While many on the day tour I took (Bruny Island Safaris) wanted to see a white kangaroo – they, like animals everywhere, refused to turn up for us to see. We did learn there is no such species as an albino kangaroo, they are simply variants within the normal species of kangaroos and an albino can occur in any species of kangaroo red or grey kangaroo, wallaby or a pademelon.
The tour is an eclectic mix of food, nature, and history. At the top of the Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve we see a monument to an Aboriginal woman, Truganini, and on my return home I did a little research.
Firstly, Bruny Island is called Lunawanna-alonnah in the native language and
Truganini is said to have been born around 1812, a Nuenone woman.
The arrival of Europeans brought violence, brutality and disease to her world and she had two alternatives – adapt or die.
Like much of history there are conflicting opinions about the veracity of her story. Nevertheless, her history sounds appalling: she was the daughter of an elder of the Nuenone people; saw her mother stabbed to death by whalers and her sisters abducted by sealers. It doesn’t finish there. Her uncle was shot, her husband-to-be was murdered by timber-workers who cut off his hands and left him to drown before she was repeatedly raped. And still it continues, her brother was killed and her step-mother kidnapped by escaped convicts and her father died within months. She’d lost her entire family.
The Nuenone people, a band of the south-east tribe have connections with Lunawanna-alonnah (Bruny Island) and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel which separates it from Tasmania’s mainland. The first white settlers landed in Tasmania in 1803 and by 1836 the surviving first Australians were thought to be about 300. Another estimate says only 150. Either way the result is a humanitarian nightmare. Most of this information gleaned from www.Wonthaggihistoricalsociety.org.au
Here are few photos from the most enjoyable day …. esp as we were all picked up and dropped off at our Hobart accommodation
Another story I’ve written about Bruny Island include cheese, oysters and berries