Fall in love with this beautiful island, just half an hour south of Hobart.
I recently spent three glorious days exploring Southern Tasmania – the perfect, peaceful, slow-paced island escape. What could be better?
How about an even smaller, more peaceful, slower-paced island, off the coast of the aforementioned island? An island getaway from the island, like island-ception: welcome to Bruny Island.
If you’re in Hobart, rent yourself a car, drive the 35 minutes south of Hobart and pay the $33 for the return ferry. Trust me, it’s worth it.
From the very first sight of the secluded island on the ferry over, Bruny Island is special. One of the best things is just driving around and enjoying the quiet landscapes. You can drive the whole length of the island in roughly an hour. But I’d suggest taking it slowly and stopping to savour everything the island has to offer.
Some car rental companies do not allow their cars to be taken to Bruny Island, so you’ll need to check your rental is covered. Hertz (who we rented through) does allow their cars to be taken over to the island, along with Europcar, Thrifty and Budget – but again, it’s best to check the company website to be sure.
I fell in love with the picturesque beaches, lined with perfectly white sand and not another soul in sight. It’s a totally different beach experience to what I’m used to on the East Coast. And with names like Adventure Bay, how could you not fall in love?
The cool thing about Bruny Island is that there’s really not much there (there’s a population of roughly 600 people), but what is there is exceptional.
We stopped into Bruny Island Premium Wines for a late lunch and ordered the most amazing cheese platter, beautifully plated with local produce. I can also vouch for the dukkah and the cider, which were delicious.
There’s also the cheese shop, chocolate shop, whiskey shop, berry farm… You could practically plan your entire day around the food:
Breakfast – Bruny Island Berry Farm
Lunch – Bruny Island Premium Wines
Nightcap – Tasmanian House of Whiskey
If unlike me, your world doesn’t revolve around food… then I don’t know what to tell you. We probably wouldn’t be friends.
For such a small island, Bruny is quite diverse in terms of natural landscapes. Driving around you’ll find farmlands, scrubby coastal vegetation and dense rainforests. We took our zippy little rental across Coolangatta Road, taking us through Mount Mangana Forest Reserve (don’t tell Hertz). About halfway along there’s a sign for a lookout, and you can see a whole other side of the Neck.
It’s a slow, windy, rocky road – but you came to Bruny Island to get off the beaten track, right? Follow the road all the way across to Adventure Bay (again, what a name!).
Every tourist destination has a “the photo”, and the Neck Lookout is that photo on Bruny Island. It’s such a unique view overlooking the thin peninsula that connects the North island with the South, and the climb up the 279 steps is totally worth it. (In fact, at the time we arrived the entrance was blocked as they were building a small car park, but that didn’t stop us. Fences were made to be jumped, right? The bright side was that we got the lookout entirely to ourselves).
There’s supposed to be a little penguin rookery a quarter of a way along the neck, but alas we did not spot any. We saw some black and white birds on the beach and excitedly pulled the car over, but it turns out they were just pied oystercatchers (aka black and white imposters).
So there you have it, five reasons to escape to, and fall completely in love with Bruny Island. Have you been to Tasmania before? Where was your absolute favourite place?