What You Will Find in This Post
- Learn how to get from Hobart to Bruny Island including information on the self-drive Bruny Island option, Bruny Island Tours from Hobart plus what to do on Bruny Island. Find Bruny Island attractions, Bruny Island walks, the ferry to Bruny Island tips, gourmet food tips and where to stay including Bruny Island camping.
- Why Is Bruny Island Worth Visiting?
- How big is Bruny Island
- How to Get from Hobart to Bruny Island By Car
- Hobart to Bruny Island Bus
- Is there a Hobart to Bruny Island Ferry?
- Getting from Hobart to Bruny Island on an organised Day Tour
- Best Bruny Island Day Tours from Hobart
- Click here for Bruny Island Wilderness Tour from Hobart
- Click Here for Bruny Island Gourmet Tour from Hobart
- Why Choose the Self Drive Bruny Island Option?
- Bruny Ferry Information for the Bruny Island Self Drive option.
- The Road Trip from Hobart to Bruny Island
- Self Drive Bruny Island Road Conditions
- Where and What to Eat on a Self Drive Bruny Island Food Tour
- Get Shucked Oysters
- Bruny Island Cheese and Beer
- Bruny Island Berry Farm
- Bruny Island Winery
- Bruny Island Honey
- Bruny Island Chocolate Co.
- Bruny Island Whiskey
- Hotel Bruny
- Bruny Island Cafe
- Bruny Island Cruises and Seafood Restaurant
- Bruny Island Shops for Self Caterers
- Bruny Island Attractions
- Bruny Island Walks
- Bruny Island Camping
- Where to Stay on Bruny Island
- Bruny Island Weather
- What to take to Bruny Island
- Bruny Island Wildlife
Learn how to get from Hobart to Bruny Island including information on the self-drive Bruny Island option, Bruny Island Tours from Hobart plus what to do on Bruny Island. Find Bruny Island attractions, Bruny Island walks, the ferry to Bruny Island tips, gourmet food tips and where to stay including Bruny Island camping.
This post is your one stop shop.
You can have a fun week in the Tasmanian Capital City of Hobart Australia, revelling in Salamanca Place, walking through historical Battery Point and discovering the Royal Tasmanian botanical gardens, but remember to allocate time for day trips outside of Hobart.
Hot Tip: When visiting Tasmania be sure to allocate travel time to visit Bruny Island and other sights near Hobart.
We are glad you’re here. You are in the right place to:
- Find out about the best Bruny Island Tours from Hobart.
- Plan your Hobart to Bruny Island Day Trip or longer visit.
- Learn about the self drive Bruny Island option.
Let’s start planning.
This post may contain compensated links. We may earn a small percentage if you book through a compensated link, but it won’t cost you any more by doing so. You can read our full disclaimer here.
Why Is Bruny Island Worth Visiting?
The island is a natural wonderland of stunning coastlines with National Park walks and wildlife experiences. Bruny Island food is a major attraction with locally produced cheese, wine, berries, chocolate, whiskey and delicious Bruny Island seafood including oysters from the bay.
Talking about Oysters. Have you heard of a drive-through Oyster Bar? Yep, Bruny has one.
If you love nature and good food, or enjoy walking and island scenery, lighthouses or spectacular Australian Sunsets, you should visit Bruny Island. It is one of the best day trips from Hobart.
A Bruny Island trip is one of the top things to do in Tasmania.
Photo: Golden glow at Alonnah Beach opposite Hotel Bruny on Sunset Bay.
Bruny Island history began with the Australian Aboriginals who lived both on the island and across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel on mainland Tasmania. The Aboriginal name for Bruny Island is Alonnah Lunawanna and two towns on the island utilise these names today.
Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to arrive in 1642. English Captain Cook followed in 1772 and Captain Bligh in 1788 and 1792, reportedly planting an apple tree and grape vine on shore in Adventure Bay. Some residents can trace their lineage back to these first arrivals.
Both the Channel and Island were named after French navigator Bruni D’Entrecasteaux, who discovered them in 1792 when sheltering from bad weather outside the island.
We whole-heartedly believe that the time to visit Bruny Island is now, while it is still an emerging destination.
How big is Bruny Island
Bruny Island is 362 sq.km. If you were to arrive on the ferry and immediately drive around North Bruny and South Bruny it would take a little more than 3 hours. See the map below.
Bruny Island Population
Bruny has a population of 800 with annual visitors numbering 150,000.
How to Get from Hobart to Bruny Island By Car
When people ask how to go to Bruny Island by car, they could be asking “Is there a bridge to Bruny Island?” The answer is no.
Top deck of the Mirambeena Ferry on the way to Roberts Point North Bruny.
With your own or rented wheels, you can drive from Hobart to Bruny Island taking your caravan, campervan or trailer with you.
Research which Car Rental Companies allow their vehicles on the Bruny Island ferry and island and if your insurance covers the trip.
The vast majority of Tasmanian visitors take their rental car to Bruny and so did we. We strongly urge you to be aware of your rental and insurance obligations.
Bruny Island can be visited as a day trip, but two or more full days would provide a better Bruny Island experience. We spent one night on the island but had to return from Bruny Island to Hobart mid-day on the second day. Longer would have been better.
How far is Bruny Island from Hobart?
The distance from Hobart to Bruny Island is only 33km and a Hobart to Bruny Island drive can take as little as 35 minutes. On arrival at Kettering board the Bruny Island ferry for the 15 minute trip to the island.
Hobart to Bruny Island Bus
Bus 415 from Franklin Square in Hobart takes 50 minutes.
It is actually the Hobart to Kettering bus and does not cross over to the island. There is no public transport once there.
The ferry accepts foot passengers (walk on passengers are free), but with no public transport it would be a case of hitching or possibly cycling thereafter?
Is there a Hobart to Bruny Island Ferry?
No. There is no actual ferry that sails from Hobart to Bruny Island. You must first arrive at Kettering by road (see car and bus alternatives above) then catch the Bruny Island Ferry from Kettering to North Bruny. There is no Bruny Island Bus Service on the island.
Getting from Hobart to Bruny Island on an organised Day Tour
Why Take an organised Bruny Island Day Tour?
- Tours are cost efficient especially when travelling alone.
- They are stream lined and time efficient – perfect if you are time poor.
- Tours are value-added with extra knowledge provided by local guides who are fun and entertaining
- They provide built-in support with the guide solving any problems that might arise.
- Bruny Island tours organised by our booking partner – Get Your Guide – are conducted by experienced Bruny Island professionals.
- A tour takes the worry out of taking hire-cars on the ferry and repatriation in the case of an accident.
- The cost of the Bruny Island Ferry ticket is included in the cost of the tour.
- No need to worry about driving after consuming alcohol.
Best Bruny Island Day Tours from Hobart
Organised by the respected Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, this 10 hour trip is the ultimate Bruny Island trip including return guided bus tour from Hobart, the exciting Pennicott 3 hour coastal wilderness cruise from Bruny, Morning tea, Lunch, Ferry Crossings and Hotel Drop off (but not pick-up).
This is a top selling tour rating 4.8 out of 5 from from 71 Get Your Guide reviews. See sample review below:
Loved the day! Great staff (good balance of info/ humour and quiet). Great facilities, delicious food (pumpkin soup and salmon .. yum) and that wasn’t even the boat trip! Great fun on the boat, again great staff, stunning scenery and seals. I would highly recommend the day trip and the organisation. Thanks for a memorable day! Also pleased to hear some of ticket price went towards the env. (Robin-Australia)
How the day unfolds on the Bruny Island Wilderness Tour:
- 7.30 a.m. Meet the tour group at a central Hobart Location (Dock Head Building, Franklin Wharf, Hobart)
- Suggest arriving 15 minutes early.
- Enjoy the guided Bus Tour from Hobart to Bruny Island
- Ferry Crossing
- Sight-seeing on Bruny Island
- Morning tea (Blueberry Muffin) with a hot or cold drink
- Commentary on the bus on the way to Adventure Bay where the cruise begins
- Board the specially designed boat
- The 3 hour Wilderness cruise begins
- Lunch at a local restaurant back on Bruny
- Home made Pumpkin Soup or a Gourmet Roll with Tasmanian Salmon or local Ham. Gluten Free/Vegetarian available.
- An after lunch sight-seeing bus tour of Bruny Island
- The bus returns to Roberts Point Ferry Terminal for the return ferry crossing
- Relax on the bus on the way back to Hobart for a 5.30 pm arrival
What to expect from the 3 hour Wilderness Cruise component of the tour:
- A small, powerful and manoeuvrable boat perfect for exploring the rugged coastline.
- High boat speeds, wind and waves – it’s an Adventure!
- Wow moments as you cruise beneath the tall sea cliffs.
- The boat entering deep sea caves.
- Experiencing Seals, Dolphins and Whales from the safety of the boat.
- Water and Windproof Jackets provided.
Some highlights of the Wilderness Tour:
- Seeing more than 1000 Australian Fur Seals on their home at Friar Rocks
- Being wowed by the explosive blow hole at Breathing Rock
- Seeing stunning sea caves and rock formations up close
- Wilderness rainforests and untouched beaches
What to wear on the Wilderness Boat Tour:
Although water and windproof jackets are provided on the boat, it is recommended to bring your own warm jackets, scarves, beanies and gloves.
- Return guided bus tour from Hobart
- The 3-hour coastal wilderness cruise from Adventure Bay on Bruny
- Morning tea and lunch
- Cost of the Bruny Island Ferry Ticket. Kettering to Bruny and return.
- Hobart hotel drop-off
The possibility of joining the tour at Kettering if that suits your needs.
Cost of the Tour:
Full price is $225.
Click on the above link for confirmation of the price which is at times reduced.
This tour from Hobart is organised by Bruny Island Safaris and includes pick-up, drop-off and ferry, without the 3 hour boat cruise.
Instead it concentrates on Bruny Island Wildlife and Scenery, delving into land based sights and the gourmet food delights of the island.
Top selling tour scoring 4.9 out of 5 stars from 292 Get Your Guide reviews. See sample review below.
Our tour guide Phil was knowledgeable, patient, and humorous, a perfect host. Oyster and cheese morning tea on Two Tree beach was exceptional. The lighthouse tour was brilliant and the Bruny Island light house guide Mat was fantastic, Lunch at the pub was lovely, and cider tasting with Adam was great Fun. Honey farm and chocolate shop was delicious. All together a wonderful day tour, well organised and good value for money, highly recommended. (Barbara-Australia)
What to expect from the Bruny Island Gourmet Tour
- Pick up and Drop Off from select locations in Hobart
- Collection time to be arranged with local operator after booking
- Round trip transport Hobart to Bruny Island
- Bruny Island Ferry
- Cape Bruny Lighthouse Tour
- Lunch featuring local produce
- Bruny Island Produce tastings
- Chocolate Shop Tastings available for purchase
- Visit to Cheese and Oyster Producers
- Honey Tasting
- Cider Tasting
- A morning tea of cheese, oysters and wood-fired oven breads
- Short Walk or Paddle
Highlights of the Gourmet Tour
- Lunch at Hotel Bruny featuring local specialties including oysters, lamb and more
- Oyster, honey, cider, and other Bruny Island product tastings
- Visit to a chocolate store with a tasting
- Tour of Bruny Island Lighthouse
- Pick-up and drop off from select locations
- Return Ferry Fare
- Cape Bruny Lighthouse Tour
- Morning Tea
- Bruny Island Produce tastings
- Chocolate Shop tasting
- Visit to Cheese and Oyster Producers
- Honey and Cider Tastings
Things to Know before you Go
- Pick up time is before the tour start time
- No Children under 3 years of age
- Bring Camera, warm clothes and solid shoes
- Advise tour provider of Vegetarian and Gluten Free requirements when booking
- Bring own water bottle to reduce plastic waste
- Water can be refilled from bus supplies
- Certain venues can be revisited to purchase items, time allowing.
Full price is $124.
Click on the link to see current pricing which may be reduced.
Why Choose the Self Drive Bruny Island Option?
- If you are travelling Tasmania by car, it’s super easy
- You can drive direct from Hobart Airport to Bruny Island in two hours
- It saves finding and paying for vehicle storage on mainland Tasmania
- If your insurance company covers your vehicle on the ferry and island
- You want to stay longer than a day on Bruny – want to stay a week? – no problems
- Total flexibility on which establishments you wish to visit
- Explore the tip of North Bruny as well as the more popular South Bruny
- You can take many different tours from the Island without having to leave at the end of the day.
Bruny Ferry Information for the Bruny Island Self Drive option.
There are two Sealink Ferries. They leave from the same departure point and take the same route.
The 52 metre long Mirambeena Ferry has two decks holding 74 vehicles. It alternates on the Kettering to Roberts Point (Bruny Island) route with the Moongalba.
The single floor Moongalba Ferry is 45.9 m holding 30 vehicles. It alternates with the Mirambeena on the route.
Bruny Island Ferry Capacity:
- Moongalba – 30 vehicles
- Mirambeena – 74 vehicles
A trip on the Sealink Bruny Ferry is an integral part of driving to Bruny Island.
- Sealink Bruny Ferry takes 15 minutes to cross the channel.
- The ferry operates 7 days a week 365 days a year.
- Do you need to book the Bruny Island Ferry? No it is not possible unless you’re local or do so daily.
- On-line booking for all is in the pipeline but not available as at our publishing date.
- All fares are return trip fares.
- Charges are per vehicle not passenger.
- Tickets are Open Return.
- Cash Payments preferred, with EFTPOS, Paywave and Paypass available.
- Peak fares on public holidays and long week-ends.
- Two ferries alternate – The bigger Mirambeena Ferry (1991) and the smaller Moongalba Ferry (1974).
- There is no canteen on the Ferry. Snacks and coffee can be purchased at Bruny Island Gateway (Cafe) situated near the mainland terminal. On the return trip to Hobart we suggest stopping 5 minutes away at Steamhouse Cafe, 2956 Channel Hwy.
- The D’Entrecasteaux channel is usually very calm.
- You can leave your vehicle and walk around on the ferry. Great photography opportunities.
- Walk-on Passengers are free of charge.
The Road Trip from Hobart to Bruny Island
The Direct Route
You can drive direct from Hobart to Bruny Island on the A6 and Channel Highway B68 (35/40 mins).
The Scenic Route
Or expand your road trip to include some pretty special scenery and attractions.
This alternate scenic route takes 1 hour and 4 minutes without stops from Hobart to Kettering. It might suit you to do it in reverse. Allow extra time to stop for coffee and take photos.
Map of the picturesque route from Hobart to Kettering Ferry Terminal for Bruny Island.
A quiet but pretty beach with beachside parking and coffee available at Robbie Browns on the esplanade.
The kid’s playground at Kingston Beach is directly on the sand.
Take the Derwent coastal route from Kingston Beach to Tinderbox boat ramp, one of the most picturesque little bays you can imagine, with clear water, a tiny jetty, moored yachts and pristine white farm houses set amongst hill side vineyards.
The land mass directly across from Tinderbox boat ramp is North Bruny Island.
From Tinderbox to Margate cuts through farmland.
A decommissioned train with each carriage containing a shop or cafe. Built in England in 1950, it’s final trip delivering passengers was from Hobart to Launceston in 1978.
Children’s playground, toilet facilities, food and drink available.
Oyster Cove Marina and the Kettering Ferry Harbour, Tasmania. The marina has 240 floating pontoons and a slipway. Kettering also provides safe harbour for a commercial fishing fleet.
The Kettering Ferry runs from Kettering to Roberts Point on North Bruny Island. Arrive at least 20 minutes before the ferry departure time.
Read more of our Road Trip posts.
Self Drive Bruny Island Road Conditions
Bruny Island Roads are a mix of bitumen and unsealed roads.
The Bruny Island ferry arrives half way along the west coast of North Bruny. From there, the roads south to Adventure Bay on the east coast and Lunawanna on the west are sealed.
Coolangatta Road connects Adventure Bay and the west coast through Mount Mangana Forest Reserve in the middle of the south island. It is an unmaintained logging road and should be avoided. We did not know this.
Cloudy Bay and the Bruny Island Lighthouse are reached on separate unsealed roads.
Bruny Island roads, whether sealed or unsealed, are well-maintained.
Photo: Boat House Dennes Point North Bruny
Where and What to Eat on a Self Drive Bruny Island Food Tour
We did our own Bruny Island Food Tour and in our experience, tours are only offered as part of a paid tour. However, visitors are welcome to watch cheese making at Bruny Island Cheese (see below).
Bruny Island Honey (The Honey Pot) has a working bee hive on view.
That being said there are plenty of opportunities to eat and drink on the Bruny Island food trail.
Get Shucked Oysters
Get Shucked is one of the first places to eat after arriving on the ferry. I’d eaten my fill of Bruny Oysters at Salamanca Markets the day before, but next time I’ll save my appetite for Get Shucked.
Grown right in Bruny’s Great Bay, Get Shucked oysters are full-bodied Pacific oysters, classified Organic due to the pristine environment of the Bay. Oysters filter 30 litres of seawater a day for plankton, so high water quality is important. Harvested at 2 to 3 years of age Bruny Bay oysters and sweet-flavoured and plump.
From 9.30 am to 4.30 pm you can chill at the Oyster Bar and down an oyster (natural or cooked) with Tasmanian Beer, Wine or Cider with a view of the oyster farm in the bay.
They do have a drive through service if you want to grab a bargain on the way home – 6 oysters in a take away pack for $12 – and that is a bargain!
Open every day except Christmas and Boxing Day.
Bruny Island Cheese and Beer
ODO or One Day Old Cheese is so light and luxurious. That’s it sitting in the bowl of oil.
Modern day entrepreneur Nick Haddow started making the very successful Bruny Island cheese in 2001. At first it was just for his family, but now the Company includes Bruny Island beer and a dairy farm across the channel at Glen Huon. Future plans focus on making the very best raw milk cheese from the best small herd of Dairy Shorthorns and Brown Swiss milking cows.
After watching Bruny Island cheese being made and the wood fired oven in action, we couldn’t resist sampling cheeses and more in a delicious ploughman’s platter. Complimented by freshly baked bread and a glass of crisp wine, it was the perfect Bruny Island lunch. This experience was high on my to do list and I was not disappointed.
Try the ODO or One Day Old Cheese. This interesting, light as air cheese, is exactly that – one day old.
Nick Haddow and Evan Hunter (of Lark Distillery) combined to brew a regionally distinctive artisan beer right here on Bruny Island, at the back of the Cheesery. Made with recycled local dairy farm equipment the Bruny Island Beer Co.’s first brews were released in 2016. Beer lovers will enjoy washing the artisan cheeses down with a local artisan beer.
I do love a nice cold beer, but I also love a crisp white wine especially with cheese. Choices!
Bruny Island Berry Farm
Further south in Adventure Bay is Bruny Island Berry Farm. The fruit grows out the back and the cafe with ocean views, sells berry inspired food. The almost purple, blueberry ice-cream was a hit.
The 7000 strawberry plants of eight different varieties means an extended picking season. Pick your own, or just indulge at the cafe.
10 am to 5 pm until late April (closed over winter).
Bruny Island Winery
Bruny Island Premium Wines at Lunawanna on the west coast, opened their cellar door in 2007, specialising in cool weather wines. Their wines are grown, made and hand bottled right here at Wayaree Estate, a gently sloping 2 hectare north facing vineyard.
Co-owner Bernice Woolley is a descendent of the first european settlers at Coal Point in Adventure Bay in 1878!
Their Wine Bar and Grill offers all day lunches.
11 am to 5 pm 7 days a week.
Bruny Island Honey
Having discovered the Cheese, Oysters, Beer and Wine made on Bruny, it’s time for some Bruny Island Honey or maybe a $5 honey vanilla ice-cream for dessert.
The Honey Pot has been collecting honey from Bruny for 20 years and have about 400 hives on the island. Hives are shifted to take advantage of flowering trees.
In the North Island those trees are Prickly Box, at the Neck they’re Eucalyptus for bush honey, at Mt. Mangana (that unmaintained Coolangatta Road) there are Leatherwood and finally my favourite Manuka trees in the Great Bay area of Bruny. It seems Manuka honey doesn’t only come from New Zealand.
As well as free tastings, there is a live beehive display and a variety of honey products and skincare products for sale. Some of this honey is also sourced from Lake Pedder and the Derwent and Huon Valleys on mainland Tasmania.
7 days. 10 am to 4 pm April to September. 7 days 9 am to 5 pm October to March.
Bruny Island Chocolate Co.
Located at 55 Adventure Bay Road this tiny shop sells a variety of chocolate products. We didn’t visit but Marty sure wishes we had!
Bruny Island Whiskey
There is no Bruny Island Distillery as such, but located at 360 Lennon Road just 3 km from the ferry landing, Bruny Island Whiskey does stock a large range of pure Tasmanian Single Malt Whiskeys. A stop here is a great option if you want to visit all of Tasmania’s distilleries but lack the time.
Paid tastings, whiskey flights and food pairings available. They also stock a range of Limited Release Gins.
Hotel Bruny serves fresh locally caught seafood and more. Dinner service is so popular here that it’s advisable to make a reservation. We each ordered the Tasmanian favourite Blue Eyed Trevalla fish and it was superb. Simply cooked to perfection, it was served pub style with chips and a very tasty salad. Marty fronted up for the Berry Crumble and Ice-cream afterward. Berries and Bruny are a match made in heaven.
If you’re heading to The Neck for the penguins, have dinner at Bruny Hotel first and watch the sunset on Alonnah beach before driving to the Neck. Our Airbnb host suggested this and it worked perfectly.
Hotel Bruny looks a little like a frontier pub as you drive by, but it is very popular and with good reason. Owner Dave Gunton suggests sitting by the log fire in winter with a warm Bruny Island cider and in summer enjoying a cold beer with oysters on the deck. Both options sound great to me.
When island weather gets wild and wooly this is the place to be. Snuggle in beside the fireplace with a glass of hot Bruny Island Cider.
Feeling Lucky? Meat Tray Raffle Friday 6 pm.
Lunch and Dinner 7 days. Phone 03 6293 1148.
Open 11 am till late. 7 days a week and 364 days per year.
Bruny Island Cafe
Penguin and Pardalote is a Bruny Island Cafe in Adventure Bay specialising in Crepes, great Coffee, Croissants and no plastic straws, with a perfect 5 out of 5 star out of 55 review rating on Trip Advisor. There was a change of ownership 27th March, 2019 – fingers crossed.
Bruny Island Cruises and Seafood Restaurant
1005 Adventure Bay Road is the departure point for Pennicott’s Bruny Island Cruises. We didn’t get to try their Seafood Restaurant but those who take their cruise rave about their soup and service.
The start to the Fluted Cape Walk – listed in the South Bruny National Parks section below – is nearby.
Bruny Island Shops for Self Caterers
Adventure Bay General Store
Self Caterers look no further than Adventure Bay General Store for supplies. They sell everything you might have forgotten and stock cryovaced meat from Snug Butchery across the channel. They also supply fuel, diesel and swap and go gas bottles.
Alonnah General Store
If you find yourself needing supplies on the west coast of the island, Alonnah General Store is situated just near Hotel Bruny at 3 William Carte Drive.
Farm Gate Products
During our anti-clockwise circumnavigation of North Bruny, we came across an esky and sign at a farm gate, selling Bruny Island Olive Oil. Offerings probably vary with the season so be vigilant.
Bruny Island Attractions
The Neck Lookout and Walkway Penguin Rookery Bruny Island
Take the 237 new steps to the Neck Lookout. The 360 degree views are amazing and the stairs are easy to climb. Down at the base of the stairs is a boardwalk leading through the Penguin Rookery.
The burrows are easy to see from the boardwalk and the chicks can be seen inside waiting patiently for Mum and Dad to return.
Bruny Island penguins are fairy penguins otherwise known as little penguins. The best viewing months are September to February, when it is warmer. A Parks and Wildlife guide is sometimes there to give a mini Bruny Island Penguin Tour.
In mid March we waited 3 hours after Dusk but didn’t see any penguins actually return. There were two chicks visible in a nest and an adult standing beneath a bush near the boardwalk.
Photo: Breeding Habitat of Little Penguins at the Neck Bruny Island.
How to view Penguins returning to their burrows at night.
- Penguins don’t leave the water till last light and if they see movement they won’t come out of the water.
- Stay on the boardwalk.
- Keep Still and Quiet so the penguins feel safe.
- Your torch lens should be wrapped with red cellophane.
- Read more penguin viewing tips here.
Bruny Island Scenic Flight
The airport is on the left of the main road coming from the ferry. A sign read Scenic Flights from $50 p.p. although their website shows a slightly higher lowest price for a 10 minute flight. There are also 20 minute and 45 minute packages.
For those travelling with the young or elderly, or who are pressed for time, this flight could be the answer. Trip Advisor shows a full five stars from 35 reviews. Our friend took a flight with her mother and son and was very impressed.
If cold weather is a concern on a boat trip, a scenic flight is an option worth considering.
Frazzled from our logging road misadventure, we took a wrong turn to Cloudy Bay when we were meant to be going to Cape Bruny Lighthouse.
It was then that we saw the huge colourful Jurassic Garden sign. Being in a hurry we mistook it for a children’s attraction and turned back without investigating.
I later discovered it is a botanical garden populated with plants related to those in the Jurassic Period which spreads over 5 acres.
Read more about it here Inala Jurassic Garden, 320 Cloudy Bay Road.
Take DIY tour for $10 or a one hour guided tour for $40.
Cape Bruny Lighthouse in South Bruny National Park
Situated at the end of the road on the western side of the island, this impressive lighthouse is accessed through South Bruny National Park.
I think there is something romantic about lighthouses – maybe it’s the thought of windswept rainy nights! Luckily the weather was beautiful during our visit.
Sitting 103 metres above sea-level and another 114 metres above the clifftop, Cape Bruny Lighthouse was built by convicts between 1836 and 1838. Decommissioned on 6th August 1996, it was constructed in local stone by Charles Watson, an ex convict, in charge of a team of 12 convicts.
An almost insignificant nearby solar powered light has relieved the lighthouse of her duties, but she still stands tall and proud and is well worth visiting, as is the surrounding area.
Admire from the carpark, scale the hill path to the base for spectacular views, or climb higher on a Bruny Island Lighthouse Tour.
From behind the Lighthouse Museum, two tracks lead down to Lighthouse Bay with it’s pristine beach. Look for an old grave only discovered in 1960 along the way. Two children died at Cape Bruny Lighthouse, one in 1875 and another in 1898. The grave is believed to belong to one or both of them.
Bruny Island Walks
Cape Queen Elizabeth Bruny Island Track
12 km. 3 hours return. Narrow Track to Beach, Beach Walk, Sheer unfenced cliffs at the Cape. The track starts from a car park just east of Bruny Island Airfield and proceeds between Big and Little Lagoons then over Mars Bluff to Miles Beach with views back to The Neck. The walk skirts the bottom of the Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve before heading south to the Cape and views of Adventure Bay.
From Neck Beach you can inspect rock formations at Mars Bluff. At the east end of Miles Beach look for a fishing shack off the beach.
Look for Muttonbird rookeries and forty spotted pardalotes in the white gums.
This is the walk I would choose to do next time we are on Bruny. It is a nice mix of bush, beach and view plus it’s not difficult.
South Bruny National Park Walks
National Parks Pass is required. Their boxes for self registration were broken during our visit and their website currently not working. Passes can be purchased in National Parks offices.
Short Walks from Adventure Bay
Mavista Nature Walk – 20 minute return through rainforest from Discovery Park Picnic Area. Turn right into Lockleys Road. After 2.5 km turn right into Resolution Road.
Grass Point – 1.5 hours return – from the carpark at the end of Adventure Bay Road. Easy walk suitable for families. Migrating Southern Right Wales can be seen from the point from June to September and September to October. The great ocean views and old whaling station ruins amongst the grasslands are year round attractions.
Fluted Cape – 2.5/3 hours return – from the carpark at the end of Adventure Bay Road. Follow the Grass Point track as far as Penguin Island from where you can take the circular Fluted Cape track. The track climbs steeply with opportunities to spot Sea Eagles.
South Bruny Island Day Walks from Cloudy Bay – East Cloudy Head Walk
4 hour return Walk starting 45 minutes along the beach at southern end of Cloudy Beach. Cross Imlays Creek a couple of times before reaching an old 4WD track which leads to the headland and back.
South Bruny Island Day Walks from Cape Bruny – Labillardiere Peninsula 17.5 km Circuit
6.5 hour return walk. Just before reaching Cape Bruny from the north, you will see the Peninsula Walking Track sign. Expect coastal heathlands and hazardous cliffs.
Bruny Island Camping
Unless camping on private land a National Parks Pass is required.
Additional Camping fees apply. Minimum Charge is for 2 People – $10.
Place money in box on site.
The Neck Campground
This campground is accessed on a short unsealed section of road, from the sealed main road about 3 km past the Neck Lookout.
Suitable for tents and caravans, it has Pit Toilets and Day Use Shelters. Bring own firewood for open fireplace. Seasonal non-treated water tank on site.
This is the easiest campground to access and is closest to the ferry, Bruny Island Cheese, The Neck Viewpoint and the Neck Bruny Island Penguin Colony.
Penguins can be viewed returning from the ocean after dusk each night from a purpose built boardwalk.
Cloudy Bay Campgrounds
The Pines Cloudy Bay Road
The Pines is the only free camping spot on Bruny Island. It is very small with uneven sites and a pit toilet.
Corner Beach Campground
4WD Access along the beach. Pit toilets. Bring own water and firewood. Launch boats from the beach.
Cape Bruny Campgrounds
Jetty Beach Campground
Untreated seasonal water. No power. Two Pit Toilets. Picnic Shelters. Protected Swimming for Children. Caravan Access.
Remnants of the 1860 jetty which was used to bring in supplies for the then manned lighthouse.
Low Cost Camping at Hotel Bruny
Although not strictly Bruny Island Free Camping, it is as close as you will get.
Self-contained caravans and campervans can stay in the grassy field behind Hotel Bruny. This is a great camping spot with fantastic sunsets over the bay. It is handy to the pub and shop and the site is level. Space for approx. 14 but best to arrive by lunch time.
Self contained rigs are $5 per night plus $10 per night with the use of dedicated code toilets. If you eat a meal at the hotel the $5 is waived.
Captain Cook Holiday Park in Adventure Bay offers powered and unpowered camping sites.
Where to Stay on Bruny Island
Booking a Bruny Island Holiday Property
There are 44 properties available on Booking.com our preferred booking agent. If you book through this link we will earn a small amount but you won’t be charged any more. The search page can be further customised by selecting “Lowest Price First” “Star Ratings” etc.
If you’re on a budget just adjust the search to lowest price first on the top bar.
You can book Captain Cook Holiday Park at Adventure Bay and Hotel Bruny at Alonnah on Booking.com.
When considering how long it takes to get from Hobart to Adventure Bay or any other place on Bruny Island, remember to include 20 minutes waiting time for the ferry plus 15 minutes for the crossing.
Airbnb Bruny Island
We booked an Airbnb Room on South Bruny. We left it till the last minute which wasn’t a good idea. There are quite a few Airbnb’s on the island so get in early to get your first choice. If you haven’t used Airbnb before, book through the link in our sidebar for a significant saving.
North Bruny is a great place to chill out and relax. While we raced around trying to see as much as possible, another couple drove off the ferry to their North Bruny Airbnb and did nothing at all for four days!
Captain Cook Holiday Park
Adventure Bay is an action packed place to stay with amenities such as Captain Cook Holiday Park, Bruny Island Supermarket (Bruny Island General Store), Fuel, Tennis Court, Bowls Club, Walks, Wallabies, Playground and Bruny Island boat hire and tour departures.
The West Coast of South Bruny is furthest away from the ferry and where you will find Cape Bruny Lighthouse and Cloudy Bay (see camping).
Bruny Island Weather
A Bruny Island winter can be cold, wet and windy. Conversely, the hottest March day in Tasmania was recorded at Cape Bruny 39.7 degrees C which was even hotter than Hobart to the north (38.1). The figures below are Averages.
- Windiest Month is DECEMBER 18 km/hour
- Wettest Month is OCTOBER 23.7 mm/day average
- Coldest Month is JULY 9 degree C average
- Hottest Month is JANUARY 17 degree C average
What to take to Bruny Island
If taking your vehicle to Bruny you can basically take everything you like with you.
- Torch with red cellophane over the shiny end for penguin viewing (Sept to Feb)
- Dark Clothes for penguin viewing
- Reusable Water Bottle
- Umbrella or raincoat
- Warm Polar Fleece and Beanie for cold weather, Hoodie or Denim Jacket when it’s less cold
- Walking boots or joggers
- Bathers/Towel for Summer
- Small soft esky (cooler)
- Hat for shade in Summer
- Insect Repellent
- Mobile Phone and/or Camera
Bruny Island Wildlife
Bruny Island wildlife is a mix of fur seals, elephant seals, penguins and birds including the rare 40 spotted pardalote. But there are also cute white wallabies. They are unusual in Australia but are quite common on Bruny Island.
If you love Australian Wildlife you might like to read about Wallabies and Kangaroos on the beach at Cape Hillsborough Queensland.
White is not a normal colour for wallabies. It is a mutation and normally these wallabies would die out, but without predators on Bruny, the population has risen to more than 200.
Look for them in forested areas at the southern end of Adventure Bay. Lockley’s Road on the right past the Captain Cook Holiday Park is a likely location to find them. Initially there are houses but they quickly give way to fields and forest. The forested area at the back of the holiday park is another place they are found.
Wallabies feed in late afternoon so that is the best time of day to find them. During the day they lay down and rest making them difficult to see.
They co-exist with and look like ordinary brown wallabies except they’re snowy white.
Let me know if you find one!
We’re heading back to Hobart now to go to the Hobart Botanical Garden.