D'Entrecasteaux Channel

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. On the shores of the Channel south of Kingston is the little port of Kettering. Cruising yachts and fishing boats sit on their reflections in the sheltered harbour, and the busy Bruny Island car ferry plies its trade across the water.

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.


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The channel and Bruny Island are both named after Rear-Admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux, who led the expedition. Confusion once existed about the spelling of his christian name, and in 1918 it was changed from Bruni to Bruny. Bruny Island Neck was named St Aignon Isthmus by D'Entrecasteaux, after a member of his expedition who waded ashore near here naked after the accidental beaching of his boat.

Where is it?

south of Hobart on the Channel Highway.

Things To See And Do

Oyster Cove

Oyster Cove, just north of Kettering in 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 1847 the remnants, now only 44 people, were taken to a reserve at Oyster Cove. By 1855 there were only 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 Kettering has become an important service centre for the local farmers.


Snug

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 towns houses were destroyed, along with two churches and half the school. Snug is home to the Channel Folk Museum. Snug Falls is nearby.


Kettering

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.

Surrounding Area

Bruny Island

Effectively two quite different islands connected by a narrow neck of sand, Bruny Island was once home to a large group of Aborginal Tasmanians, (members of the proud Nuenonne tribe, who were decimated by violence and disease following European settlement) the island still carries the evidence of their pre-European existence in shell middens on its beaches. Many of Bruny's landmarks are named after these original inhabitants.
The Island was first sighted by Abel Tasman in 1642 and later visited by Furneaux, Cook, Bligh and Cox between 1770 and 1790, but was named after Rear-Admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux, who explored and surveyed the area in February 1793. Confusion existed about the spelling, and in 1918 was changed from Bruni to Bruny. Bruny Island Neck was named St Aignon Isthmus by D'Entrecasteaux, after a member of his expedition who waded ashore near here naked after the accidental beaching of his boat.


Huon River

Located to the south of Hobart, the Huon River flows via an estuary through some of the most fertile farmlands of Tasmania and the southern most local government district in Australia before emptying its waters into D'Entrecasteaux Channel. The Huon municipality encompasses the town of Huonville, on the Huon River, some surrounding towns, and many protected areas and forestry plantations. The Huon Valley is considered to be one of the most scenic places in Australia. It was the Huon Valley that underpinned Tasmania as "the Apple Isle" for much of last century, and though its orchards still thrive, the valley is known for much more these days - its waterways and wilderness - comprising mountains over 1,000 metres above sea level, button grass plains, extended forests, gorges, dolomite caves (Lune River and Hastings), ravines, drowned river valleys, glaciated land forms, coastal headlands and lagoons.


South Arm

South Arm peninsula is a U-shaped narrow neck of land at the northern entrance to D'Entrecasteaux Channel opposite Blackmans Bay, which stretches south from Lauderdale, separating the River Derwent estuary on its western side from Frederick Henry Bay to the east. For nearly two hundred years the Iron Pot Lighthouse at South Arm has welcomed sailors to the mouth of the Derwent River. The structure was built following a request by Governor Arthur who, in 1830, suggested to the Hobart Port Control that a lighthouse be established due to the wreck of the colonial trading ship 'Hope' in 1827. The Hope was wrecked opposite Bruny Island on the beach which now bears its name and soon became legendary as stories of the lost treasure onboard spread far and wide.

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