[soundtrack. about today]
“AN ISLAND, OFF AN ISLAND, OFF AN ISLAND”.
Satellite Island, located in the heart of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel of Tasmania, is “an island, off an island, off an island”.
Off the coast of Bruny Island, there is a magic here. I cant even remember how or where I first heard of this special little place, but it kept popping up on my radar and I knew that I had to visit.
I was invited down by the island’s lovely owner, Kate Alstergren, in September 2016. My dear friend Lucy Laucht just happened to be back visiting from New York at the same time, so I asked her to be my wingy and together we set off on a brilliant adventure.
Kate was amazing in prepping us for our island visit. We landed in Hobart, rented some wheels and then drove into the city centre to stock up on supplies. Kate had loaded us up with a list of all her favorite local suppliers and producers, so we set about ticking off all the places on her list - bread from Pigeon Hole Bakers, meat from Vermey’s Quality Meats (the french lamb cutlets) in Sandy Bay, local wine from Gasworks Cellar Door (we picked up a bottle of Parish Vineyard 2014 Riesling (amazing!) from the Coal River Valley, a bottle of OUSE 2014 Chardonnay from Tasmania’s Central Highlands, and a Stoney Vineyard 2015 Pinor Noir), and then closer to Kettering (the departure point for the Bruny Island ferry) we stopped at Kate’s favourite roadside farm stand to stock up on fresh fruit and veg. We were ready!! The thing is, if you forget to take something with you, you’re kind of in trouble. There is no way you will be wanting to leave the island once you get there…
After arriving at the Kettering car ferry, its just a short 15min ferry ride over to Bruny Island from there. Once on Bruny, you then drive 40-minutes south to reach the tiny hamlet of Alonnah. It is at Alonnah that you will be met by Satellite Island’s friendly manager, Richard Roe. Richard, who kindly lugged our bags on to his little tinnie, then putted us over the little channel to reach the island. We were giddy with excitement as the boat pulled in - views of the boathouse (one of the sleeping options down on the jetty), the sheer cliffs, and the untamed Tasmania wilderness beyond it - we knew we were in for a treat.
Richard talked us through the ins and outs of island life. He explained the sleeping options (either the boathouse, the summer house (the 3-bedroom house on top of the island), or the luxury bell tent). Lucy and I were keen to be in the boathouse. It was the middle of winter, but we opted to sleep in the same room, in the same bed, with the roller doors wide open, so we could both fall asleep and wake up each morning listening to the water lapping up on to the island’s edge below us!!! It was incredible.
It is hard to describe how special this place really is. So remote. So quiet. So much raw natural beauty. The whole entire island to yourself.
The island can accommodate up to 12 people at any one time. The interiors, all done by Kate herself, feel Scandinavian-inspired (Kate’s husband is Norwegian) and are perfectly simple and stylish. You can find everything you need inside the main house, including Aesop skincare in the bathrooms, beach towels, a bose sound system, board games and a fully stocked kitchen. For outdoor activities, there are fishing rods, kayaks, snorkels, or even a beautiful old-school wooden rowing boat named Pearl. We loved walking around the island - there are a couple of walks to choose from - and spotting birds and the roaming deer.
Richard introduced us to Bert the stag. He also took us around to meet Rodney the rooster (a gift from The Agrarian Kitchen’s legendary Rodney Dunn) and the rest of Rodney’s free-range friends. We had fresh eggs to collect each morning, should we wish; fresh organic herbs and veggies from the garden; and plenty of provisions in the well-stocked kitchen as well. Oh and on top of that (and probably what we got most excited about) was the fact that we could carve our own oysters off the rocks and then shuck and eat them then and there. It couldn't get much fresher than that!!!
We lit bonfires each night while listening to the wind howling around us and the water lapping up on the rocks. We ate our freshly shucked oysters. We drank our local wine. We cooked our lamb chops and sausages on the raging fire. We were happy.
Time stands still here on Satellite Island. It is a truly unique and secluded getaway and one that I can highly recommend. I really am desperate to return (maybe next time with a big group, and for a few extra days). It’s so outrageously beautiful here.