We have spent a week at the Hunter islands, properly called Fleurieu Group, moving from anchorage to anchorage and alternating between Hunter and Three Hummock Islands depending on the wind direction. At last we have felt in cruising mode: short sails, new discoveries, plenty of walks and scrambles ashore on sunny days, and time for reading, writing and sorting through photos on windy, stormy days. Even in the sunshine it is very cool though and Bass Strait shows its usual changeable moods. With the water only 120, the bays might look a tropical aqua, but dips at the back of the boat are quick as a flash and breathtaking.
We started our tour of the Fleurieu on Three Hummock Island at the lovely anchorage of Spiers Nook which gets its name from the granite tors surrounding the bay. Just around to the next cove was Chimney Corner with its derelict jetty and a beach where we found a beautiful paper nautilus shell. We weathered a strong blow at Cave Bay on Hunter Island where we remained boat bound for a few nights. Cabin fever was averted on the third day when conditions allowed us to get ashore for a rock climb to the cave – a prehistoric site where carbon dating has demonstrated man’s presence 23,000 years ago. At that time the cave overlooked the Bass Plain and the sea was 30kms away. Our next anchorage was back on Three Hummock Island at Mermaid Bay where we discovered Little Penguins in rock crevasses in broad daylight. Everywhere we go we see rugged shores lined with boulders covered in orange lichen, so typical of Bass Strait Islands. If you ever wondered what inspired our boat colours, this is it!
We are hiding at East Telegraph Bay on Three Hummock with another SW gale this weekend but at least we have internet service, although patchy!
We are enjoying ourselves and going with the flow of the highly changeable weather. We will leave these islands on Monday, bound for Stanley, a quaint coastal village on the bigger island of Tasmania!
Here is a gallery of images that will give you a taste of the beautiful Fleurieu Group.