In the D’Entrecastreaux Channel off the coast of Bruny Island Tasmania, is a tiny, wild and private Island – Satellite Island.
I’ve dreamed about visiting this beautiful remote privately owned Island and was lucky enough to join a small group of ladies from other parts of Australia on an unforgettable 4 night stay whilst the world was in lockdown
It was everything I dreamed of and more. A chance to stop unwind, breathe and feel the cold of the icy winds from Southern Tasmania, because we were almost at the end of the earth, with the next stop being Antartica.
Our little group all flew down and met in Hobart Tasmania the night before our island adventure. Sally, who runs a small group travel business called Souk and Co, normally takes groups to Morocco. This was our common link, we had all been to Morocco with Sally, and it was with thanks to Sal, that I was bale to join this little group. Sally organised a food shop which was delivered to our hotel. The 8 of us then stocked up on champagne, wine and other drinks, before a bus trip to Bruny island and a trip on a car ferry.
Bruny island is know for its eclectic food, wine and seafood and apart from lunch at the pub on the way to our Island home, we chose not to experience the brewery’s, wineries, cafes or apple picking opportunities. They were on offer via a quick boat trip, yet we all chose to spend the 4 nights and 5 days just on this incredible slice of heaven where it felt like we all just slowed down, embraced the quiet, the beautiful golden moments in stunning sunlight, great food new friendships and harmony.
On arrival at the Bruny Island boat ramp, we met Richard the island care taker and general all round good guy. Richard took all our luggage and supplies over to the island, whilst we all enjoyed lunch at the Bruny pub.
A stroll along the beach to the boat ramp and we were off to our island adventure. the boat ride over was a little choppy as we all sat rugged up on the boat with gorgeous woollen blankets provided by Richard, to keep as dry and warm for the 5 minute crossing.
The large tin boat pulled up along side the stunning Scandinavian designed boathouse for us all to disembark. It was just dreamy, and one of those pinch me moments, especially for me as I had been following Satellite island on social media for a while. The island is actually shaped like a whale and although we didn’t see any whales or the southern lights it was just a magical place to visit.
The bedrooms at the boathouse which sit over a rock ledge at the base of the island, host 2 large king beds with luscious bed linen and squishy big pillows. There is a roller door on one side, that can be opened for sunrise or closed for rainy windy days or for when the fire pit is in full force. All 8 ladies squealing with delight and madly snapping photos of the 2 stunning bedrooms, built over the rocks, where the ocean ebbs and flows with the tide.
With stunning beach combing collections on display in the bedrooms and fabulous with tea and coffee plungers in each room. you just don’t want to leave. At the back of these rooms is an indoor-outdoor shower and eco toilet system. with the opportunity to keep the door open and shower whilst you watch the ocean with sea gulls flying above you, or the friendly seal swims by is a special memory to treasure.
There is fishing tackle and nets for anyone who wants to partake and a bag of freshly caught oysters is hanging in the ocean tied to the deck, ready for anyone who wishes to indulge along with a shucking lesson from Richard.
Salty oysters and cold champagne – what a way to be greeted on arrival at the start of our stay.
At the end of the boathouse is a staircase up the sea cliff, that goes up to the Summer House. A quaint cottage filled with beautiful French farm house furniture on the top of the island. Technically the house sleeps 6 with 1 bathroom, however the farmhouse it quite small so having 8 people spread out through the accomodation was perfect! They also have a lush bell tent a little further away from the house.
The summer house is where we ate a lot of our meals, and although we brought food down from Hobart, there was an incredible pantry filed with yummy treats from all over the world. With so many areas on the island set up to cook with fire pits and BBQ’s, we were spoilt for choice. From yummy granola and stewed fruit, to fresh fish over the open coals, food was a big winner here. There were incredible chards and greens in the veggie garden for our daily green juice and Adam James from Rough Rice, a chef who lives on Bruny Island came to visit and create a long lunch for us.
Adam arrived at the boathouse, whilst we were recovering from our dip in the ocean and promptly set about creating a little beach fire where he cooked fresh caught rock flathead, made incredible salads from the garden on the Island and added a few other tasty grown treats from Bruny Island. Our late lunch on the deck at the boathouse, stretched on all afternoon as we watched the sunset out over the Southern Ocean and then dancing in the moonlight.
The island has incredible walks past duck ponds, free range chickens and gardens or roaming under trees and native bushes or through the long grasses that were whispering in the wind across the top of the island on the look out for the local deer roaming around.
There are 2 resident Bucks, Bert and Henry who along with a harem of fallow deer girlfriends, along with a few sheep, were all brought onto the island in the name of keeping the grass under control. We didn’t see the deer up close, they are quite timid, I did enjoy just wandering along the island walks looking for them and see them gallop across the grass to hide in the bush areas, just beautiful creatures.
On low tide you can walk all the way around the island. I am a beachcomber from way back, so I totally enjoyed the low tide rock ledge walks finding sea glass, and stunning pieces of shell and wood. Wandering in the morning sun seeing the sea cliffs light up, watching the giant kelp seaweed sway in the water along with other sea grasses. It felt like I was on a treasure hunt, and the universe provided the treasure washed up with the tide.
The stunning shell limpets, beautiful little red sea anemone, sea urchins all sparkling in the autumn sun. It was so quiet apart froth waves or the birds above, I truly loved getting lost on these morning walks and seeing old washed up fishing ropes now tattered and wrapped around fallen branches from the island above, worn rocks with timeless fossils imprinted – it was just a special part of my days down there.
Three of us braved the arctic temperatures and jumped into the water. It was extremely cold yet very invigorating. I nearly drowned as I jumped in it was so cold it took my breathe away so I swallowed water, swiftly followed by swallowing more water, from fear as I felt the large kelp sea weed wrap around my foot. You had to swim to stay warm and the icy winds kept us in for. short time before climbing out the boathouse deck, embracing the autumn sun, we were covered in the salt from the ocean it was the most incredible feeling.
This island was so peaceful, it made us all slow down. At the end of our 4 night stay, I think we were all super thankful for the friendships, the scenery, the quiet moments watching sea birds and beach combing, collecting fresh eggs for breakfast, listening to the trees sway around us, or enjoying “crafternoon” painting our beach walk finds.
The dinner conversation and the meals we shared on this wilderness island, off an Island, off an Island were something special and although we were only slightly off grid on Satellite Island, it was truly an incredible experience and one I will treasure for along time to come.