Kettering (including Woodbridge)
Pleasant coastal town on the D'Entrecasteaux
Kettering (37 km south of Hobart) and Woodbridge
nestle into the coast on the D'Entrecasteaux
Channel opposite Bruny Island - two tiny
settlements gazing across the narrow channel at
the island's low lying hills. It is hard to
imagine that they were once violent outposts
where the local Aborigines were persecuted and
maltreated by sealers and whalers.
The area was first explored by Bruni
D'Entrecasteaux in 1792 and was settled in the
early 1800s by timber cutters, whalers and
sealers. Life was hard and the people who lived
in the area rarely settled for long preferring
the life in Hobart Town to the whaling stations
and logging camps.
It was just north of Kettering in Oyster Cove
that 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. Like so much of the area south of
Hobart, both towns have become centres for
commuters and alternative lifestyle dwellers who
find the peacefulness suits them - although,
from a mainland perspective, Hobart is hardly a
centre of urban decay and hysteria.
These tiny settlements are now the focus of
Things to see:
Marine Studies Centre
The Commonwealth Government has established a
Marine Studies Centre at Woodbridge (it is down
on the water near the town jetty) which is
specifically designed to cater for school
children interested in marine biology and
Kettering, with its Marina and its regular ferry
service to Bruny Island, is becoming an
important tourist mooring and departure point.
Studies Centre, Woodbridge
Travellers wanting a short cut across to the
Huon Valley can take the C627 and C626 through
the mountains behind Woodbridge and Kettering.
The C627 passes through the Woodbridge Hill
area, a 400 ha park characterised by rainforest
vegetation and the presence of the rare Bell
Everlasting. Woodbridge Hill, which rises 580 m
above sea level, is part of the mountain range
which runs between the D'Entrecasteaux Channel
and the Huon River.
Oyster Cove Inn
The Oyster Cove Inn, which has views across the
Kettering Marina, is one of those strange
anomalies. It was originally built by a wealthy
Queensland grazier who, presumably, preferred
the cool tranquillity of the D'Entrecasteaux
Channel to the heat of his own state.