The Neck, Bruny Island, TAS © Tourism Tasmania
Tasmania's best islands
Tasmania's islands boast sweeping beaches, dramatic coastlines and abundant wildlife.
By Bonnie Jackson
Explore some of Tasmania's best islands and immerse yourself in the glittering beaches, rugged ranges and unique flora and fauna that these special little spots have to offer.
Flinders Island, off Tasmania's north-east coast, is the main island of the Furneaux group, a collection of 52 islands that stretch across Bass Strait between Tasmania and mainland Australia. Flinders Island can be reached via a scenic flight from Launceston or ferry from Bridport, and offers fantastic bushwalking, turquoise waters and abundant wildlife. For breathtaking coastal views take the four to five-hour return walk to the granite massifs of Strzelecki Peaks. Or on the shore, follow the 1.5-hour trail to Castle Rock, which is spectacular at sunset. North East River is a favourite spot for fishing and you can book a Rockjaw Tour to catch the famous Flinders Island crayfish. Stay for the weekend at the beachfront Sawyers Bay Shacks, with views across Bass Strait and Mount Strzelecki.
Windswept Bruny Island is about 360sq km (138sq mi) in size, divided by a narrow, sandy isthmus known as the Neck, which is one of its key attractions. Make your way up the timber staircase for an incredible view of Adventure Bay. Or take in the magical coastline from the sea on a wilderness cruise and look out for Bruny Island's dolphins, fur seals and fairy penguins. The island offers numerous swimming and surf beaches, as well as the forested South Bruny National Park. Bruny Island is also a great food and wine destination. Sample artisan cheese at the Bruny Island Cheese Co and freshly shucked oysters at Get Shucked. To reach Bruny Island, catch the short car ferry from the town of Kettering, 30 to 40 minutes drive south of Hobart.
Just a stone's throw away from Bruny Island is Satellite Island, a private island you can hire exclusively for up to eight people. Here you will have the freedom to do as much, or as little, as you please. In the morning go exploring along one of the walking tracks along the sea cliffs. For lunch, head to Pebble Beach and cook your freshly caught fish before shucking wild oysters straight from the sea. As the sun sets over the horizon, end your day by a bonfire. The cherry on top? Satellite Island is easy to get to! With a five-minute boat trip from Alonnah Jetty on Bruny Island you'll be casting a line from your boathouse deck chair in a matter of moments.
With no cars and no shops, Maria Island, just off Tasmania's East Coast, is a haven for rare wildlife. Don't be surprised if you spot the swift parrot, Cape Barren goose or Tasmanian devil as you explore sparkling beaches, steep cliffs and the island's convict heritage. You can also experience the island on foot with the four-day, three-night Maria Island Walk. Along the way you'll discover tall stands of aromatic blue gum trees, 300-million-year-old shell fossils embedded in limestone cliffs, white talcum-powder beaches, lichen covered boulders, and soaring dolerite columns, as well as more wombats than you are likely to see anywhere else on Earth. Each night your efforts are rewarded with gourmet food and wine and a comfortable bed.