Bruny Island is an island of stunning natural beauty, close to Hobart, in the state of Tasmania in Australia. It's a possible day-trip from Hobart, but with boutique accommodation and plenty to offer for longer stays. The island is divided into North and South Bruny, joined by a narrow isthmus.
North Bruny is mainly farmland, and is relatively flat. South Bruny is more mountainous, and is more heavily forested. The national park sections are on South Bruny.
The main town for visitors is Adventure Bay on South Bruny. This is where the cruises depart from, and is adjacent to one of the three discrete sections of South Bruny National Park. There is accommodation here, and a bowling club for drinks and meals. If you are going to spot the White Wallaby, along the national park track here at dusk is your best chance, and the rainforest and walks are in the hills just about the town. Not far from Adventure Bay is the town of Allonah. Not as much of a tourist centre, you'll find the post office, pharmacy and the pub here, as well as walks along the water.
There are smaller settlements, a few cafes and produce centres scattered around.
Kettering, the gateway to Bruny Island, is around 30 minutes drive south from Hobart, through the sleepy townships of Margate, Snug and Oyster Cove. For a more interesting drive, you can divert through Kingston Beach and Blackmans Bay. From Kettering, you can catch the vehicular ferry, The Mirambeena, across to Bruny Island. The ferry costs $30 return. You pay the full amount at Kettering, and the return trip is "free". The crossing takes around 15 minutes, and the ferry departs promptly. You're expected to be there around 15 minutes ahead of the ferry departure time. You are allowed to walk around on the ferry apart from when it is mooring, however there are no passenger facilities - not so much as a shelter.
At both the Kettering and Roberts Bay termini you can buy snacks and coffee. There are also public toilets at the terminals, but none on the ferry.
There is no car hire on Bruny, so you'll have to hire a car from Hobart. Some hire car companies don't allow their cars to be driven on to the island, so check before you book. Even those that do, may not actually insure you for an accident on the ferry itself. This is difficult to avoid if you aren't bringing your own car.
Foot passengers are carried on the ferry free of charge, but it is difficult to take advantage of this bargain offer, with no public transport available at either ferry terminus.
If you are taking the tour of the island, the tour company offers a connecting bus.
Bruny Island has a small airport for general aviation and charters. The airport is not within walking distance of any accommodation or facilities, so you'll need to arrange for someone to pick you up.
Bruny Island is approximately 100 km from one end to the other. Essentially, there is one road that stretches the length of the island (Bruny Island Main Road), with branch roads to towns, beaches and attractions. Expect to take around 45 minutes to drive between the ferry and Adventure Bay or Allonah at the north of the South Island. Then another half an hour or so from there down to Cape Bruny.
The advisory speed limit drops to 45 km/h on many parts of the main road between dusk and dawn - due to the danger of hitting wildlife. Also, remember that the insurance on many rental cars does not cover damage done to their cars hitting wildlife between dusk and dawn.
The common ways to explore are by private car or by tour. There is no scheduled public transport on the island. There are no facilities provided on the narrow shoulders for cyclists.
- Bligh Museum, Main Rd, Adventure Bay - Many artifacts relating to early Bruny history and the first explorers - particularly Cook and Bligh.
- Bruny History Room, Main Rd, Alonnah - Early and recent history. many artifacts, photos, documents and newspaper cuttings provided by Bruny residents.
- Cape Bruny Lighthouse was one of Australia's longest serving lighthouses guiding seafarers through some at-times treacherous waters. It still stands proudly at Cape Bruny for all to admire.
Truganini, often considered the last full-blood Aboriginal Tasmanian and last speaker of a Tasmanian language, was born on Bruny Island. A memorial to her, and a description of the hardships she endured at the hands of the colonists, is at The Neck lookout on North Bruny,
- Penguins. There is a Little Penguin colony at The Neck, and a hide there for viewing them coming ashore after dusk. Take care not to destroy any of their nests (stay on the path). Penguins will just stand still if they are afraid (they won't walk around you), so stay well out of their path.
- Shearwaters. There are as many Shearwaters in Australia as there are people. Also known as Muttonbirds, these migratory birds spend the southern hemisphere winter in the Arctic Circle, migrating to Bruny (and elsewhere) for the summer.
- Wallabies. Unfortunately, the first sign you will see of Wallabies will be the roadkill by the side of Bruny Island Main Road. Grasslands on the South Island at dusk are the best place to seek them out, but you'll also seem them on minor roads and farmland.
- The Hummock at The Neck.
- Bruny Island Cruises, 915 Adventure Bay Road, Bruny Island, TAS 7150, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Bruny Island Cruises operates a 3 hour wildlife eco-cruise daily exploring the coastline of the South Bruny National Park. The tour was named one of the top 100 experiences in the world by Travel and Leisure Magazine's 2008 guidebook. The cruise offers an unforgettable experience - tall sea cliffs, amazing coastline, seals, albatross, often dolphins and sometimes even whale sightings! These trips operate every day except for Christmas Day and day tours from Hobart are available.
- Bushwalking. There are a variety of walks from just a few minutes to a few hours through the rainforests and national parks of the South Bruny Island. The walk to Grassy Point along the water at Adventure Bay leaves from the end of Adventure Bay Road. There is a small inlet (about 2-3m) to cross at the start of the walk, so if you can wear trousers that can be rolled up that is an advantage. This is the section of track where you have your best chance to see the White Wallaby at dusk. Just above Adventure Bay there is a short rainforest walk. After rain this walk can be overrun by leeches, so make sure you have your insect repellent applied liberally before you decide to undertake it.
- INALA Nature Tours, 320 Cloudy Bay Road, Bruny Island, TAS 7150, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. INALA Tours operates wildlife tours into the South Bruny National Park
Supplies are available at the General Store in Allonah, and at the shop at the ferry wharf at Roberts Bay.
There are a range of places to eat on Bruny, but the choice is much wider for lunch than for dinner. Throughout the day you can graze through the produce trail, trying cheeses, sausages, oysters, honey, fudge and wines. Most establishments work together to showcase what is produced on the island. If you travel down to Bruny Island Wines at Lunawannah, you'll get a choice of their wines, and can also purchase a tasting plate of local cheeses, or oysters, or honey, or other farm produce. Similarly you can stop at Bruny Island cheeses, and they'll be happy to give you a cheese plate and a glass of local wines.
- Hotel Bruny, 3959 Main Road, Alonnah, ☎ . Bar, Restaurant, Bottleshop, TAB, Keno. Just across the road from the beachfront, with glass windows and views across the bay.
- The White Wallaby Cafe, 710 Adventure Bay Road, Adventure Bay, ☎ . The White Wallaby Cafe, is fully licensed and offers indoor and alfresco beach front dinning. All day breakfast, lunch and dinner available. Local produce and products, postcards, Tasmanian Wines.
There are a range of boutique offerings on Bruny Island as well, including:
- Bruny Island Cheese Company. Cheese tastings, but also serves home baked pizzas, toasties, coffee and the like. Half-a-dozen cheeses in their range, from vintage hard cheeses (including raw milk varieties), and French style soft cheeses. They'll sell you a drop of the local Pinot to wash it down.
- Get Shucked Oyster Farm.
- HIBA Island produce.
Given the size and nature of the island, most of the establishments are owner run, and can close in periods of low demand.
Bruny Island is also home to the southern-most licenced pub in Australia and the country's most-southern vineyard.
- Bruny Island Premium Wines (firstname.lastname@example.org), 4391 Main Road, Lunawanna (Cellar Door Sales @ Australia's most Southern Vineyard), ☎ . Meet Bernice and Richard and sample their range recognised as premium Tasmanian wines. Services lunch until late afternoon - the best burgers on the island, as well as sausages from local farms, and daily specials. Open fire during the colder months. Combine with a glass of any of their Pinots, Chardonnay or Riesling.
Please also see accommodation on Huon Trail.
- Beachfront on Bruny, Main Rd, Great Bay, Bruny Island, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Perfect setting, right on the beach!
- Blackwood Studio Accommodation (High quality Cottages), 41 Lorkins Rd, Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, ☎ , e-mail: , firstname.lastname@example.org. $150 (2 People) $25 pp extra Sleeps 4 - Adults only.
- Bruny Beach House, 91 Nebraska Rd, Dennes Point, Bruny Island, ☎ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. $135 per night for 2 people. $20 additional per person per night.(max 4) 2 br, fully equipped kitchen, spectacular 180 degree view. Located at Dennes Point on the North End of the Island. 135 per night.
- 1 Beach Heaven, 249 Esplanade Road, Middleton (40mins south of Hobart), ☎ . Private beachfront accommodation over looking Bruny Island. $70-$140.
- 2 Captains Cabin, 258 Nebraska Road Dennes Point, ☎ , e-mail: , email@example.com. Captains Cabin Dennes point Bruny Island. 2 bedroom cabin in secluded area with 1.6km of private beach. $240 per night and $40 per extra guest. Family rates also available by request. $20 per night.
- Captain James Cook Caravan Park, Adventure Bay Road, Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, ☎ . Offers powered and unpowered sites, onsite caravans, cabins and units.
- Explorers Cottages (At Lunawanna), 20 Lighthouse Road, Lunawanna, Bruny Island, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. $195per night (2 people). Sleeps 4..
- Mangana Mountain Cottages (4 Cottages - 2 with spas), Cloudy Bay Rd, Lunawanna, Bruny Island, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. From $120 per night (2 people). Additional guests $25.
- Maxy's By The Sea (At Alonnah), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. $215 per night (2 people). Sleeps 5. Additional guests $25..
- St Clairs Luxury Accommodation (Romantic Getaway for Two), 48, Lighthouse Rd, Lunawanna, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. $210 per night includes spa, full breakfast and bottle of champagne.
There is a payphone by the ferry wharf, as well as in Adventure Bay at Allonah. Optus and Telstra have towers on the island, but the terrain and distances mean that there is no reception even on parts of the main road. There is a post-office at Allonah, and a post-box at the ferry wharf.
- Road conditions deteriorate in and after rain, particularly in the more rainforest and steep areas of the South Island may not be suitable for 2wd traffic in parts.
- Observe speed limits. 50 km/h in built-up areas, otherwise 90 km/h on sealed roads and 80 km/h on gravel.
- Watch out for wildlife on the roads - particularly at night.
- Check ferry times. Last ferry leaves before 7PM most nights (see Ferry Times)
- Always notify somebody if you are going bushwalking and carry a (NextG) mobile phone if possible.
- Carry an EPIRB if boating and wear life jackets
There is a 24 hour accident and emergency service on Bruny Island, and an ambulance. Call 000.
There is a pharmacy in Allonah.