Friends of Bruny Island Quarantine Station (FOBIQS) was formed in 2011 to “support the management, conservation and public appreciation of the Bruny Island Quarantine Station.” A meeting of about 20 interested people, including Bruny Islanders, non-residents, and staff of Tasmania Parks & Wildlife (PWS)and Wildcare, was held on site at the Quarantine Station. FOBIQS is a Wildcare Inc. Group that works cooperatively with PWS to manage and care for the Quarantine Station State Reserve.
Since our formation we have had several Open Days during which tours of the site have given visitors an insight to the various eras of the station's history over 150 years.
During 2013 we saw two of our visions for the future of the quarantine station come to fruition, and others progressing steadily.
Firstly, we completed the self guided Heritage Interpretive Walk officially opened in December 2013 by Dr. Dianne Snowden, Chair of the Tasmanian Heritage Council. 16 signs have been installed which form an informative walk around the site, along with several directional signs to guide and complete the circuit. The interpretive Heritage Walk was made possible by a Commonwealth Community Heritage Grant (Tell a Story) and works by Parks and Wildlife staff and the Friends of the Quarantine station.
Secondly, PWS and FOBIQS established a 'volunteer caretaker" program over the summer period starting early December 2013 and this has proved most successful. We initially trialled 'Open Sundays' but response was good and after many requests from people that could not make the Sunday we had discussion with Parks stafff and were able to open Saturday and Sunday. This has now progressed to having volunteer caretakers all year round, and open 5 days a week Thursday - Monday inclusive.
In 2014 with a grant from Marine and Safety Tasmania FOBIQS installed a floating pontoon in Quarantine Bay, allowing small craft (dinghies) to tie up and visit the station by sea. An 'Oberhausen Day' was also held in August to commemorate the arrest of the German crew of the Oberhausen a ship which was picking up timber at Pt. Huon when war was declared, and consequently spent about nine months at the station before being moved to Holdsworthy NSW later in 1915.
2015 was spent preparing our New Visitor Interpretation Centre in the Plant Quarantine Station head-house and over the years this has seen a steady increase of visitation from UTAS, school groups, Probus, etc.
2016 FOBIQS held its first Science Day with a grant from Inspiring Australia, which despite the weather proved very popular and was held again in 2017 with between 150-180 families attending. It is planned to have another one on 15th October 2018.
2017 saw hops and raspberries being planted of the same species that went through the Plant Quarantine many years ago and the cumbungi was removed from the dam. Also an orchid study was carried out by Malcolm Wells and this extended into 2018.
Overall, FOBIQS have seen their 5 year vision for the station being completed in 4 years, and we continue to work on the site to ensure visitors enjoy their visit.
This form of management is operating successfully on a number of other sites including Cape Bruny Island Lighthouse. The caretakers undertake tasks that are assigned by PWS in accordance with approved management plans.
Enquiries to FBIQS@wildcare.org.au
The first working bee was at the Doctor's House on Sunday 20th November, 2011. We have working bees when required usually planned ahead to fall on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. Come and see what we are up to and give us a helping hand and your ideas for the station. New members are always welcome.
If travelling from the mainland, members catch the 9:30 ferry from Kettering, and meet on site for a cuppa, before starting on a list of chores and aims for the day. They bring a picnic lunch, and we break about 12:30 and sit around and chat whilst eating. Children are welcome, but parents would need to keep an eye on them.
No dogs allowed as it is a Park Reserve.
The Quarantine Station Volunteer Caretaker Program on Bruny Island provides opportunities for volunteers to enjoy living on a peninsula extending into Barnes Bay in a heritage listed cottage originally built for the Medical Superintendent in 1884.
Volunteer Caretakers provide a physical presence at the Quarantine Station, open during summertime Thursday to Monday, 10.00am - 4.00pm, closed Tuesday and Wednsday. Open during wintertime Saturday and Sunday and public holidays.They provide visitor information about heriatge self-guided walk and other queries which may arise.
See the Information and Application Form for full details,
Winter 2017 Jeffrey Family
Bruny’s Beautiful Caretaker Encounters!
When most Victorian families are heading north seeking sunshine, this winter my family packed our thermals, polar fleeces, down jackets, beanies and gloves to be the voluntary caretakers at the Bruny Island Quarantine Station.
With my husband and I both employed in the environmental field, we are always out and about in nature with our children to expose them to the environments that we are passionate about. However, the chance to disconnect from the daily grind and immerse ourselves on Bruny Island for a month was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Caretakers live in the original Doctor’s residence built in 1885 and the site is open to the public five days a week. Every morning we walked as a family half a kilometre to open the main gate and raise the flag and then it was back to the site to greet visitors and provide information on this historic site managed by Parks and Wildlife Tasmania together with the Friends of Bruny Island Quarantine Station (FOBIQS).
Between visitors, there was Shelter Cove to explore to find crabs and sea urchins; Quarantine Bay with its jetty pontoon for fishing; oysters and mussels to gather low tide; and the bushland reserve with abundant wildlife.
On our days off we explored Bruny Island with bush walks to Cape Queen Elizabeth and Grasse Point; explored the rock crevices and sand dunes at Miles Beach; sailed to the Southern Ocean with Pennicott Journeys to see seals, dolphins and the most spectacular coastline; and travelled to visit fellow caretakers at the Cape Bruny Lighthouse.
Whilst spending a month in winter, in Tasmania, in a one bedroom cottage with two small children may not tick all the regular ‘holiday’ boxes, the experience for our family and our children has exceeded our expectations. Their wonder and amazement at close encounters with wildlife, the opportunity for them to explore wild natural environments without orchestration, to allow their imaginative play and interaction with nature to be virtually limitless has been spectacular. Our time on Bruny Island gave our family wonderful experiences and memories we will have forever.
|Bruny Island Community Association||Website Hosting|
|Rex Cox||information about boats on signage|
|Bill Cromer||Site and Soil Evaluation Report
Waste Water Management System Design
|Biosecurity Tasmania - DPIPWE||Plant Quarantine Signage & Interpretive Advice|
|Peter Boyer||Graphic Design|
|Reg Davis||Website construction|
|Bruce Kay||National Archives of Australia (Hobart)|
|Max & Elaine Lewis||copy of painting by Audrey Williams of quarantine station for display|
|Prof. Jim Reid||Russell Young story|
|Craig Searle||Riot story|
|Gordon Silver||Boats in Bottles|
|David Stowe||Bird Photography|
|Mhrylyn Hanson-Wallis van Dooren||QR Codes|
|John Wallace||National Archives of Australia (Hobart)|
|Tas Parks and Wildlife Service Bruny Island|
|Tas Parks and Wildlife Service Southern Region|
|Audrey Williams||permission to use|
|Allan Wilson||Wilson story|
|Art at the Point||donations from Art Exhibition held in March/April 2013|
|Bruny Island Community Association||$2500.00|
|Bruny Island Cork Club||slow combustion heater|
|Lois Bury||painted panels|
|Christian Floor Covering||vinyl donation|
|Wayne & Karen Darby||bricks|
|General Public||furniture and fittings|
|Hein Vandenburg||electrical work|
|John Williams||kitchen cabinet|
|Adventure Bay Store||Bruny Island Providor||Huon Accounting|
|Geeveston Primary School||Stihl Shop Huonville||Meredith's Orchard|
|Mermaid Cafe||Bruny Island Berry Farm||Hotel Bruny|
|L & S Doyle||Geeveston Post Office||Geeveston Visitor Centre|
|Roberts Point Kiosk||Bruny Island Smokehouse||Alonnah Shop|
|Franklin Marine||D S Coffee House Huonville||Hobart Cat Centre Margate|
Are you a member of Wildcare?
If not, join today at http://www.wildcaretas.org.au/ and follow the prompts.
Tick your interest in Wildcare Friends of Bruny Island Quarantine Station to help build up our numbers, support our gaols, be notified of working bees, add your skills.
Cost: $25.00 per annum