Invigorate your soul on wild Bruny Island, which sits in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel, a short drive and ferry ride from Hobart. Go walking to discover the rocky coastline, quiet beaches, tall forests, roaring surf and gentle green hills. Spot abundant wildlife, from wombats and wallabies to little penguins, on a tour or eco-cruise. Hunt down history, stock up on gourmet produce and stay in boutique accommodation amongst the wilderness.
It’s 35 minutes drive south from Hobart to the sleepy seaside town of Kettering, where the car and passenger ferry departs regularly for Bruny Island. Bruny is actually two islands, joined by a narrow isthmus known as ‘The Neck’. Sheep dot the emerald countryside of North Bruny, while South Bruny is more mountainous, with plunging sea cliffs, fern-fringed forests and coastal heathland. Both islands have soul-soaring scenery, with great walking tracks and pristine beaches where you can swim, boat, kayak, surf and fish.
Climb to the Neck lookout for panoramic views or discover the dramatic coastline of South Bruny National Park. Hike from the pretty town of Lunawanna to Adventure Bay, which Abel Tasman first sighted in 1642. From here the coastal track leads to Penguin Island and Fluted Cape. Walk along the white beach of Cloudy Bay, where surfers compete in the Bruny Island Classic each January. Snorkel in nearby Cloudy Lagoon, where the waters are actually crystal-clear. There is also a great full-day circuit around the Labillardiere Peninsula, at the southernmost end of the park.
Spot the island’s rich bird and animal life going walking, or get up closer on a tour or eco-cruise. Between September and February you can see Short-Tailed shearwaters and Little penguins waddling home at dusk in The Neck Game Reserve. Cruise past dolphins, migrating whales and the huge colony of Australian fur seals at Friar Rocks. Wander past Bennetts wallabies, pademelons, echidna and wombats and see sea birds wheeling through the air. The endangered forty spotted pardalote lives in the native white-gums, while rare white wallabies scamper along the track to Grassy Point at dusk.
At the museum in Adventure Bay, you can learn about the Aboriginal tribes and the sailors, whalers and explorers who played a part in Bruny Island’s history. Find out about the island’s namesake, Captain Joseph Bruni d'Entrecasteaux, and Captain William Bligh, who planted Tasmania's first apple tree at Adventure Bay in 1788. Afterwards tour the island’s lighthouse, which was built with convict labour between 1836 and 1838.
As well as dramatic history and landscapes, Bruny Island has a thriving culture of home-grown food and wine. Visit Tasmania’s southern-most pub and southern-most winery and taste fine local wine, oysters, fudge and cheese at boutique outlets and charming cafés. There’s also a range of accommodation, so that after a long day exploring you can retire to a B&B, spa cottage, solar powered apartment or rainforest lodge. The picturesque camping spots include Cloudy Corner, near Cloudy Bay, and Jetty Beach.
Discover Bruny Island and enjoy your nature adventure.