Getting There

Bruny island is just 30 kilometres or so south-west of Hobart, but you need to go there with your own car on the ferry from Kettering or else go there as part of an organised day tour or cruise from Hobart.

About Bruny Island

Bruny Island used to be a destination only for weekend trippers from Hobart.  Many locals had a 'shack' or modest holiday cottage that they would escape to on Friday nights.  Few visitors from mainland Australia had time to venture all the way down there and there was only an occasional visit from intrepid overseas travellers.  Things have changed in recent years with the development of Bruny Island Cruises which has brought thousands of day trippers onto the island.  Most cruisers only come for the day, travelling down from Hobart in the morning on a minibus and back in the afternoon. Another day tour option is Bruny Island Safaris , land based, covering all the great local food producers and sites. They also depart daily from your hotel in Hobart and return you to your hotel.

If you do come to Bruny, it's a good idea to check the ferry timetable (departing from Roberts point) and decide which boat you want to catch back to Kettering. When it's time to leave,  meander back to the ferry terminal with preferably lots of time to chill out in the ferry queue, reviewing your photos or watching the boats in the D'Entrecasteux Channel.  When driving, please take care on the unmade road sections and the winding curves. 

The car ferry coming into Roberts Point on Bruny Island

 

Short and Longer Walks

If you come to Bruny with your car or to do the cruise, it is worthwhile considering staying a night or two exploring the island.  Any of these walks is an ideal way to spend your time in Bruny's unique environment. But please always consider the weather conditions carefully (ALWAYS take a waterproof jacket) before you go.

Grass Point Walk - 1.5 hours return

This walk is well signposted at the entrance to the National Park at the end of the Adventure Bay Main Road, just a few hundred metres along from the jetty. As it starts with a short walk along the beach, there may be periods when a combination of weather and high tides will prevent you from crossing the small creek and climb up onto the track. The track meanders along through dry forest with spectacular views to the water, ending at Grass Point. There are information boards detailing the whaling history of the area.  The track branches at one point - the climb up to  Fluted Cape is strenuous and not for the unfit.  Beware of cliff edges and the descent to Grass Point. Look for echindas in tree trunks, dolphins in the bay and as usual watch for snakes in the summer season.

  Echidna at Grass Point

Mt Mangana - 1.5 - 2 hours return

To get to this walk from Adventure Bay township,  head up the hill out of the town, then turn left onto Coolangatta Road.  Drive slowly and carefully - the road is unmade and can be extremely slippery in or after often very heavy rains.  Take your time - there is much to see and observe and the wallabies hopping across the road would like to make it to the other side alive...look for the Mt Mangana summit sign to the left.

The walk is a sheltered, gentle descent through beautiful rainforest up to the summit of the highest point on the Island.  The condition of this track varies, depending on weather and maintenance, so be prepared. Fallen trees and sections that have washed away may require some climbing around obstacles.  Its exposed ridge near the summit could be muddy, shrouded in mist or even with a light snow covering, so it might be a dry weather option for the less enthusiastic. The view from the top amongst the boulders and the mobile phone towers is worthwhile.  A short amble from the car park to experience the gorgeous mosses, lichens, trees and ferns and the wonderful smells will give you a taste of a unique rainforest that is now confined to only a few places in the world.

  Forest on Mount Mangana

Clennet's Mill Top site - less than 30 minutes 

This short circuit runs off the western side of Coolangatta Road at Adventure Bay.  South Bruny Island was primarily known for its wonderfully straight and tall eucalypts which were harvested for over a century.  Areas are still logged by Forestry Tasmania so be alert for log trucks especially along this road.  This walk has information boards explaining the derelict machinery that was left over from what was once a thriving timber mill.

 

Luggobine Circuit - 1.5 hours return

This walk commences at the Jetty Beach Camping area, located off Lighthouse Road on the way to the Cape Bruny Lightstation. From Adventure Bay, head down Coolangatta Road. At the bottom, turn right towards Lunawanna - you will come to the settlement or store where there is food, drinks and newspapers.Drive towards the Cape Bruny Lighthouse.  There are a few lookouts on the way to the lighthouse, with some great photo opportunities. The drive encompasses farms, forest and coastal heathland.  After passing the entrance to the National Park, there is a sign to the Labillardiere Peninsula walks.This is an optional extra.  The road into here is often impassable (unless it has been graded recently) so if you're in a hire car and don't fancy explaining damaged under the car, maybe give it a miss.  Continue up to the Lighthouse carpark (which closes about 4).

The Luggobine Circuit walk is pleasant and easy but the longer hike which circles the entire peninsular takes at least 7 hours.  Follow the made path up to the Lighthouse and take your camera and binoculars to enjoy the 360 degree views from the convenient memorial bench. On a clear day, try and spot Pedra Branca ('White Rock' in Portuguese) which lies about 26 km SSW.  It was first noted in 1642 by Abel Tasman and can be identified right on the horizon by its somewhat luminous white colour. Enjoy the beautiful view to the east over Cloudy Bay and see if you can pick out the Friars where the fur seals shelter. To the west, you'll see the often snowcapped peaks of the south west wilderness area beyond South East Cape.

History Room (Museum)

Head back to Lunawanna, this time turning left to travel to the township of Alonnah.  If you have sufficient time and are interested in the history of Bruny, check out the History Room (shuts about 3pm) and browse through some of the interesting material they have on display. It's free!

Truganini Steps - 15 minutes return

This walk is at The Neck. It can be spectacularly blowy or serenely peaceful, but the views to either side and to North and South Bruny are - yet again - breathtaking. Penguins come in at dusk - see the noticeboard for the best viewing times.

View from Truganini Steps 


Dining and more

For those travellers who like to intersperse their walks with gourmet experiences, try the Winery between Alonnah and Lunawanna and the Bruny Island Cheese Company in Great Bay on North Bruny. There is also a new restaurant/cafe with a beautiful lookout at Dennes Point which can be reached via the road to Barnes Bay. The Hothouse Cafe near the turnoff to Adventure Bay serves food all day (book for evening meals) and has a wonderful view across the Neck to North Bruny and beyond.The hotel at Alonnah also serves meals most days although it's worth checking - it can vary depending on the time of year.  Also on North Bruny, coming into Great Bay is "Get Schucked" which sells fresh oysters- yes, just out of the water - out of a caravan, season permitting. You won't believe the prices...or the taste!

More Links

There are various websites describing the walks. .Check these links:

The shops at Adventure Bay and Lunawanna also have maps and track notes for sale, as well as hot drinks and food which are necessary for those days when you have to time your walks between showers.  Fuel is also available (prices always higher than Hobart) but be aware of closing times.