March 17, 2023
8 mins Read
Welcome to Bruny Island – a rugged and pristine spot for great food, fascinating history and stunning wilderness. Looking for things to do while here? Don’t miss these top Bruny Island experiences.
Just a few minutes from the Bruny Island ferry terminal is the Tasmanian House of Whisky, a compact timber and stone building brimming with 110 single malts and over 70 gins – all Tassie-made. The spirits are mostly bespoke and small-scale, and while some of the prices on the bottles will make your eyes water, a nip or two of the island’s finest certainly won’t.
The ‘house’ whisky is Trapper’s Hut, a single malt aged in American oak and made with Franklin barley. With a warm, sweet flavour and a hint of vanilla, you may need to check your baggage allowance to see if you can squeeze a bottle in.
Address: 360 Lennon Road, North Bruny
One of the newest kids on the Bruny Island accommodation block is Free Spirit Pods, a pair of two charming eco-pods set amongst stringybark and black sheoaks overlooking the pristine waters of Quarantine Bay. The studio pods feature natural timbers throughout and offer stunning views down to the water. The owners are a delightful couple who are only too happy to point you in the direction of kayaks, lend you an oyster knife so you can harvest your own molluscs, or restock the lolly jars in your pod’s pantry.
Rather save your pennies with free camping on Bruny Island camping? We have some options here too.
Address: Davis Road, North Bruny
Built by convict labour over 18 months beginning in 1836, Cape Bruny Lighthouse is the second-oldest lighthouse in Australia and one of the must-do’s while visiting here. It sits amidst moody, rugged dolerite cliffs that are relentlessly battered by foaming seas and tumultuous winds.
Take a tour to the top for breathtaking views over the Southern Ocean and the wild Tasman Sea, and spare a thought for the 12 felons who were at least given their freedom once they completed the mammoth task. Take a walk afterwards down to the shore, on your way on which you might spot the remains of an old settler vegetable garden and graves.
Address: Lighthouse Road, South Bruny
For a relatively small island (it’s just 50 kilometres long), Bruny is divided. The spot where the two meet is ‘The Neck’; an isthmus connecting the north and south of the island. From the top of the lookout at The Neck, you can see rolling green hills sweeping down to the unruly Tasman Sea and the sheltered waters of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
The Neck is home to a game reserve, which forms an important habitat for the island’s native wildlife, like short-tailed shearwaters and fairy penguins. Camp here or visit at dusk for the chance to spot the little penguins making their way up the beach for the night.
Artisan cheese. Need we say more? Stop into the Bruny Island Cheese Company and be prepared to sample (and let’s face it, buy) a number of delicious cheeses. From hard, crumbly cow’s-milk cheeses to one of Australia’s scarce hard raw-milk cheeses and rounds of luscious, soft, white-mould cheese, the fromagerie is a cheese-lover’s dream and one of the top Bruny Island dining experiences.
Beer lovers should also try a sample of Bruny Island Beer Co.’s finest drafts while here. Ales stouts, honey ales, IPAs, as well as gins, whiskies and Bruny Island wines, are all available at Bruny Island Cheese Company’s dog-friendly cellar door and pub.
Address: 1807 Main Road, Great Bay
At the northern tip of Bruny Island is Dennes Point Heritage Trail. It’s a short, 45-minute walk that reflects the significance of the area, as it was here that some of the first encounters between Europeans and Indigenous Australians occurred. The trail takes in spectacular views of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Derwent Estuary and Storm Bay.
Along the path are 14 panels that represent the island’s history – from farming and whaling to natural history and geology. At the end of your wander, walk along Jetty Beach and keep an eye out for quolls. If you’re after a shorter (or longer) hiking trail to tackle, we’ve previously written a guide to Bruny Island’s best walks.
Don’t let looks deceive you; from the outside, the Bruny Island Chocolate Company only looks like a tiny roadside shop, but inside it’s full of chocolate, fudge and honeycomb. Everything is made fresh on the premises, so you’re never quite sure what flavours and varieties will be in stock. Traditional fudge lovers will adore the caramel chocolate fudge, but adventurous eaters may want to try the Persian fudge, with its sweet, rich dates and figs. If you’re not fussy about packaging, you can pick up a packet of fudge ‘off cuts’ for a bargain.
Address: 55 Adventure Bay Road, Adventure Bay
Prefer the sweets that Bruny Island nature has to offer? Bruny Island Honey is an establishment on this little island, famous for its travelling bees that move around the island at different times of the year, even pollinating the Black Devil Cherry Orchard nearby. Visit to pick up a slab of local honeycomb, jars of creamed honey and big bowls of drool-worthy honey ice cream, which is available at their cafe, all flavoured by the delicate florals and flavours of Bruny Island.
Address: 2184 Main Road Bruny Island, Great Bay
Bruny Island is home to the rare Bennett’s wallaby, commonly called the white wallaby due to its snow-hued fur, pink nose and eyes. A genetic mutation causes the wallabies’ albinism and, because they don’t have any predators on the isolated island, there are thought to be over 200 on Bruny. The best place to spot them is Adventure Bay, where during the day you might see them resting underneath large trees. You could be waiting a while – despite their distinctive looks, there are not too many of them – so bring a picnic of delectable Bruny Island produce to enjoy while you wait.
You wouldn’t think there are too many hidden gems on Bruny, but its Quarantine Station goes under the radar of most travellers. Situated at Barnes Bay, the Quarantine Station incorporates different aspects of the island’s history – from its First Nation people to the later European settlement.
The site itself contains quarantine buildings that housed passengers and soldiers on their return from WWI. It’s even been used at times as a plant quarantine! When visiting the Quarantine Station, it is well worth taking the two-hour-long heritage interpretive walk, which gives fascinating insights into this significant site.
Address: 816 Killora Road, North Bruny
Peer closely into the shallows and you’ll see gleaming oyster shells everywhere you look. Bruny Island produces some of the best oysters in the country, so pull up a seat at the oyster bar at Get Shucked and tuck in. It’s truly bay-to-bar eating as you sit on the deck overlooking the bobbing buoys of the oyster farm in the bay, with pacific oyster offerings that range from natural and fresh with a squeeze of lemon, to cooked and ‘Kilpatrick’-style. They’ve even got a drive-through if you’d rather do a takeaway portion of oysters, best enjoyed on a deserted beach.
Address: 1735 Bruny Island Main Road, Great Bay
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