There are so many things to do on Bruny island, make sure you allow a couple of days to get them all done. Accommodation options range from campgrounds to luxury villas. Whether you are a foodie, or enjoy spectacular coastline and wildlife, Bruny Island is a great place to explore.
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Bruny Island is 35 minutes from Hobart. The final part of your trip there is on the Bruny Island ferry. The ferry departs regularly from picturesque Kettering harbour. Return fares start from $32.50 for a vehicle under 6 metres long and go up from there based on car/trailer length.
It is only a 20 minute trip, but there is still time to leave your car and enjoy the beautiful views across D’entrecasteaux Channel.
Here at Curious Campers we are more into wildlife and outdoor adventures than a food tour. Even so, it was hard not to be impressed by the island’s food offerings. No sooner have you left the ferry, you come across the Bruny Island House of Whisky and their collection of Tasmanian single malts.
After the distillery, you pass a series of taste bud tempters. There is everything from the Bruny Island Berry Farm, the Cheese and Beer company and Bruny Island Cider to a chocolate shop, a honey farm and the Get Shucked Oyster Bar.
As an aside, directly opposite Bruny Island Honey is the start of the Cape Queen Elizabeth walk which includes the Bruny Island Arch. It’s a 3 to 4 hour walk that is well worth checking out.
There are seafood cruises, restaurants and Bruny Island Premium Wines too. So, I guess what I’m saying is, if sampling gourmet food is your thing, you’ll have a lot of fun on Bruny Island! The Hotel Bruny is a fantastic place for lunch too.
BRUNY ISLAND GOURMET DAY TOUR WITH LUNCH
Foodies will relish the opportunity to journey around the island ‘course, by course’ with something to try at every stop. Learn from local producers and see how fresh food is produced. The entire day is set against the backdrop of beautiful Bruny Island where you will have the opportunity to walk the beach, visit rare white wallabies in the forest and enjoy sweeping views along the coast.
Bruny Island Lighthouse
There are foodies, and then there are pharologists. Yes, if you are a lighthouse enthusiast the Cape Bruny lighthouse is one you will want to add to your list. Not only is it one of Australia’s oldest lighthouses, it also holds the record for being continuously staffed.
The lighthouse is at the opposite end of the island to your arrival. The final part of the drive there is on a dirt road which is suitable for 2WDs. Regardless of your vehicle, take it easy. Even during the day, wallabies and kangaroos are right there on the roadside.
Volunteers live on site and run regular tours including a sunset tour. The 30 minute tours start from $15/person. You will see inside the lighthouse which has many of its original fittings. At the top there are 360 degree views across South Bruny National Park, Cloudy Bay and the Tasman Sea.
Still on impressive views, if you can manage the nearly 230 steps, one of the best views on the island is from The Neck lookout. The Neck is the narrow finger of land that joins north and south Bruny Island. The view from the lookout is spectacular.
There is a penguin rookery located about halfway along The Neck. From the lookout, if you are there around dusk, you can see Little penguins returning to shore.
Bruny Island Cruise
For a different view of the island, consider going on the Bruny Island cruise. The three hour cruise leaves from the southern end of Adventure Bay. Zippy, open air boats take you right alongside towering cliffs, sea caves, and small islands.
One of the highlights of the half day trip is getting up close to the breathing blowhole. The sound of the air and spray of water blowing from the side of a cliff are a spectacular sight. When you are not stopped to take in the views, the boat weaves between rocky crags and islands at high speed – it’s a hoot!
Another feature of the tour are wildlife encounters. While there are no guarantees of what you will see, dolphins, seals and whales are often in the area. Sea eagles and albatross are also often sighted gliding overhead.
BRUNY ISLAND WILDERNESS CRUISE
You’ll explore deep sea caves, pass The Monument sea-stack and get the chance to see wild dolphins and fur seals. And if you cruise during whale migration season (May-July and Sept-Dec), you may see the graceful Humpback or Southern Right Whales. It’s an experience you will never forget.
Back on land, you can try for another wildlife experience – spotting a Bruny Island white wallaby.
While it sounds like some sort of mythical marsupial possibly dreamt up around a late night campfire, it is a real thing. Seeing one is must for any wildlife enthusiast.
We have a patchy wildlife spotting record. Dugongs, platypuses and cassowaries have given us some grief over the years. As a result, my hope of seeing a white wallaby was low. So, as we walked up the jetty after our Bruny Island cruise, I had to look twice to believe what I saw.
There, sitting in the backyard of a holiday shack, was the unmistakable shape of a wallaby, a bright white wallaby. I put my camera on full zoom and managed to take a terrible picture of it. As I lined up another shot, the shack owner appeared and kindly invited me up for a closer look.
They are stunning looking creatures. Despite being only a few metres from it, I was so excited I managed to take yet another terrible picture. While I don’t recommend staking out private property, the area at the southern end of Adventure Bay is the best place to see them.
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Snug is not on Bruny Island but if you are coming from Hobart, you will drive through it on your way to Kettering. I mention it, because if Bruny Island is the focus of your drive, you might miss Snug but it’s worth a stop.
First, it has a great name. Snug. You have to stop for a coffee or ice cream just so you can tell people you stopped in Snug. It also has a lovely, family friendly beach. There are picnic and BBQ facilities and a playground metres from the beach.
If you like waterfalls, it is worth taking the short detour to Snug Falls. There is a dirt road to the car park, it’s suitable for 2WDs. From there it is roughly a 60 minute return walk to the falls. The walk to the falls is more uneven and potentially muddy than it is steep.
The tiered falls are beautiful – photographers will love it. Give yourself enough time to sit and enjoy the atmosphere created by the narrow gorge, boulders and moss covered rocks.