Fluted Cape Walk
South Bruny National Park
Directions - Located on South Bruny Island near the small hamlet of Adventure Bay, the Fluted Cape Walk can be reached by driving south along Bruny Island Main Road until you reach the left turn for Adventure Bay Road. Follow this, passing through Adventure Bay to the small car park on your left, just before the main car park for Bruny Island Cruises. The trail head is located next to the path down to the beach.
The Hike - Often touted as one of the best walks on Bruny Island, and a popular place to visit because of that, the Fluted Cape Walk was a hike I was very much looking forward to. With a whirlwind trip to Bruny Island coming to an end, I had four trails I wanted to get done on my last full day on this lovely part of Tasmania. Having enjoyed walking through the rainforest on the Mavista Nature Walk and scaled the highest point of Bruny Island on Mount Mangana, I was ready to experience the coastal cliffs of Fluted Cape.
After stopping in at the Adventure Bay General Store for a quick bite to eat for lunch, I was looking around Adventure Bay and thinking I should have stayed here instead of near The Neck. With sunny skies and a nice temperature, this felt like a pretty idyllic spot for a holiday, and having a name like Adventure Bay adds to the fun. After lunch I drove the short distance from the main part of town to the trail head, and got thoroughly confused in the process. Given the time of year, things were busy and I didn't see the information sign thanks to the car park being full. Having driven into the Bruny Island Cruises car park, despite the warnings that this was not the place to park for the Fluted Cape Walk, I followed a dead end before doubling back. Getting a park on the side of the road, I eventually figured out where the walk started from and set about getting my gear together.
After having a short read of the information board, I headed down the small dirt track to the beach, which is a great start to the walk. As soon as you step onto the beach, the beauty of Adventure Bay hits you in the face, with the turquoise waters, distant hills and a narrow beach making for an excellent scene to photograph. The start of the walk sees you meander along the sand until you reach the forest lining the edge of the water. As I said before, this is a really pleasant start to proceedings, although a little strangeness crept in when I spotted the largest jellyfish I'd ever seen, just floating a couple of metres from the shore. These turned out to be Lion's Mane Jellyfish and some were the size of a small exercise ball, just bobbing up and down in the water. Deciding that perhaps a swim wasn't the best idea, I kept walking along and was in awe of these floating giants.
Reaching the end of the small beach section, you follow the signs and climb up to join the main path leading off to Grass Point. At this stage you haven't entered South Bruny National Park and at the time of my visit, there was some recently built accommodation just off the main track that kind of takes you away from the nature experience. It's a slight infringement on the walk but it isn't long until both sides of the wide track are surrounded by beautiful thick trees. Walking along the edge of the water, the combination of thick tree trunks, azure waters, distant hills and an endless horizon made this part feel pretty special. I passed a family out for a hike and they were fascinated by the Lion's Mane Jellyfish in the water and because I had a backpack on, with a camera in hand, they assumed I knew everything about nature. Asking about whether the jellyfish stung or not, I offered words of caution against swimming with them and post hike research indicated that you do not want to swim with them.
Leaving the family behind, I reached the blue wooden signs that tell you the path ahead is within South Bruny National Park. Excited by this prospect as it meant nothing but fantastic nature ahead, I soon came across the decision point for all loop trails, clockwise or anti-clockwise. To the left (clockwise) takes you to Grass Point before climbing up to the Fluted Cape, while right (anti-clockwise) takes you directly up to the summit of the Fluted Cape. I was enjoying the walk along the edge of Adventure Bay, so decided to continue on this path, a decision that I feel makes for a better hike later on. Continuing on, the walking was excellent as little rocky beaches started appearing down by the water. I stopped at a couple and loved the views across the water, along with the enormous trees growing right along the edge of the bay. After passing some of the thickest trees, including one that had a few large limbs detach themselves recently, I entered the She-Oak section of the walk.