham Beach take a bushwalk along the cliffs with spectacular view across North West Bay to kunanyi / Mount Wellington, Tinderbox and Bruny Island. Along the way you will often see white-bellied sea-eagles soaring overhead. During morning and evening walks the bush will ring with birdsong. Rustic wooden seats give an excuse for a pause to soak up the peace and the scenery. Halfway along you will come to Legacy Beach, a great place for children to play and to stop for a cuppa.
Travellers wanting a short cut across to the Huon Valley can take picturesque Nicholls Rivulet Road to Cygnet between Snug and Kettering. It passes through the Woodbridge Hill area, a 400 ha park characterised by rainforest vegetation and the presence of the rare Bell Everlasting. Woodbridge Hill, which rises 580 m above sea level, is part of the mountain range which runs between the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and the Huon River. Note: this short cut bypasses the southern section of the peninsula.
One of the prettiest small towns on D'Entrecasteaux Channel, Woodbridge is situated on Peppermint Bay opposite the northern end of Bruny Island. The area was settled in the early 1800s by timber cutters, whalers and sealers. To the north is Oyster Cove where the few remaining Aborigines who survived the Wybalenna settlement on Flinders Island were moved in 1847. Today the area produces apples and stone fruit. Location: 35 km south of Hobart, 5 km south of Kettering on the Channel Highway.
Peppermint Bay, Woodbridge
Peppermint Bay is home to Peppermint Bay Cruises, which operates cruises of the River Derwent and D Entrecasteaux Channel on its luxuty catamaran. Cruises include general sightseeing, wildlife adventure around the shores of Bruny Island, or are available for charter.
Across D'Entrecasteaux Channel a short drive south of Hobart and then by car ferry from Ketterings, Bruny Island is effectively two quite different islands connected by a narrow neck of sand. With its wild seascapes and sweeping surf beaches, rich maritime history, abundant birdlife and wildlife, tall forests and historic lighthouse, Bruny is an island paradise in Australia's deep south.
The island has an abundance of indigenous birdlife, marsupials and marine life. Whales, seals, dolphins, penguins, sea lions, sea eagles, albatrosses, cormorants, gannets can be seen in their natural environments. A unique feature is its thousand-year old 'blackboy' rainforests and the spring months of September and October reveal spectacular native flowers.
The sheltered D'Entrecasteaux Channel, which separates the Tasmanian mainland south of Hobart from Bruny Island, was named eponymously by the French explorer Bruni D'Entrecasteaux in 1792. The channel became important for shipping between Hobart and the coastal bases of whalers, sealers and timber-getters further south.
The far northern section of the channel between the mainland of south east Tasmania and the northern tip of Bruny Island is known as North West Bay. The larger bay to the south of it, between Woodbridge and Gordon, is called Great Bay. Though these two bays are treated as part of D'Entrecasteaux Channel, in reality the channel begins where the huon River estuary flows into it in near Verona Sands.
One of the most memorable routes from Hobart to the Huon Valley is Channel Highway, the coast road alongside D'Entrecasteaux Channel through Taroona, where the world's oldest round shot tower stands. Further on, there are superb sea views of Storm Bay and Bruny Island beyond. Travelling south, on the shores of the Channel are Kingston, Margate, Snug and then Kettering.
D'Entrecasteaux Channel was first sighted by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman in 1642 and later visited by British explorers Furneaux, Cook, Bligh and Cox between 1770 and 1790. The majority of names in and around the channel recall the visit of a French expedition to the area in February 1793. The Huon River is named after Captain Huon de Kermadec, commander of one of the expedition ships - L'Esperance.