From Three Beaches at Eggs and Bacon Bay in the Huon Valley, you will be driving north past picturesque Randalls Bay with its sandstone cliffs & pretty boats, up the hill & turning right onto Channel Hwy. This is a lovely scenic coastal drive which will take you past Ninepin Point Beach at Verona Sands which has great views of Bruny Island, Huon Island & the smaller Satellite Island. Dolphins are frequently spotted here. There is a picnic table, parking & BBQ area if you are in the mood to stop. A few minutes on, you will find Ninepin Point Marine Reserve unique because the tree bark tannins from the Huon River mix with the estuary water creating a tea-coloured seawater where a diverse array of animals & plants usually only found in very deep waters, have managed to flourish. This is a great place for rockpool exploration, finding flotsam & jetsam & best for scuba diving to see marine life. Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife recommend a snorkel in the shallows, on high visibility days, will also reveal a diverse range of marine flora & fauna.
Park your car on Bruny Island Ferry & stroll for the views - photo credit Adam Gibson
After disembarking, take the B66 (Bruny Island Main Road) south to the narrow isthmus of land that joins north and south Bruny Island, known as The Neck. It takes approximately 20 minutes from the ferry if you don’t stop. There are 279 steps to the tourist viewing platform which provide spectacular views of Bruny Island's Adventure Bay & Mount Wellington in Hobart. Photos don’t do it justice & there are selfie opportunities galore. There are viewing platforms to see the Bruny Island Fairy Penguins who return to their burrows at dusk. In the first half of June, the sun sets around 4.40pm, so the winter months can be ideal to see penguins & still get the last Bruny Island ferry at 7.15pm to be back to Kettering from Bruny Island in one day.
The Neck Bruny Island - superb views & penguins at dusk - photo credit Julia Smith
Bruny Island is a haven for foodies & popular tourist destination for its pristine scenery, historic quirks & unique wildlife - the world’s only white wallabies are found here. Stunning water views wherever you go are almost mandatory & visitors can find boutique cheeseries (Grandvewe & Bruny Island Cheese Co have some of the best award-winning cheese in the world), oysters, honey, chocolate, beer, wine, whisky & many other delights. Depart early as there is a wealth of things to do & you won't be able to do everything listed here in one day, but you can cherry pick your most desirable experiences or opt to do only a few of the 5 suggested legs of our handy What To Do On Bruny Island Guide below.
TOP TIPS BEFORE YOU GO
You will be visiting Cape Bruny Lighthouse - the scene of the best selling, award winning books The Alphabet of Light and Dark by Tasmanian author Danielle Wood & The Lightkeeper's Wife by Karen Viggers - dive into the Three Beaches copies for inspiration before you depart!
The Friars rocks on Bruny Island - photo credit Bruny Island Cruises
From the Neck, it is about 50 minutes to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse & South Bruny National Park via Lighthouse Rd C629 without stops. The lighthouse was first lit in 1838 & is the longest continuously manned lighhouse in Australia. Also the setting of Danielle Wood's 2002 Australian Vogel award winning novel The Alphabet of Light & Dark which explores personal family & Tasmanian colonial past & Karen Vigger's The Lightkeeper's Wife - a 2011 novel of love, loss & the passage of life. Both authors were inspired by the lighthouse's wildness & solitude. Spectacular views from the top of the lighthouse can only be enjoyed by joining a Cape Bruny Lighthouse Tour. The 30-minute tours run approximately every 45 minutes from 10am to 4pm 7 days & cost $15. Sunset tours are available on Fridays & Saturdays if you are staying overnight & it is best to book in advance. 1750 Lighthouse Rd, South Bruny. If you don't wish to join a tour, info & free walks can be enjoyed near the lighthouse where you may see albatross, gannets, short tailed shearwaters, wedge tailed eagles & migrating whales.
What to do on Bruny Island - Bruny Island Day trip updated November 2019
Adventure Bay was named after Captain Tobias Furneaux's ship, which landed in 1777, eleven years before Australia was officially colonised by the English. Head back up Lighthouse Rd C629. If you are adventurous, have a 4 wheel drive vehicle & are up for a bush bash, you can choose to turn right at the Lunnawanna junction & go via the C629 which becomes Coolangatta Rd to Adventure Bay. The scenery is beautiful but this is an old forestry road no longer maintained by the Council. It is actually much quicker & safer in a standard hire vehicle to go back the way you came via B66 Bruny Island Main Rd.
Head up Adventure Bay Rd C630 & just after the Bruny Island Chocolate Co, turn right onto B66 Bruny Island Main Rd. It will take around 40 minutes to get back to Roberts Point ferry departure terminal with no stops. Once you disembark from the ferry at Kettering, turn left onto Channel Hwy back the way you came, but this time turn right onto the C627 Woodbridge Hill Rd at Woodbridge (at Woodbridge Village Store). This is a pretty drive which will take you back to Eggs & Bacon Bay in around 20 minutes - turn left back onto Channel Hwy where Woodbridge Hill Rd ends & you will soon ascend to the top of Echo Sugarloaf Mountain & the Randalls Bay Rd turnoff on the right to get to Three Beaches. Take care if driving at dusk to avoid wildlife which likes to roam onto roads after sunset.
Get Shucked Oysters Bruny Island Drive Thru oyster bar - photo credit Adam Gibson
3445 Channel Hwy, Woodbridge 0498 375 043.
At Kettering, turn right onto Ferry Rd & head down to the Bruny Island ferry terminal. At peak times such as public holidays, queues can occasionally be long – luckily Bruny Island Gateway is a great licensed café where you can get refreshments while you wait. Lovely views over the marina & it is fun for kids to watch the Bruny Island ferry depositing their cargo of vehicles. Staff are in sync with the Bruny Island ferry departure schedule & are used to getting you served before departure. There are souvenirs & gifts for sale as well as a Tourist Information Centre.
SPECIAL OFFER - Three Beaches guests get 10% off their meal at Bruny Island Gateway Cafe if you call to let them know you are coming - 61 3 6267 4494.
Open 7am – 5pm 7 days in summer. Closes 3pm in winter June – August. 79 Ferry Rd, Kettering.
Established in 1954, the Bruny Island ferry is the only public transport to Bruny Island. Ferries run 6.30am - 7pm daily approximately every hour June - September & approximately every 30 minutes October - May. Arrival to the Bruny Island ferry departure point at least 20 minutes before departure is advised. If you are early, don't worry - after paying for your passage, you are allowed to park your vehicle & visit Bruny Island Gateway, the licensed cafe & takeaway at the ferry terminal, as long as you are back at the vehicle 10 minutes prior to scheduled ferry departure. There are souvenirs & a Tourist Info Centre who can make tour & accommodation bookings on your behalf. Take note of the last Bruny Island to Kettering ferry timetabled departure time because missing it will mean you are spending the night on the island! The ferry takes about 20 minutes to Bruny Island & is a very calm & sheltered journey. Passengers can leave their car & enjoy the views of the Channel & Bruny Island. Check out the Bruny Island Ferry timetable & prices here. 79 Ferry Rd Kettering 1300 127 869.
Bruny Island was one of the first parts of Tasmania to be explored by early seafarers. The Dutch were the first to arrive in 1642 when Abel Tasman sailed into what is now known as Adventure Bay. In 1773 Tobias Furneaux, who was exploring the coastline with Captain James Cook, anchored his vessel, the Adventure (after whom the island's main bay has been named), off the island's coast. Four years later, Cook sailed the Resolution and Discovery into Adventure Bay and stayed for two days. The land was inhabited by the Nuenonne band of the South East tribe of Aborigines. Mangana, father of Truganini – perhaps Australia’s best-known Aboriginal woman - was the chief at that time. Their name for the Island was Alonnah Lunawanna & two of the towns on Bruny Island bear these names today. The island is named after the French explorer Bruni d'Entrecasteaux who explored the Channel region and discovered it to be an island in 1792. It was known as Bruni Island until 1918, when the spelling was changed to Bruny.
Captain William Bligh, of mutiny on the Bounty fame, re-visited Bruny Island in 1788 (on the voyage which later led to the infamous mutiny) & planted apple trees & grapevines at Adventure Bay. The descendants of these apple trees are said to be there today. This apple tree planting was the first known planting in the Huon Valley / Channel region, later developing into southern Tasmania’s famous apple, pear, blueberry, strawberry & cherry fruit growing industry which is still thriving.
Early European settlement commenced with Captain James Kelly's grant of land on North Bruny in 1818, followed closely by shore-based whaling stations in the 1820s. Convict labour was used to establish a pilot station at Variety Bay from 1831 & the Cape Bruny Lighthouse in 1836.
Adventure Bay Beach
Adventure Bay beach is long (3km), clean, rated in the least hazardous category by Surf Lifesaving Australia & a top spot to walk, swim or relax on the sand. A popular tourist destination, it has public toilets, parking, BBQ facilities, a general store with takeaway food & drink (the only place to get fuel) & a kids' playground.
Adventure Bay Eateries
Adventure Bay Culture & History
White wallabies are Bennett's wallabies (Macropus Rufogriseus) with a rare mutation that gives them their white fur. Some have only the white coat, others are albinos & have a white coat & pink eyes. They are nocturnal & start to venture out of the scrub around dusk to graze on grassy foliage. A wander along Lockleys Rd as the light fades should bring you within cooee of these gentle creatures. Be careful not to miss the last ferry at 7.15pm.
BRUNY ISLAND – GOOD TO KNOW
Adventure Bay General Store is the only place on the island for fuel. It has takeaway coffee, ice creams, food & drinks, grocery items, toiletries & other traveller essentials. It also has an Electric Vehicle charging station. Open 7.30am – 6.30pm 7 days
Bruny Island Pharmacy is the only one on the island & is located at Alonnah. Open 9am - 4pm Monday - Friday. 3895 Bruny Island Main Rd, Alonnah 03 6293 2005.