After spending a weekend on the Tasman Peninsula we were continuing our tour along Tasmania’s southern coastline. Our next destination? The ruggedly beautiful Bruny Island. We set out to find the best things to do on Bruny Island, as well as the best free camping on Bruny Island.
Bruny is in fact two small islands just off the coast of Tasmanina, south of Hobart. The two islands are named Lunawanna-Allonah by indigenous people who first inhabitated the island. Later the island was used by the whaling and logging industries.
Wild, rugged and exposed, today just 600 people permanently occupy the island, but it attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year.
The small island is the perfect day trip destination from Hobart, but the opportunity to stay and get to know Bruny a little better is tempting.
Natural beauty, abundant wildlife, dramatic history and some delicious Tasmanian produce are all on offer here. Consequently, some of the best things to do on Bruny Island are the walks, exploring the historical sights and sampling the food and drink of the little islands.
How to Get to Bruny Island
Bruny Island is 100% best explored as a self-drive adventure.
A car ferry runs regular services from Kettering approximately 45 minutes south of Hobart. The ferry leaves every half hour between 7:30 am and 6:00 daily. The ferry starts from $38 for a standard vehicle.
The island itself is only 50 kilometers north to south and takes no more than a few hours to circumnavigate.
If you can’t drive or would prefer not to Bruny Island Tours can be arranged from Hobart through Bruny Island Safaris.
- Price: The ferry costs $38 per standard vehicle
- Address: Ferry Rd, Kettering TAS 7155
- Opening Hours: Daily 7:30 am – 6:00 pm
- Website: https://www.sealinkbrunyisland.com.au/
When to Visit Bruny Island
In our opinion the best time to visit Tasmania, but especially the south of Tasmania, is in late spring and summer. Between November and March, the long days are just gorgeous and the temperature and and weather are mildest in the summer months too!
The Best Things to Do on Bruny Island
Photograph ‘The Neck’, Bruny Island Isthmus and Spot the Penguins After Dark
One of the most recognisable isthmuses in the world, the narrow neck of land that connects North and South Bruny Island, is the poster child for isthmuses. So much so that is you look up isthmus on Wikipedia, The Neck, Bruny Island Isthmus is what you’ll see.
It’s not hard to see why isthmuses everywhere have chosen the Bruny Island neck to represent them. The impossibly thin stretch of land that connects the two islands looks like it could be washed away at any second by the beautiful and treacherous sea knocking at its door.
The Neck lookout is a small hill right before the narrowest part of the Bruny Island Isthmus. Climbing the stairs to the top of the lookout allows an aerial view of the landform and provides dramatic photos.
The isthmus is located along the Bruny Island main road, 20km south of the ferry terminal. You can’t miss it. At the lookout, there is parking and toilets run by the Tasmanian National Park Service. The lookout takes only 5 – 10 minutes to walk to the top of the stairs, but it is well worth the view.
At dusk, a viewing platform above the beach here allows you to see fairy penguins returning to their penguin homes. We never did get an opportunity to see the penguins, but apparently, they can be quite difficult to spot as they tend to return in the cover of darkness.
It goes without saying that The Neck and the fairy penguins are easily one of the best things to do on Bruny Island.
- Price: Free!
- Address: Bruny Island Main Road, North Bruny TAS 7150
- Website: https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-parks/south-bruny-national-park
Oysters Bruny Island? Get Shucked…
Of course there are! And they are some of the best. Get Shucked Oyster farm and oyster bar is one of Tasmania’s premiere oyster farms.
The story of Get Shucked is as inspiring as you could hope for, beginning as a humble oyster van. As word spread and demand grew they have expanded to the purpose-built oyster bar you’ll find here today.
Expect fresh, deliscous Tasmanian Oyster served natural, dressed, or cooked up in a number of creative creations.
Pair with some local tassie wine or beer… unbeatable.
- Price: $16 for a dozen natural oysters
- Address: 1735 Bruny Island Main Road, Great Bay, North Bruny, Tasmania 7150
- Website: http://www.getshucked.com.au/
- Opening: Daily 9:30 am – 4:30pm
Enjoy Local Beer and Cheese at the Bruny Island Cheese Company
One of the best things to do on Bruny Island and my personal highlight of our trip was the cheese plate we enjoyed at the Bruny Island Cheese Company with a couple of Bruny Island Beer Company Beers to wash it down.
The Bruny Island Cheese Company, having apparently mastered cheese making, have turned their attention to beer with the Bruny Island Beer Company. Stellar cheese and stellar beer go together really well. Of course, you can’t have cheese all by itself (or you can I’m not your dad) luckily the BICC also bake their own focaccia in their wood-fired ovenc.
The Bruny Island cheese and beer was so good. Don’t miss this incredible treat.
The story of the Bruny Island Cheese company is one rooted in tradition, hard work, and respect for the Tasmania farmlands. But the story is more than lip service you can taste their passion in their phenomenal product.
- Price: $28 for a cheese platter for two and $10 for a beer
- Address: 1807 Main Road, Great Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania
- Website: https://www.brunyislandcheese.com.au/
- Opening: Daily 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Follow the White Wallaby on Bruny Island
Like Alice who caught a glimpse of a white rabbit, here you my find yourself on the trail of another elusive white animal.
Cute and cuddly, snow white wallabies inhabit Bruny Island and are most commonly spotted in Adventure Bay. Keep your eyes peeled when exploring the Cape Flute or grass point walks.
A genetic abnormality in the local bennets wallabies has led to albinism some of the local residents. Without predators, the white wallaby population of Bruny Island has continued to grow.
We didn’t spot a white wallaby during our trip and had to make do with the regular variety though they were, admittedly, still precious.
Visit the Cape Bruny Lighthouse
A series of shipwrecks lead to the construction of the Cape Bruny Lighthouse in 1838. It was Tasmania’s third lighthouse and Australia’s fourth lighthouse. That’s not all, the Cape Bruny Lighthouse is also the country’s second oldest and longest continually staffed extant lighthouse! There is so much history associated with the Cape Bruny Lighthouse that it is a must on any list of the best things to do on Bruny Island.
- Price: FREE!
- Address: 1750 Lighthouse Rd, South Bruny TAS 7150
- Website: https://www.capebrunylighthouse.com/
- Opening: Daily from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Hike the Labillardiere Peninsula
Tasmania has so many amazing day hikes and Bruny Island is no exception. Home to two of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks, taking to the trails is a must when visiting Bruny Island. The Labillardiere Peninsula track is on the South Bruny Island near the Cape Bruny lighthouse.
This 14km circuit hike traverses the coastline of the Labillardiere Peninsula with picturesque views over the stunning coastline of Tasmania featuring long sandy beaches, mountainous hinterlands, and roaring seas. It is best to complete this hike clockwise for the best views!
Make sure to take plenty of water on this hike as this hike will take you between 4 and 6 hours to complete and there are no places to fill up on the track.
Hike the Fluted Cape
The Fluted Cape track is another of the Bruny Island hikes included in the list of Tasmania’s 60 Great Short Walks. It was a highlight of our trip and easily one of the best things to do on Bruny Island. Located in Adventure Bay, it is an excellent option for people looking to explore the outdoors, but do not have enough time to hike the Labillardiere Peninsula.
This 4km circuit track should be completed in a clockwise direction. The first 1.5 km of the track is an easy walk to Grass Point. From there, it is a steep ascent to the top of the Fluted Cape climbing 272 meters over 1 km. The track follows the coastline offering impressive views pack over the Three Capes on the Tasman Peninsula.
The track took us approximately 2 hours to complete. Make sure to bring plenty of water along the way as there are no opportunities to refill your water bottle.
We also recommend packing a raincoat for any walk as the weather is known to change quickly in Tassy!
Bruny Island Premium Wines
Wineries are located all over Tasmania, so it shoud come as no surprise that Bruny Island is home to its own winery.
Bruny Island Premium Wines holds the title of Australia’s most southern winery and is a perfect destination on any Bruny Island itinerary. Stop in at Bruny Island Premium Wines for a delicious glass of Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir or maybe try one of their delicious apple ciders! Bruny Island Premium Wines is open daily from 11:00 am for lunch and cellar door and from 6:00 pm on Saturday nights for dinner.
- Price: Bottles of wine starting at $40
- Address: 4391 Bruny Island Main Road, Bruny Island Tasmania
- Website: http://www.brunyislandwine.com/
- Opening: Daily for lunch from 11:00 am and Saturday nights from 6:00 pm
Where to Stay on Bruny Island
Whether you enjoy free camping on Bruny Island or paid accommodatin, there is something for everyone. We rounded up a list of the best places to stay regardless of your preferences!
Free Camping on Bruny Island
The Pines at Cloudy Bay
While not the most picturesque camping spot in Tasmania, The Pines at Cloudy Bay is a great option for those looking to save a few dollars and try your hand at free camping on Bruny Island. Nothing more than a muddy parking lot just a few hundred meters from the stunning Cloudy Bay, it does have a toilet and is free making it an excellent choice. Telstra 4G is limited here.
Almost Free Camping on Bruny Island
National Park Camping Areas on Bruny Island
Like the rest of Tasmania, there are no shortage of national park campsites available on Bruny Island. And while these campsites are not free, is the closest thing to free camping on Bruny Island with the exception of The Pines at Cloudy Bay. Better yet, this almost free camping on Bruny Island is available in multiple locations. Choose from Jetty Beach Campground near the Cape Bruny Lighthouse and the Labillardiere Peninsula, the 4WD only Cloudy Bay Campground. Or the Neck Game Reserve Camping Area located near the Neck and where you can see the fairy penguins in the evening.
All national park camping costs $10 for two people for the evening and an additional $5 per each additional person and $2.50 per additional child. There is no booking system for the national park campsites on Bruny Island and spots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Bruny Hotel in Alonnah on Bruny Island offers camping to RV’s and campers. A large outdoor space is available for self-contained vehicles. In return it is expected campers buy a meal or a beer at the pub.
Hotel Accommodation on Bruny Island
43 Degrees Bruny Island
The eco-friendly 43 Degrees Bruny Island is the perfect place to rest your head on your Bruny Island getaway. Conveniently situated in Adventure Bay, 43 Degrees Bruny Island has everything you need for an enjoyable stay. Sleep comfortably in your separate apartment. Daily breakfast is delivered to your door each morning. Prices at 43 Degrees Bruny Island start at $215 per night including breakfast!
Boomers Retreat, Alonnah, Bruny Island
If you are headed to Bruny Island with a group of mates, then look no further for the Boomers Retreat at Alonnah on Bruny Island. This three bedroom home has everything that you could possible need for an amazing holiday on this spectacular island. This spacious house comes equipped with a wood fire heater which is perfect after a cold Tassy day. Prices at Boomers Retreat start from $630 a night for six persons.
We really enjoyed our short trip to Bruny Island. It’s the perfect size to explore in a day or two. However we could have easily stayed longe, completed some more walks and explored North Bruny Island. We also would have loved to see the white wallabies and the penguins that call this beautiful island home.
Hopefully you will be able to experience some of Bruny Island’s abounding nature here and spot some of the amazing wildlife that calls this place home. Be sure to taste some of the best local produce Bruny has to offer when you set out to tackle some of the best things to do on Bruny Island!
If you have any questions or comments about the best things to do on Bruny Island drop us a comment below!
Want to remember this list of the best things to do on Bruny Island for later or remember the ONE spot for free camping on Bruny Island? Pin it for later!