Bruny Island

After weeks or months exploring ‘mainland’ Tasmania’s magnificent wilderness areas, some grey nomads are still hungry for more and that’s when, for them, all ferries lead to Bruny Island.

In recent years, this 362-square-kilometre island located off the Apple Isle’s south-eastern coast has boomed as a traveller destination … and it’s easy to see why. Its two distinct land masses, North Bruny and South Bruny, are joined by a long, narrow, sandy isthmus commonly known as ‘The Neck’.

Although the entire island is only about 50 kilometres long, there is an enormous amount of variety and points of interest packed into it. There are superb sandy beaches, eucalyptus forests, rich farmlands, craggy cliffs, and incredible rock formations, as well as stunning national parks, historic sites, an iconic lighthouse, and a stack of beautiful campsites.

Arches, Bruny Island

This is also a wildlife and birdlife enthusiast’s paradise and is home to fur seals, fairy penguins, albatross, wedge tailed eagles, white wallabies and many more. The only way onto the island is by ferry across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.

The terminal on the ‘Tassie mainland’ is located at Kettering about 33 kilometres from Hobart. The crossing to the western side of North Bruny Island at Roberts Point only takes about 20 minutes. A return trip with a caravan in tow will generally cost around $100 or less, depending on overall length, and the time of the year.

There are several attractive settlements on the island including the holiday village of Dennes Point in the north, and Allonah, Adventure Bay, and Lunawanna in the south.

The Neck connecting north and south is an important habitat for native wildlife, and there are boardwalks and platforms allowing visitors to view short-tailed shearwaters and fairy penguins.

Cape Bruny Lighthouse

The Aurora Australis over the iconic Cape Bruny Lighthouse. PIC: Tourism Tasmania / Luke Tscharke

Here also is the Truganini Lookout which offers stunning 360-degree views. Be warned, you’ll have to climb 279 timber steps to get there to enjoy the vista though. There’s a great camping spot at The Neck, and there are many others throughout the island including popular ones at Cloudy Bay and Jetty Beach within the South Bruny National Park.

There’s also a well-thought of private camping spot near Cloudy Bay, and the Captain Cook Caravan Park at Adventure Bay is also extremely popular.

While the island does have unsealed sections of road and tracks, much of the network is of a high standard and is well suited for towing. A must-visit for grey nomads is Cape Bruny Lighthouse in the south, which was built by convicts and opened in 1838 following a spate of shipwrecks in the preceding years. The fourth lighthouse built in Australia, it was famed as the longest continuously manned lighthouse in the country until it was automated in 1993.

Other points of interest include the well-preserved late 19th-century tramway built for transporting timber which runs from Adventure Bay. Also at Adventure Bay the Bligh Museum of Pacific Exploration; and memorials to Captain Tobias Furneax, the first European to explore Adventure Bay in 1773, and Captain James Cook who stopped here in the Resolution in 1777.

The tourism authorities here have worked hard to build the island’s reputation as a great destination for foodies, and a variety of artisan cheese, oysters, seafood, berries, fudge, wine, whisky, gin, and beer are said to be available at the farmgate and cellar doors.

However, it is always the truly stunning scenery that will be the star attraction and there are, as you would expect, a huge variety of bushwalking trails to explore and enjoy.

If you thought the Tassie ‘mainland’ packed a lot of interest into a small area, wait until you visit Bruny Island!

Have you had a good trip to Bruny Island? Email us here to share.

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