No trip to Tasmania is complete without a visit to Bruny Island. It’s the kind of place that’s close to the city, but remote and beautiful enough to make you think you’re hours into the countryside. It’s essentially the great outdoors – forty minutes from Hobart.
The best thing about Bruny Island is that it feels like you’re a long way from anywhere, but you can still follow your outdoor adventure with some seriously good food and great boutique accomodation. The island is only accessible by ferry and plane, so local produce is huge for the people of Bruny Island. It’s the kind of place where you could pick up some artisan food supplies, or just as easily fish for your own food. All meals should be matched with some local wine, and enjoyed in front of a fire for dinner.
Bruny Island is surrounded by long stretches of white sandy beaches, native wildlife, untouched scenery and brilliant local produce. It can get busy in the summer, which makes the wetter, winter months the perfect time to go. Bruny is better in the elements, and it’s also quieter. You could go for an hour without passing another car on stunning, winding roads that pass fields of frolicking lambs and cliffs.
Drive 40 minutes from Hobart through adorable towns like Snug, before arriving at the ferry terminal in Kettering for a 5.30pm trip across to Bruny Island (take your car with you). The ferry only takes 15 minutes, so make the most of the incredible views while you can – and keep an eye out for seals as you cross the D’Éntrecasteaux channel.
Head to Jetty Cafe on the most northern tip of Bruny. For fish and chips night on Fridays they serve their catch of the day (book ahead, it gets busy). Otherwise tuck into a seafood dinner made from local produce. Get their early enough and the deck is a great spot to sit and watch the sun go down.
After dinner, head to the Bruny Island House of Whiskyfor a nightcap. Tasmania is known for having some top notch local whisky, so this is a great place to swing by for a tasting. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and un-intimidating, so don’t worry if you don’t know much about whisky.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, there are a whole bunch of spots to camp on Bruny Island like Cloudy Corner and Jetty Beach. If you’re not, rest your head on an environmentally friendly pillow at 43 Degrees in the South of Bruny Island. These beautiful eco-cabins in Adventure Bay are set on the water, and have breathtaking views of the beach and Bruny Island’s rolling hills.
Wake up early to take a walk in South Bruny National Park. The Grassy Point Walk is one hour return, but if you prefer to go for a little bit longer, stay on the same track and loop further for the Fluted Cape Walk. This walk starts along the beach at the end of Adventure Bay, and continues along to coastline to Grass Point. Relax and take in the incredible waterfront views.
Grab breakfast and a coffee from Penguin Cafe. If you’re keen to experience local cuisine, you could try the locally famous curried scallop pie. If you’re not keen, grab a takeaway pie and eat it while looking at views of the beautiful Adventure Bay. If it’s rainy, this is a great spot to get some shelter – Adventure Bay is much more covered than Bruny Island’s other beaches.
Get rugged up in waterproof gear and jump on a Bruny Island Cruise. If necessary, ditch the walk for this activity. The cruise is run by Pennicott Wilderness Journeys and goes for three hours. It’s a great opportunity to get out onto the ocean and see cliffs, blowholes, caves and wildlife like seals/whales/dolphins.
Head down to the southern part of the island and grab lunch at Bruny Island Premium Wines, Australia’s most southern vineyard. This is the place to taste the local fare – they serve Bruny Island wallaby, beef and lamb, and even game sausages made with possum and wallaby meat. There’s also local wine. Lots of local wine.
Keep driving south all the way down to Cloudy Bay. You’ll start to feel like you’re at the end of the world at this point — that’s because there’s just water between you and Antarctica. If you were feeling insanely brave (and qualified) you could go for a surf here, or you could just enjoy a walk along the beach trail.
No trip to Cloudy Bay is complete without taking the Cape Bruny Lighthouse tour. There’s a day tour or a sunset tour. They both book out early, so make sure you organise in advance. This is as remote as you can get on Bruny Island, and is a nice unique way to see the lighthouse.
There’s one pub on Bruny, so where else would you grab dinner on Saturday night? Located in Alonnah, the Hotel Bruny is 10 metres from the water. As with everywhere else on the island, the produce is as fresh as it could possibly be. Wash your meal down with some Bruny Island Cider.
Take a walking tour through the private Inala Nature Reserve for a chance to glimpse the white wallaby and some of the crazy number of native bird species.
Sunday afternoon is the best time to stuff yourself full of Bruny Island delicacies before you head back to the mainland. Driving back to the ferry you’ll pass all the key stops. Start off with a visit to the Bruny Island Providore and Chocolate Factory for all your sweet tooth needs – that includes fudge (definitely try this), chocolate and assorted candy.
Bid South Bruny farewell and drive up to The Neck, stopping at Truganini Lookout for an iconic Bruny Island snapshot. Located on the tiny stretch between North and South Bruny, it’s clearly signposted. After you’ve taken in the views, head down to explore the beach on the ocean side.
Next, swing by the famous Bruny Island Cheese Company and get ready to throw back a glass of red and tuck into some of the best cheese in Australia. Sit by the fire and tuck into the homemade wood-fired bread and quince paste. This place is reason enough to visit Bruny.
Last but not least, stop by Bruny Island’s Oyster Bar, Get Shucked. Knock back a glass of sparkling outside and prepare for the best oysters of your life. If you’re feeling brave, try a Bloody Mary Oyster Shooter, otherwise stick to a dozen of whatever takes your fancy. After this quick stop, head back to the ferry and bid the island goodbye.
Ready to tackle the elements? Pack your wet weather gear and hit the road for to explore this Victorian gem in all its rainy glory. We spent all weekend in Converse’s newweatherproofChuck Taylor All Star II Shield Canvas— can recommend forrain, hail or shine.
Words: Ellie Cameron-Krepp and Kelly Pigram.
Images: Nick Fogarty and Ellie Cameron-Krepp.
Ready to tackle the elements? Pack your wet weather gear and hit the road for to explore this New Zealand gem in all its rainy glory. We spent all weekend inConverse’s newweatherproofChuck Taylor All Star II Rubber— can recommend forrain, hail or shine.