Bruny Island lies off the coast of Southern Tasmania, about half an hour’s drive south of Hobart. It is roughly 100 kilometres long and boasts some of Tasmania’s finest produce, wilderness and attractions.
The island is divided into two halves: North Bruny and South Bruny. The ferry from Kettering (mainland Tasmania) arrives at Roberts Point on North Bruny. There are small settlements at the beautiful Dennes Point and Barnes Bay (follow signs from the ferry terminal). If you keep driving south, you’ll end up at the cheese factory, oyster bar and scenic flight base. Once you’ve passed these places, you will arrive at a thin strip of land joining North and South Bruny: The Neck.
It is worth stopping at The Neck, even if you’ve been to Bruny Island before. Climb the wooden stairs and see the ever-changing view of Bruny. You should also read the information about the original inhabitants of Bruny Island such as Truganini. If you are at The Neck at dusk, stop and watch the penguins emerging from the water. Take a red-light torch for optimal viewing without disturbing the penguins too much and make sure that you keep to the paths rather than damaging the penguins’ burrows.
Heading south from The Neck, you have choices! You could turn left to Adventure Bay. This is a beautiful, sweeping bay with stellar views, a caravan park and a nice little café (The Penguin). You can also catch a Pennicott Wilderness Journeys’ Bruny Island Cruises tour from Adventure Bay (read about my experience here) or you can walk to the ruins of the whaling station at Grass Point. There is a general store with an ATM at Adventure Bay.
If, instead, you turn left after The Neck, you’ll find your way to Alonnah and Lunawunna. lunawunna allonnah is the Aboriginal name for Bruny Island. At Alonnah, Hotel Bruny has a lovely view and serves a fine meal, happily catering for dietary requirements upon request. There is also a general store and History Room at Alonnah. After driving through Lunawunna, you have two choices. You can turn left towards Cloudy Bay for excellent camping and surfing, as well as access to South Bruny National Park. Or, you can turn right towards Cape Bruny Lighthouse (you can read about my experiences here), as well as access to another part of South Bruny National Park.
Wherever you choose to be on Bruny, you can expect good food, superb scenery and space to relax. Make sure that you check opening hours as some places vary their hours seasonally. Take a good book, a bit of cash, a full tank of petrol and clothes for all seasons and you’ll have a lovely time.
If you have a car, simply take the vehicle ferry from Kettering. The current timetable is available here; make sure that you arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure and that you bring cash or a payWave capable card (EFTPOS or credit cards requiring pins/signatures cannnot be used). While petrol is available at some locations on Bruny, fill your car up before you venture over for maximum relaxation time. Hire cars can be problematic. Some hire car companies won’t allow you to drive their vehicles on Bruny Island due to the amount of dirt roads and consequent traffic incidents involving inexperienced drivers. Your GPS system may also cut out as phone reception has “black spots” on Bruny Island. Everything is well sign-posted though. If you’d prefer not to take a car onto Bruny, book a tour with one of the local companies.
Getting to Bruny currently costs $33 per car (prices are seasonal and dependent on vehicle size; click here for current rates). Food, supplies, fuel etc. are all reasonably priced, considering that you’re on a small island, but accommodation can be a bit expensive. You’re paying for the privilege of staying on Bruny. It’s a unique, unforgettable island and is well worth a visit… and another visit… and another…
To read more about my travels in Tasmania’s south, click here.