Don’t Let This Island of Less Than 700 Residents Slip Through Your Tasmanian Itinerary. You Would Be Surprised to Know There Are So Many Things to Do on Bruny Island for Every Member of The Family.
Bruny Island is located in the south-eastern coast of Tasmania, Australia. This island although minuscule in population has a coastline of about 100km (620 miles) long. It is known for its beautiful landscapes, pristine beaches, extensive bird life and a culinary hub for foodies. Most travellers will only do a day trip from Hobart, but we wanted to really explore this island, so we stayed 2 nights in Adventure Bay. There are so many things to do on Bruny Island that it was the best decision we made.
TRAVEL TIPS YOU WILL FIND:
- #01 – THE NECK LOOK OUT
- #02 – BRUNY ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE
- #03 – THE PLUMPEST OYSTERS IN THE WORLD
- #04 – BRUNY ISLAND BERRY FARM
- #05 – SIGHTING LITTLE PENGUINS
- #06 – BIOLUMINESCENT WATER
- #07 – ADVENTURE BAY
- #08 – CAPE QUEEN ELIZABETH
- #09 – SPOT A WHITE WALLABY
- #10 – FLUTED CAPE TRAIL
- #11 – BRUNY ISLAND CHEESE
- #12 – BRUNY ISLAND WINES
- #13 – BRUNY ISLAND CRUISES
- #14 – ART AT THE POINT GALLERY
- BONUS TIP #1 – RELATED ARTICLES
- BONUS TIP #2 – HOW DO I GET TO BRUNY ISLAND?
- BONUS TIP #3 – WHERE TO STAY ON BRUNY ISLAND
#01 – THE NECK LOOK OUT
Bruny Island is made up of 2 land masses known as North and South Bruny of which a narrow isthmus connects it. At the crossing, there is a viewing platform known as The Neck lookout or the Truganini lookout.
Access to the lookout is free.
The lookout offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view of Bruny Island and as you have to cross it to get to the south anyway, make sure you do stop on the way. The lookout was recently renovated with toilet facilities, stable timber stairs (approximately 180 steps) and a 24-bay parking facility.
We were very lucky with the parking as there were some when we were there. Upon leaving, we saw many cars having to leave the parking area as there simply wasn’t enough. As its on a main road, it is also incredibly difficult to make a u-turn to access the parking entry again. I suggest try and wait in the parking lot until someone leaves.
The views from anywhere on those stairs are breathtaking. If you’re look out onto the isthmus, you’ll see the open waters of the Tasman Sea to the right with the D’Entrecasteaux Channel on the left.
It can get very windy up top so do bring something warm to wear. We were there in mid-January, the height of the Australian summer at midday and it was a little chilly.
#02 – BRUNY ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE
Bruny Island lighthouse is Australia’s second oldest and longest continually staff extant lighthouse located on the southern tip of the island. The lighthouse has been standing since 1838 and overlooks stunning cliffs and coves. Take a tour of the lighthouse and the guide will take you up the spiral staircase up to the balcony.
This tour is not available for children under 5 years old.
You can get blown away up there so be sure not to wear anything too loose, like a cap. Just in case it makes its way to Antarctica.
#03 – THE PLUMPEST OYSTERS IN THE WORLD
No trip to Bruny Island would be complete without a stop at Get Shucked for some of the most spectacular oysters in the world. Get Shucked is a locally operated oyster farm and oyster bar and was one of the many things to do on Bruny Island.
Where is Get Shucked Located?
It is located on 1735, Bruny Island Main Road, Great Bay.
Is There Parking Available at Get Shucked?
There is plenty of parking available. We went during peak season at lunch time and we had no issues.
What Are the Opening and Closing Times?
It is open every day except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day from 09.00am to 04.30pm.
The menu consists of both natural and cooked oysters. Andrew and I love natural, so we got a dozen to try. Hannah is not a fan, so she decided to try Kilpatrick for the first time. Well, we devoured our natural oysters in a matter of seconds. Not sure why we even thought one dozen would be sufficient. Hannah also discovered the joys of Kilpatrick and refused to share any. LOL! So yes, we went back for a second round.
Get Shucked also offers a viewing area where you can witness the process of what happens to the oysters when they are brought in from the farm in the Great Bay. Upon speaking with owner, he told us that the oysters we were eating that day were in fact still live! From farm to table it would have only taken 40 minutes. No wonder they were so creamy and delicious!
And if you’re short on time, there is a drive through option.
#04 – BRUNY ISLAND BERRY FARM
The Bruny Island Berry Farm is a wonderful place for kids. Here you can pick your own berries, grab a delicious ice cream, and have scones and pancakes. The 12-hectare property has ample parking and picnic areas with views of the beach. They have over 7000 plants and about 8 varieties of berries.
They are open from October to April and closed during the winter months. But the berry season is short so be sure to call them up to see if they have berry picking available before heading over.
#05 – SIGHTING LITTLE PENGUINS
As we wanted to enjoy The Neck lookout during the day, we took the kids back at dusk in search of little penguins, which is one of the most popular things to do on Bruny Island. The Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve is accessible via a purpose-built boardwalk. We arrived at 6.30pm and a park ranger was there setting up and making sure that we stayed in the area we were supposed to.
Getting there early is crucial as there is limited parking as mentioned above and also you want a good spot on the platform to view from.
Whilst waiting, the park ranger shared her knowledge of the area and the prolific bird life. The kids were really interested in what they had to say and killed some time before the sun set completely.
How Many Penguins Will I See?
There are no guarantees if you’ll see penguins at all.
The warmer months offer the best chances and in mid-January, the park ranger told us she had been seeing an average of about 20 penguins each night.
And after waiting 3 hours, how many did we see? ONE. Yes, one! Luckily, we managed the kid’s expectations and we told them if we even saw one, we would be considered lucky.
Hannah had never seen them before in their natural habitat and can I say, that one penguin, made her night. She literally let out a small squeal and was so excited! Bless.
How Much Does It Cost to See the Penguins?
Little penguin sightings at The Neck is free.
#06 – BIOLUMINESCENT WATER
As a frequent traveller, I obviously have a massive bucket list of places I want to go and things I want to see. One of the few things that was high on my list is to witness bioluminescence in the water.
What is Bioluminescence?
Bioluminescence is a natural chemical process by which living organisms can produce light in their body. When there is a lot of bioluminescence in the water, we can watch the sea literally glow in the dark when the waves disturb the organisms. In most cases they are in an algae bloom of plankton.
Upon doing some research, this phenomenon can be sighted in January and on the coast line of Bruny Island. This was one of the main reason I chose to stay in Adventure Bay for a couple of nights as I was hoping that perhaps we could see some.
And did we see any? OMG….. did we see it! Just writing about it now gives me goose bumps. I was like a little kid when I saw it with my own eyes.
We saw it whilst waiting for the penguins. I had mentioned to everyone that part of the night of adventure would be to try and look for sea sparkle.
Hannah saw it first and you should have seen her face. She grabbed my arm so hard and pointed out to the ocean and said, “Mummy I see it!” It took me several goes before it became really prominent. And you should have heard the loud gushes of “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd.
The ocean was literally glowing in a neon blue right before my eyes.
Yet another reason we travel the world to see natural phenomenon. It was such a gobsmacking experience. One we as a family will never forget.
#07 – ADVENTURE BAY
Adventure Bay is located in South Bruny. We stayed in an Air Bnb in Adventure Bay and we found some time during the day to take the kids down to the beach.
As with all bays, the water was dead calm and resembled more like a massive swimming pool. The beach was lovely, but the water was cold, even though it was summer. We went wading, rather than swimming.
The kids spent hours scouring through the rocks looking for sea life. We stood in the water watching the kids and chatting away as we pretty much had the entire bay to ourselves.
#08 – CAPE QUEEN ELIZABETH
The Cape Queen Elizabeth trail is a popular walk and is a 3-hour return trip or about 12km. The walk commences at the track just north of the Bruny Island air strip where you can park your car. The track is well formed gravel and nothing steep to navigate. You will be walking inland through the bush and eventually hitting the beach.
The views are spectacular, and you’ll also be greeted by interest rock formations on the beach. This is one of the best ways to explore the Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve and a great way to explore the outdoors with the kids.Bruny Island in Tasmania, Australia is a hidden gem at the end of the world! Sea cliffs, penguins, dolphins and beautiful beaches. What are you waiting for? #brunyisland #tasmania Click To Tweet
#09 – SPOT A WHITE WALLABY
Bruny Island is well known for sighting white wallabies or Bennetts wallabies. I did not know this until white wallabies came to visit us at our Air Bnb.
The lovely owner had some wallaby feed in the house and the kids had a great time feeding them. They roamed freely in our back yard and even came onto the patio to check out the curious humans.
We lost Hannah for those 3 days as she played outside with the wallabies every chance she got. I watched her get braver as the days went on. We were very lucky as we were also graced with the presence of a white joey. Hannah was smitten and wanted to take it home!
#10 – FLUTED CAPE TRAIL
This trail is located at the eastern end of Adventure Bay and it is not for the faint hearted. The Fluted Cape trail is a 2.5-hour return track and is an extension of the Grass Point and Penguin Island walk. The track does ascend steeply to Fluted Cape which is about 270m high whilst passing some very high sea cliffs.
This trail is not suitable for really young kids. If you did want to walk part of the way you can do the shorter 1-hour option which goes along the coastal section to Grass Point only.
This is a beautiful trail that starts on the beaches of Adventure Bay and then enters a forest of tall blue gums. Just like all parts of this island, the views of the blue water and sea cliffs are gorgeous.
#11 – BRUNY ISLAND CHEESE
You can’t go to Bruny Island without making a pit stop at Bruny Island Cheese. We went there in the morning before leaving Bruny Island, so we had cheese tasting boards for breakfast!
Bruny Island Cheese is owned by a traditional cheese maker, Nick Haddow. His cheeses are made with cow’s milk from animals that are farmed in an environmentally sustainable way.
With ample parking available, make your way to the shop and order yourself a cheese tasting platter. They also have a small café available as well as beer tasting! This is such a fantastic set up with plenty of space to find a comfortable seat. Choose from the café tables, to the barrels on an open platform to oversized pillows in the garden area.
The homemade artisan bread dipped in warm cheese as beyond yum! And of course, we left with some of the delicious cheeses for the next leg of our Tasmanian road trip.
#12 – BRUNY ISLAND WINES
If you’re interested in visiting Australia’s southernmost vineyard, make a stop at Bruny Island Premium Wines in Lunawanna. Their cellar door is open 7 days from 11.00am to 5.00pm and it offers tastings of their Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and they new addition, apple cider.
This vineyard also boasts a bar & open flame grill for meals and some gourmet produce. Their menu also has options for the little ones.
#13 – BRUNY ISLAND CRUISES
Embarking on the Bruny Island Cruise was one of the major highlights of our Tasmania road trip.
The adventure goes for 3 hours as you get on a speed boat that commences from Adventure Bay all the way out to the mighty Southern Ocean. Along the way you’ll be able to admire the beautiful natural formations of the sea cliffs, an abundance of wildlife and seals. If you’re lucky like us, you’ll be able to spot dolphins. We managed to find a pod of about a hundred of these gorgeous creatures. On some days, you may see whales too.
For us, we loved the ride as we sped through 2m swells. The boat rose and crashed onto the water and was thrilling!
Read more about things you need to know before going on the Bruny Island Cruise. This will ensure you’re well prepared for this day out.
#14 – ART AT THE POINT GALLERY
Art at the Point Gallery is located at Dennes Point on Bruny Island. They are closed during the winter months and usually closed on Wednesdays during the other months.
The gallery is surprisingly modern with interesting artwork inside and out. It is a relatively small gallery and they showcase art from local artists to include anything from scarves to paintings to glass works. The prices of the items certainly match the world class quality of the items.
With so many things to do on Bruny Island, it definitely deserves more than a day trip. And with the long the commute on the ferry and back and forth to Hobart, do yourself and your family a favour and book a couple of nights to enjoy this beautiful place.
BONUS TIP #1 – RELATED ARTICLES
BONUS TIP #2 – HOW DO I GET TO BRUNY ISLAND?
To get to Bruny Island, you have to catch a ferry from Kettering.
This exercise proved to be an incredibly frustrating one for us and thank goodness we stayed on Bruny Island for a couple of nights as it meant that we didn’t have to deal with this on the actual day of the cruise. For you day trippers, please read the following carefully, so you’re well prepared.
The ferry terminal is located in Kettering, a 45-minute drive south of Hobart. The process essentially is to then purchase a ticket at the ferry terminal, get on the ferry in your car for a 20-minute crossing and then drive another 40 minutes to get to the visitor centre for check in.
What we did not anticipate was the amount of time it would take us to get the ticket and board the ferry.
Where this all became unstuck was the fact that you are not able to pre-book tickets, to be guaranteed a boarding time. This service runs on a first in best dressed scenario. When we arrived at the ferry terminal, we had to stop a fair way from the ticket booth because the traffic to get the tickets started snaking at the top of the road. Lining in single file, we moved at snail’s pace for about 45 minutes.
We finally managed to get to the one ticket booth and the costs are below. The ferry ticket is a return ticket.
Driver and Vehicle – Length: less than 6.0 metres – $38.00
Driver and Vehicle – Length: 6.0 metres up to 10.0 metres – $65.00
Driver and Vehicle – Length: 10.1 metres up to 15.0 metres – $90.00
Driver and Vehicle – Length: greater than 15.0 metres – $110.00
Driver and Vehicle with Trailer: Unlimited Length – $85.00
After you get your ticket, you will be ushered to drive towards the ferry. The vehicles are split up into 4 lanes of which it was a random selection of cars. Its just a way to reduce the length of the queue which by this stage was looking like it would start from Hobart!
We were unlucky as we missed the last ferry before the lunch break, so we sat there for another hour. And we were literally the next vehicle to board the ferry! Luckily there is café and some toilet facilities, so we weren’t exactly stuck in our car. Many people got out and went for walks and came back before the next ferry.
When it was time, we were then ushered onto the ferry in a very orderly manner. The ferry is very much like a big barge. There are 2 that alternate between crossings of which one is single storey and the other is a double storey ferry.
There are no seats for passengers. You are welcome to get out of your car the minute you have parked and roam the ferry as you wish. Cars are instructed to turn off once parked.
Once you’re at Bruny Island, you are also ushered to depart in a very orderly manner.
The same process applies for the return except that you already have your return ticket so no queueing for tickets. But as all day trippers tend to leave around the same time of the day, there is a long queue to get on the ferry. As we stayed on Bruny Island, we avoided this peak time and got on without any issues at midday.
BONUS TIP #3 – WHERE TO STAY ON BRUNY ISLAND
Boutique – 43 Degrees Bruny Island
This 3-star environmental accommodation is well located in Adventure Bay. 43 degrees is Adventure Bay’s latitude and features Studio Spa and Spa Suite Apartments. It is only 50m from the beaches of Adventure Bay close to many walking trails. The Apartments include kitchenettes, double glazed windows and natural timbers are used through the space.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
3.5 Star Cottages – Bruny Island Escapes and Hotel Bruny
Bruny Island Escapes offers award-winning accommodation situated in various locations in Lunawanna and Alonnah. Each cottage has a private balcony, a cosy log fire and full kitchen facilities. The Explorers Two Bedroom Cottage are perfect for families of 4 or 5.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
House – Adventure Bay Holiday Home
If you prefer to have a whole house to yourself, this home fits 6 people in its 2 bedrooms and 1 sofa bed. Located in Adventure Bay, this holiday home features a balcony and a garden with a barbecue. It provides free private parking and free WiFi. This home is very child friendly and plenty of space for the kids to run around.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
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