Less than an hour from the Tasmanian capital and yet a world away from the busy streets of Hobart, Bruny Island draws a steady stream of weekenders from the mainland. The two islands, joined by a long narrow isthmus, are a wildlife haven of jagged cliffs and golden beaches swirling with seabirds. Both are dotted with sleepy villages and tranquil guesthouses, and main activities are hiking, fishing, and slurping fresh-from-the-ocean oysters.
Most visitors opt to cruise in on a guided day or overnight tour from Hobart. Tours typically visit highlights such as the Cape Bruny Lighthouse, Mount Mangana rainforest, and Adventure Bay. Food tasting tours are also popular, with guides taking visitors to island hot spots such as the Bruny Island Cheese Company, Bruny Island Berry Farm, and other artisan producers. You’ll also stop at some of the best points for wildlife viewing.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is no public transport on the island, and car rentals are only available from the mainland—confirm that your rental insurance covers the island.
- Cell phone coverage can vary throughout Bruny Island, and free Wi-Fi is only available at some hotels and guesthouses.
- Tasmania’s notoriously changeable weather means it’s best to always have a raincoat or umbrella handy, even in summer.
- Some boat cruises, accommodation options, and ferries are wheelchair accessible, but check in advance to avoid disappointment.
How to Get There
Dangling off the southern shore of Tasmania, Bruny Island lies about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Hobart. Car ferries run to Bruny from the mainland town of Kettering, a 20-minute cruise across the Tasman Sea, arriving at the Bruny Island Ferry Terminal in North Bruny. The closest airport is Hobart, which offers regular flights to Sydney, Melbourne, and other mainland Australia cities. Once on the island, you’ll need a car or bicycle to get around.
When to Get There
The most popular time to visit Bruny Island is summer, when weather is warmer and all the island’s attractions are open. Tours, ferries, and accommodations can be more expensive at this time, however, especially over summer holidays (December to January), and advance bookings are advised. A winter visit can save money, and you’ll get many of the natural wonders to yourself, but check ahead that accommodations and attractions are open.
Bruny Island Wildlife Safaris
Wildlife-spotting opportunities abound on Bruny Island, whether you embark on a wilderness cruise, hike through the South Bruny National Park, or take in the views from Bruny Island Neck. Rare animal sightings include white wallabies, forty-spotted pardalotes, and great white sharks, while more common finds are New Zealand fur seals and southern elephant seals, leatherback turtles, dolphins, penguins, and humpback whales.