Dunalley is a small coastal village that sits on the isthmus that takes you to the Tasman Peninsular and is the gateway to the tourist attraction of Port Arthur.
In January 2013 the town was ravaged by bushfire which produced many haunting images of the devastation and suffering. At the time many feared that Dunalley wouldn’t survive. Fast forward to today and Dunalley has under gone an amazing recovery, although as you walk down the main street there are still some vacant blocks where the original has not been rebuilt. If you didn’t know about the bush fires you’d never guess from looking at the place or the people.
For many tourists the place is just a quick stop over to use the public toilets or get something to eat at the bakery as they continue the journey on to Port Arthur. But if you have a poke around you can see that Dunalley is a very quirky place indeed. from the zany sculpture outside the Dunalley Hotel to the delightfully strange Fish Market.
Just before you pull into Dunalley is the turn off to Marion Bay which according to Wikipedia has several claims to fame. Firstly several explorer chap pies from Holland and France pulled up there while on their epic voyages of discovery. Secondly it has outbreaks of army worms, or Mythimna separata if you want to get technical. The caterpillar stage of their life cycle is marked by the fact that they form long lines and voraciously consume any foliage that lies in their path. Sort of like a wriggly form of agent orange. We didn’t see anything like that as we walked along the beach, but there were copious amounts of Wombat dropping – which sort of suggests that wombats like to go to the beach. Who would have thought!
* “The Tide Is High” is a song originally written by John Holt and recorded by The Marions in 1967. The version I like is the one recorded by Blondie and released in 1980. I went and saw Blondie at the Portsmouth Guildhall when I was 16 and I’ve got to say that Debbie Harry in the flesh did weird and wonderful things to a hormonally enraged adolescents psyche. Here’s the official video clip.