Bruny Island, for the Nature Lovers

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If mainstream tourism is not your cup of tea and you would rather be on your own, surrounded by picture perfect beaches and a backdrop of bushy hills and mighty cliffs, then Bruny Island is for you.

If, on the contrary, you are after shopping, thrill and buzz, don't go there.

There aren't too many shops, just two or three, and the buzz that you will hear is that of the waves crashing against the rocks.

But why would you need shops when the island has an artisan cheese company, a smokehouse, an oyster farm, a berry farm and a cellar door winery?

All at your service.

Where Is It and What Is It?

Bruny Island is a 100 km long tourists' paradise. As long as you are happy to engage with heart-stopping vistas, eco-cruises and local produce such as cheeses, salmon, oysters. Yumm...

bruny island view from the neck lookout

View from The Neck lookout with D'Entrecasteaux Channel on the right

Bruny sits about 30 km south of Hobart, separated from Tasmania by the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.

It looks like a twisted hourglass, with the northern part joined to the southern one by a narrow strip of land, known as The Neck.

The Neck has the calm waters of the channel on one side and the Adventure Bay opening out into the ocean on the other.

The birds

It is also a birds' paradise. If you are into birdwatching, then the island is for you. From mutton birds to penguins to swans to shore birds to sea birds, there are lots of species that you can watch.

black swan

I couldn't take a picture of any sea bird but here is one of a black swan paddling on the D'Entrecasteaux waters.

truganini lookout , bruny island- stairs

At the bottom of the timber stairs leading to the lookout, there are signboards full of information. You can read about the short tailed shearwaters, The Neck's residents who are also seasoned long distance migrants.

During the Australian winter they travel north 30,000 km (over 18,000 miles) to the Arctic Circle and back.

They leave as young chicks in April and return as grown-ups in September to find their old burrows in the sands of The Neck and other beaches.

Shearwaters share the place with the little penguins who don't like travelling; they stick to their homes, spending time between the ocean and the beach.

The history

Why the French names?

After the French explorer who gave one of his family names to the island and the other to the channel. As a respectable aristocrat, he had 3 first names and two surnames, so it was not too difficult to be generous.

Bruni D'Entrecasteaux sailed into the channel, now bearing his name, in 1792.

Aboriginal history

About 20 years later, around the time when white settlers started to claim the land, an Aborigine girl, Truganini, was born on the island.

She has a memorial at the lookout to remind visitors about the tragic story of a life changed by the white invasion. It is a story of abduction, murder, lies, deception and fear and at the same time a story of survival.

What else can you see?

Continue to drive to South Bruny to see the beautiful sheltered beaches of the Adventure Bay.

adventure bay beach

Adventure Bay beach

You can stop at the general store in Adventure Bay for some ice cream, pies or fruit. Or groceries and stuff if you need any.

How to Get to Bruny Island

From Hobart drive to Kettering. It is a 30 minutes trip. There take the ferry that crosses the channel. You will probably see a line of cars waiting to get into the boat. Don't worry, it's a big ferry, with two decks, so plenty of room. And in the meantime enjoy the beautiful marina.

kettering marina, gate to bruny island

Kettering Marina

The ferry return fares are for vehicles only. If you are on foot there's nothing to pay. Unless you are carrying your bike. Then the fare is really small, about $5. But unless you are a serious walker, the island is too big to walk it.

If you have time, spend the night on the island and tour it. It is beautiful and full of wild life. Otherwise catch a ferry back.

Click on the images below to see where else to go from Bruny and how.

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Hobart and Around It