Bruny Island Holidays & travel guide Bruny Island Holidays & travel guide

The ultimate travel guide toBruny Island

Hop on a ferry from a town south of Hobart for a short journey across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to an island fringed by beautiful, empty beaches and teeming with some of Tasmania’s most talented food and drink producers; this is Bruny Island. Made up of two pieces of land (North and South Bruny) joined together by a narrow strip (The Neck), the island is a paradise for nature lovers, foodies and drinks connoisseurs eager to do what they love with relatively few else around. Despite being roughly the size of Singapore, the island has a permanent population of less than 1000, which should indicate the sense of remoteness you’ll feel when you’re here. By day, drop by cellar doors or walk the beach or bushland tracks. At night, feast on local produce finds on the deck of your rented beach shack, watching the crashing waves beyond, with a glass of fine Tasmanian wine in hand. Bruny Island offers the perfect holiday blend of nature, relaxation and indulgence.

Getting to Bruny Island

The only way to get to Bruny Island is by a 20-minute SeaLink Bruny Island ferry from Kettering, a 40-minute drive south of Hobart. The ferry runs about 20 times a day – check its timetable beforehand. As there are no taxis or public transport on the island, it’s recommended you bring your car over on the ferry.            

Best time to visit Bruny Island

Like most areas of Tasmania, Bruny Island has a cool temperate climate with four distinct seasons. The hottest month is January, with an average temperature of 17 degrees Celsius, and the coolest is in July when the average temperature is nine degrees Celsius. 

Top things to do on Bruny Island

Festivals & Events

The island’s biggest festival is the biennial Bruny Island Bird Festival, a four-day event featuring workshops, speakers and photography classes, birdwatching tours and walks. Nayri Niara Good Spirit Festival also happens every two years and is a three-day camping celebration focusing on music, ceremonies and arts. Events include songwriting sessions, film screenings and poetry readings.

Wineries & Vineyards

Family-run Bruny Island Premium Wines outside Lunawanna has been making its wines on-site since 2004. Spend an afternoon here tasting its pinot noir, chardonnay and apple cider at its cellar door, dining on the farm-to-fork fare at its restaurant or simply exploring its 120-acre estate. On Fridays and Saturdays in the warmer months, the restaurant is open for dinner.

For another drinks tasting experience, head to the cellar at Bruny Island House of Whisky for a sampling of their gins and single malt whiskies, poured by knowledgeable staff. The Whisky and Fine Food Matching Experience will see pairing single malts with gourmet foods, all sourced from Tasmania. 

Attractions & Activities

Book a three-hour trip with Bruny Island Cruises to see its rugged coastline and pristine beaches from the water. Join a tour with Cape Bruny Lighthouse Tours to climb the heritage-listed landmark and glimpse the island’s undulating hills and crashing seas from above.

Board a cruise to spot seals, whales (between May and July and September and November) and dolphins. Or echidnas, wombats and white wallabies on one of the island’s many walks. Head to The Neck at Bruny Island for the chance to see some of its resident fairy penguins.

To learn more about the history and current culture of the area, visit Bruny Island Quarantine Station at Barnes Bay, which tells stories from the time of the early Aboriginal occupation by the Nuenonne peoples through to the present day. And check out the Bligh Museum of Pacific Exploration for its maps, documents and artefacts from the days of the early settlers.

Best places to stay on Bruny Island

Hotels & Motels

Hotel Bruny Island Lodge in Alonnah comprises eight lodge rooms, each with a private deck and water views. Adventure Bay Retreat in Adventure Bay offers four self-contained apartments (The Cottage, The Studio, The Lodge and The Lair). And Bruny Island Explorer’s Cottages in Lunawanna has six cottages overlooking Daniel’s Bay. 

Caravan Parks

With the ferry able to transport motorhomes, camper trailers and caravans, not to mention all caravan parks on the island steps from the beach meaning you can fall asleep to the sound of lapping waves, it’s easy to see why staying in a park or campground on Bruny Island is an attractive option for many.

Parks include Captain Cook Holiday HomeCamping at Bruny IslandCloudy Bay Campground and The Pines on Cloudy Bay, both at Cloudy Bay in the southern end of the island; Jetty Beach Campground, next to Kingfisher Beach; and The Neck Camping Area, conveniently located on The Neck, the strip of land joining North and South Bruny.

Luxury Accommodation

Bruny Island is full of modern holiday houses designed with features that take full advantage of their remote wilderness surroundings. Cloudy Bay Beach House, which sleeps six, boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and several decks where you can take in the stunning coastal views. Cloudy Bay Villa is a light-filled, two-storey beach house with three bedrooms and an outdoor deck overlooking picturesque Whalebone Point. 43 Degrees Bruny Island in Adventure Bay has your choice of a suite or an apartment. Arthouse Bruny Island sits right on the water with the owner’s artwork covering its walls. And for somewhere quirky, consider Flying Duck or Blue Wren Free Spirit Pods, both waterfront pods made from Tasmanian timbers.

Restaurants & Cafes on Bruny Island

Bruny Island does have a few restaurants, including The Jetty Café at Dennes Point, Bruny Island Cruises Restaurant in Adventure Bay and Bruny Hotel Bistro. But eating here is mostly about picking up goods from the cellar doors of the local suppliers scattered around the island.

Taste cheeses like white mould and washed rind, washed down with beer made from Tasmanian-grown hops and Bruny Island honey and water, at Bruny Island Cheese and Beer. Tuck into fresh oysters at seaside farm Get Shucked and bite into juicy strawberries at Bruny Island Berry Farm. And swing by Bruny Island Honey and Bruny Island Chocolate Company for Tasmanian honey, chocolate and fudge to take home. For other food supplies, head to the general stores in Adventure Bay or Alonnah.

Tours and packages for Bruny Island

While you can easily explore Bruny Island on your own, tours are available for a more in-depth experience. Life’s An Adventure does a guided, three-day walk around the island with all meals and transfers from Hobart included. Bruny Island Safaris offers a day tour, overnight experience, bushwalking tour and lighthouse tour. And Bruny Island Traveller does day tours from Hobart, which will see you visiting many of the island’s produce suppliers, the Bligh Museum and a beach walk area. Keen to see the island a different way? Book a tour or rent a bike and grab a map with Cycle Bruny Island.

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