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 towns for visitors are 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 one of the White Wallabies, 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. Here you'll find the post office, pharmacy, the pub, cricket club, school, medical centre, Police station and history room. The Bruny Island winery is five minutes south of Allonah.
There are smaller settlements, a few cafes and produce centres scattered around the Island with local produce.
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 $38 return per car (slightly cheaper off-peak). 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 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 insure you for an accident on the ferry. 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. The main road 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. 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.
- 1 Bligh Museum, Main Rd, Adventure Bay - Many artifacts relating to early Bruny history and the first explorers - particularly Cook and Bligh, ☏ .
- 2 Bruny History Room, Main Rd, Alonnah - Early and recent history. Many artifacts, photos, documents and newspaper cuttings provided by Bruny residents. Sa 10AM - 2PM. A small museum on the island's history.
- 3 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.
- 4 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. 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, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Every day except for Christmas Day. Bruny Island Cruises operates a 3-hour wildlife eco-cruise daily exploring the coastline of the South Bruny National Park. - tall sea cliffs, amazing coastline, seals, albatross, often dolphins and sometimes even whale sightings!. 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, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Across the road from the beachfront, with windows and views across the bay.
- Penguin and Pardalote cafe, 710 Adventure Bay Road, Adventure Bay, ☏ . Good for crepes.
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 home to the southern-most licenced pub in Australia and the country's most-southern vineyard.
- Bruny Island Premium Wines (email@example.com), 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. Serves lunch until late afternoon - the best burgers on the island, 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.
- Bruny Beach House, 91 Nebraska Rd, Dennes Point (north end of the 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. 135 per night.
- 1 Bruny Island Lodge, 670 Lighthouse Rd, South Bruny, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. The Lodge combines native bushland with comfortable, well-equipped accommodation. Sleeps up to 24 people. From $1000 per night.
- 2 Captains Cabin, 258 Nebraska Road Dennes Point, ☏ , , ✉ email@example.com. 2-bedroom cabin in secluded area with 1.6 km 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, ☏ . Offers powered and unpowered sites, on-site caravans, cabins and units.
- 3 Cloudy Bay Beach House, 927 Cloudy Bay Rd, South Bruny, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. Features a cinematic view of Cloudy Bay. Sleeps up to 6 people. from $600 per night.
- 4 Cloudy Bay Cabin, 970 Cloudy Bay Road, South Bruny, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. An unpretentious and welcoming little timber cottage surrounded by South Bruny National Park and metres from the shores of Cloudy Bay. Sleeps up to 6 people. From $280 per night.
- 5 Cloudy Bay Lagoon Estate, 810 Cloudy Bay Rd, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. Cloudy Bay Estate is a well-appointed home sitting at the edge of Cloudy Bay Lagoon. A short walk will take you down to the water’s edge where you can fish, explore the shoreline, watch for birdlife or sit and meditate. Sleeps up to 12 people. From $450 per night.
- 6 Cloudy Bay Villa, 888 Cloudy Bay Rd, South Bruny, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. This two-storey house on a gentle rise over Whalebone Point offers some of the best views in Tasmania. Sleeps up to 8 people. From $450 per night.
- Explorers Cottages (At Lunawanna), 20 Lighthouse Road, Lunawanna, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. $195 per night (2 people). Sleeps 4..
- Maxy's By The Sea (At Alonnah), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. $215 per night (2 people). Sleeps 5. Additional guests $25..
- 7 Saintys Creek Cottage, 546 Cloudy Bay Rd, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. Saintys Creek is a tranquil and beautiful body of water flowing through centuries-old forest and emptying into the serene Cloudy Bay Lagoon. Saintys Creek Cottage is located on a secluded bush block, a short walk from the creek. Sleeps up to 4 people. From $200 per night.
- St Clairs Luxury Accommodation (Romantic Getaway for Two), 48, Lighthouse Rd, Lunawanna, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. $210 per night includes spa, full breakfast and bottle of champagne.
There is a payphone by the ferry wharf, and 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.