On my first road trip around Tasmania, I skipped Bruny Island. We wanted to complete a lap of Tasmania in a week, and Bruny Island didn’t fit with our itinerary. Plus, as it’s an island, it requires a bit more organisation. We made it there on our second trip to Tasmania. So, is Bruny Island worth visiting? Our experience can help you decide if it should be on your itinerary.

View from the famous lookout The Neck on Bruny Island with a narrow band of land with beaches and water on each side and mounts on the horizon

Should Bruny Island be on your itinerary for your first visit to Tasmania?

My short answer to the question “Is Bruny Island worth visiting?” is a straightforward and big YES. On our second trip, we spent 14 days around Tasmania, and Bruny Island was among our top three highlights. It was very easy to organize a trip there, even during peak season. We were impressed by the wilderness of this small island less than one hour from Hobart, the state’s capital city. But it’s not only about nature: food and wine lovers will enjoy tasting local products on Bruny Island.

What we loved about Bruny Island

1. It’s close to Hobart

It takes half an hour to drive from Hobart to Kettering, where you can catch the ferry to Bruny Island. It’s only a 20-minute ride. The ferry operates every day and leaves approximately every 20 minutes. It makes it a popular destination in Tasmania.

We picked up our van in Hobart in the morning and still had time to cross to the island and enjoy a hike on Bruny Island in the afternoon with no stress at all. It was a fantastic way to start our trip and enjoy our first day on the road.

2. It’s not as hard to organise as you may think

Cliffs on the southeast of Bruny Island taken during our three-hour cruise.
Photo taken on a cruise to the southeast of Bruny Island

If you don’t want to spend time organizing your trip to Bruny Island, you’ll find many day tours going to Bruny Island from Hobart. We had a rental vehicle to tour Tasmania, so we preferred going to Bruny Island by ourselves.

Pre-purchasing ferry tickets was effortless – you don’t even have to choose a date (the tickets are valid for 12 months). It’s great to avoid stressing about missing it. It means that you have to queue during the peak season though, which feels like a waste of time when you’re there for a day trip.

If you don’t have your own vehicle and do not want to join a tour, you’ll have to rent one from Hobart as there are no rentals on Bruny Island. Make sure you check if they allow you to take the ferry and explore the island. We could only get permission when we picked up the vehicle, which wasn’t ideal. However, they mentioned when we asked in advance that it was rarely a problem. However, we weren’t allowed to drive on unsealed roads with the rental vehicle.

3. You can see a lot in a short time

It is possible to visit Bruny Island just for one day. We decided to spend one night on the island to do more hikes and see the most touristy spots when the day visitors have left. It was enough to experience all that Bruny Island is famous for: wilderness and wildlife.

4. The island offers a variety of activities

Vineyards on Bruny Island

There’s something for everyone on Bruny Island. I loved how we could go hiking in very remote areas for hours but also see stunning landscapes from easy-to-reach lookouts. Note that with a rental vehicle that is not allowed on unsealed roads, you won’t be able to visit the lighthouse unless you go there with your own vehicle or join a tour*. Those who don’t like hiking can go on a cruise or simply enjoy the beach or fish.

And food and wine lovers will love their trip too, as you can find local cheese, seafood, honey, wine, or even chocolate…

5. The hiking is fantastic

We had a hard time choosing which hikes to do on Bruny Island. They all sounded stunning.

We chose to hike Cape Queen Elizabeth Track (13 km) and went back via the beach to see the beautiful stone arch as our timing was perfect for low tide. We also fit in the Grass Point walk (and went a bit further up for splendid views of the cliffs) at Adventure Bay before our cruise. If you have more time, the Fluted Cape circuit takes about 2.5 hours.

East Cloudy Head sounded like a stunning hike. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to drive on unsealed roads, so we couldn’t go all the way there. Instead, we joined a cruise to explore the eastern part of the island.

6. The cruise along the east side is a must-do

I wasn’t sure about the Pennicott Wilderness Journeys cruise* as it seemed to be the most touristy activity in the region. Believe me, there’s a reason why it is so popular. We saw stunning cliffs and landscapes, but it was also great for wildlife and bird lovers. The speedboat quickly takes you to places you cannot explore alone. Plus, the commentary was interesting and fun.

7. There are many opportunities to see wildlife

The cruise was one of the many opportunities to spot wildlife on Bruny Island. Bruny Island is also one of the best places in Tasmania to see little penguins, as it is famous for its penguin colony at the Neck. Some lucky visitors could spot rare white wallabies at Adventure Bay. We saw a more common wallaby, which was still very cute.

Is Bruny Island worth visiting? Share your experience in the comments below!

Where is Bruny Island?

Bruny Island is a small island located off the southeast coast of Tasmania. It is separated from the mainland by the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and can be reached by a 20-minute ferry ride from Kettering.

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Eloise is the creator and writer of MyFavouriteEscapes.com. She writes about her experiences exploring exotic destinations and finding hidden gems closer to home. Her goal is to share tips and stories to inspire and encourage others to go on their own adventures. She loves outdoor and nature-based activities like scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and sailing. She grew up in France and has lived in England and Turkey before calling Australia home for the past decade. So let's get ready for another adventure!

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