Bruny Island is Tasmania
’s fourth largest island and has over 300kms of coastline and roads providing plenty of places
to visit and endless things to see and do. The island caters for all individuals - walking tracks for those fit and adventurous to penguin watching for nature enthusiasts. It is a beautiful island, rich with history and culture, and varied with flora and fauna, and geological landscapes. Most of Bruny Island is good gravel road and the majority of Bruny’s attractions are on South Bruny, which is a rugged, mountainous and heavily timbered region. South Bruny National Park is wild with spectacular views, with some parts only accessible by walking or 4WD.
After crossing the D’Entrecasteaux Channel by vehicular ferry from Kettering, the first interesting landmark you will meet is the narrow neck or isthmus dividing the north and south areas of the island. There is a good lookout a short walk from the car park showing good views of the island and just how narrow the neck is. This is also a good place to watch the fairy penguins just before dark and is usually best on a moonlit night otherwise they are hard to spot
From the neck, head towards the east coast of South Bruny and follow the signs to Adventure Bay
and the Fluted Cape walk at the end of the Adventure Bay
township. The Fluted Cape walk is a good 2 - 2½ hours walk and provides an excellent history of the island, its whaling days, and great views back to North Bruny and the Tasman Peninsula. A word of warning though - the return part of the walk is steep!
From Adventure Bay
, keep your eyes peeled for the sign to Lunawanna. This is the lesser known route to the Eastern side of South Bruny and is a fairly rough gravel road about 8kms in length with some pretty rainforests and a couple of good lookout points along the way. The gravel road meets bitumen again and you head south and follow the signs to Cloudy Bay. Here you can camp at the Pines or Cloudy Beach camp (both signposted and National Park areas). The beach camp maybe a good option (4wd only) when the wind is off-shore. Cloudy Bay is also noted as a good fishing and surfing spot
if you can stand the Southern ocean temperatures. You can explore South Bruny further by heading out to Cape Bruny and the Jetty Beach
Camp if you’d like to extend your visit to Bruny further.
Interactive Route Map
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Bruny Island From:
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National Parks Passes
Current park passes must be purchased for entry to Tasmania's National Parks
. There are a few options available and they include: Daily, Holiday, Annual, Annual Renewal, and Two Year Park Pass. It is a good idea to seek out the pass that best suits your travel plan. For example, visitors to the State may consider the ‘Holiday Pass’ because it provides entry to all Tasmania
’s National Parks for up to two months.
For the current fees, please click National Parks PassesBruny Island
Ferry Prices for Vehicles less than 5 metres:
Normal Fares$25 for visitors, $12 for visitor pensioners, and $17 for visitors with a Seniors Card.
Peak Fares$30 for visitors, $12 for visitor pensioners, and $19 for visitors with a Seniors Card.
Please Note: Peak fares apply on Public Holidays and Public Holiday weekends only. They do not apply on a normal weekend. The fare includes the return trip. Passengers in vehicles and pedestrians travel free of charge. Pensioner and seniors discounts only apply to vehicles less than 6 metres. Patrons are advised to be at the terminal at least ten (10) minutes before the advertised departure time.
Things to See & Do
There are a number of long sections of road on Bruny Island
which are unsealed, but are typically suitable for 2WD vehicles and even bicycles. There are tracks that may take you to secluded camping spots so get yourself a good updated map of the island to learn about the roads and tracks which are suitable for your vehicle. Since there’s over 200kms of roads on the island, ensure you carry enough fuel as there are only several settlements on the island that stock fuel supplies. If you are planning to trek through some of Bruny Island
’s many walk tracks, be sure to carry plenty of water as well as: food, sunscreen, hat, adequate hiking boots and clothing, and preferably a handheld GPS to assist with navigation.
Fuel Supplies & Usage
|Kettering, Adventure Bay, Lunawanna
||Diesel||4cyl 26 litres
||ULP||4cyl 29 litres
||LPG||4cyl 36 litres|
|6cyl 28 litres||6cyl 33 litres||6cyl 32 litres|
|8cyl 28 litres||8cyl 30 litres|
Camp Sites & Accommodation
is actually made up of two islands - North Bruny and South Bruny separated by a long and narrow sandy isthmus. North Bruny is drier and is well suited to sheep farming whilst South Bruny is more mountainous and has large areas of rain forest in addition to sandy heath. Both areas have spectacular scenery with wonderful, deserted beaches and abundant wildlife. The coastline of Bruny Island
consists of cliffs and headlands broken up by beaches such as Cloudy Bay.
Around many of Bruny Island
’s settlements, much of the landscape is covered in grazing fields and large tracts of dry eucalyptus forest. Inland, forests continue to be logged, but other large sections - mostly along the south-eastern coast, the forests are preserved as the South Bruny National Park. Many native and diverse plant species are found inside the park. These range from predominantly dry sclerophyll forests, heath-lads and coastal vegetation to wet eucalypt forests and pockets of rainforest at Mt Bruny and Fluted Cape.
The park provides key habitat for bird life such as the endangered forty-spotted pardalote, which enjoys refuge in White gums. Blue gums on the other hand provide nectar which swift parrots depend on. Over 120 bird species have been recorded on the island. Near the coast, the tiny hooded plover usually frequents the beaches. There are also colonies of shearwaters and fairy penguins, especially in the Bruny Island
Neck Game Reserve. The surrounding marine environment is home to seals, dolphins and whales.
Dutch explorer Abel Tasman made a landing in the vicinity of the island in November 1642. In 1773 Tobias Furneaux, who was exploring the coastline with James Cook
, anchored his vessel off the coast. On 26 January 1777, Cook
sailed the Resolution and the Discovery into Adventure Bay
and stayed there for two days. In 1788 and again in 1792 William Bligh anchored in Adventure Bay
Bruny Island and the channel between the island and the mainland were named after French explorer Bruni d'Entrecasteaux who explored the area in 1792. It was known as Bruni Island until 1918, when the spelling was changed to Bruny. The island was originally inhabited by Aborigines who named it Alonnah Lunawanna. This traditional name now survives as the name of two island settlements, Alonnah and Lunawanna. In more recent history, Bruny Island was the site of a land transfer by the state Government to local Aboriginal people.