Going on a trip and want to know all the best things to do on Bruny Island? We have you covered!
Below, you will find our guide to all the top Bruny Island attractions so you can decide which are the best places to visit on Bruny Island on your trip!
There is something special about islands which makes Bruny Island extra special since it’s an island off an island off an island 🙂
Located off the south eastern coast of Tasmania, it’s a reasonable sized island at 362 square kilometres. Despite being an island with no bridge, it’s easy to reach thanks to their being a regular car ferry that leaves from Kettering, just 30 minutes drive from Hobart. In fact, day trips are entirely possible although I recommend you spend at least a couple of days.
What makes it even more special is how much nature there is to enjoy here without huge crowds. Even the bigger towns are very low key with a permanent population of only 600 people. It’s a low key place.
However, despite being low key, there are a range of great attractions on Bruny Island and a surprising amount of things to see and do for a place with only 600 residents! It’s all easy to access to and enjoy.
Below, you will find our list of what to do on Bruny Island Tasmania as well as the best places to stay for your ultimate holiday on Bruny. There is also a handy map of all the things to do in Bruny Island that we mention here.
Bruny Island Introduction
Bruny Island is much bigger than you may think (it’s about 50 kilometres end-to-end) and it’s worth spending some time to plan your itinerary for Bruny Island so you can limit your time in the car and have more time enjoying your surrounds especially as many roads are gravel (but generally in great condition).
The island itself really has two parts – a north and a south – which are joined by The Neck, a narrow isthmus.
There are a few towns. The main ones you are likely to see are all on the southern part of the island with Alonnah, Lunawanna and Adventure Bay.
Adventure Bay is the only place that felt at all touristy to us and even then, it’s low key. It would be the handiest place to base yourself if you want access to (limited) services. Adventure Bay is the only place with fuel for sale and there and Alonnah are home to the only general stores.
Alonnah also has a pharmacy, medical centre, police station and pharmacy.
Much of the southern part of the island is part of South Bruny National Park where Tasmanian national park fees apply.
There are very few places to eat especially in the evening. In fact, I am only aware of Hotel Bruny as a dinner option in Alonnah and Bruny Island Wild – Jetty Café in Dennes Point at the northern tip of Bruny Island (only open some evenings).
In addition to the eating places mentioned below, there are also take away options at the general stores in Adventure Bay and Alonnah and there was a food truck at the entry to Captain Cook Caravan Park when we visited (but I wouldn’t count on that).
It’s best to bring food with you from the mainland of Tasmania and expect to self cater at least some of the time.
Top 16 Best Things To Do On Bruny Island
Here are the best Bruny Island things to do. Read through and select the ones that fit your interests and timeframe to plan your trip.
The Neck Lookout/Truganini Memorial
If there is one Bruny Island must do, it is this! Head up the 279 steps to the Truganini Memorial for great views to both parts of the island and across The Neck. It’s a great view of both sides of the isthmus.
This looks especially remarkable thanks to the different water levels on each side. It is very much worth the walk up.
There is a small car park at the base of this walk with a toilet. It is clearly signposted from the main road.
Location: This attraction is located on The Neck and is clearly signposted. You can’t miss it!
Located at the same site, this is what to do in Bruny Island for the penguin lovers.
There is a short boardwalk from the car park over to a viewing platform at the beach on the other side where Bruny Island fairy penguins come back every evening to their burrows in the surrounding land. You can see these burrows as well as ones for shearwaters all around you as you walk around.
The penguins can start appearing from sunset, although we found they came a fair bit after this. You need to take a special red light meant for wildlife night viewing or a torch with red cellophane over the light.
You can read more about visiting the penguins in our full review here.
Location: This attraction is located on The Neck and is clearly signposted. You can’t miss it!
When it comes to things to do at Bruny Island for lovers of oyster – this is one place not to miss. Get Shucked is an oyster farm complete with a tasting bar.
It’s just off the main road on the way from the ferry to The Neck and you can’t miss it.
There is a drive thru oyster window for take away or you can sit in their nice indoor/outdoor eating areas to eat oysters natural or cooked and served in a few different ways. There is also bread and chips on offer and a fully licensed bar.
The oysters are great although my favourite part is the fact that you can see their oyster farm out in the water as you eat the oysters. You can also seem them processing their collected oysters in an open shed behind the eating area.
It doesn’t get fresher than this! You can read our full review of this Bruny Island to do here.
Location: 1735 Bruny Island Main Road, Great Bay, North Bruny. It’s clearly signposted on the main road from the ferry to the southern part of the island.
Bruny Island Cheese & Beer Co.
This mixture of a business is located near Get Shucked on the main road between the ferry and The Neck. It’s easy to spot and consists of some great outdoor seating areas, a shop and tasting area.
Here, they make artisan cheeses and brew their own beer.
I found what you could actually get at this place confusing when we visited. There was a tasting area set up with wines and spirits but this was not in operation. There did not seem to be a way to taste the cheeses despite what I read beforehand.
It seemed like you could just buy the beers, whole blocks of the cheeses, milkshakes, coffee and there was a small supply of local items in their shop section. I had tried some of their brie with my lunch at the winery (coming up!) and it is very nice.
We gave up on being able to try their cheeses here though which is a shame. I do think it would be a great place to try them out and have a beer or two though if you can make it happen.
Location: 1807 Bruny Island Main Road, Great Bay, North Bruny. It’s clearly signposted on the main road from the ferry to the southern part of the island.
The Honey Pot is Bruny Island’s “sweetest spot”. This is definitely one of the things to do Bruny Island offers for people who like honey. Home to Bruny Island’s own version of this popular product, you can taste their different types, buy a variety of honey products and enjoy their special honey ice cream.
I especially recommend their honey ice cream and the ginger honey. Yummy!
For families, there’s also a playground on site and this is the perfect way to break up your journey to the southern part of the island.
Location: 2184 Bruny Island Main Road, Great Bay, North Bruny. It’s clearly signposted on the main road from the ferry to the southern part of the island.
Wilderness Cruise With Bruny Island Cruises
A Bruny Island Wilderness Cruise definitely deserves prime place on your Bruny Island itinerary.
These three hour cruises take you exploring around Bruny’s gorgeous coastline visiting deep sea caves, high sea cliffs and looking out for wildlife like dolphins, southern right whales and seals.
Full confession: We didn’t do this cruise ourselves. The boats are small and I was scared our kids would get sick of it and possibly ruin the experience for others. However, the photos I have seen from these cruises and the bit of the scenery I saw of the western side of the island where they visit are amazing and I would 100% recommend this as one of the Bruny Island activities to do.
It’s possible to do this as part of a bigger day trip to Bruny Island from Hobart by boat but you can also join these expeditions from the Bruny Island Cruises hub at the end of Adventure Bay. There is also a restaurant where you can visit during the day and it’s the most modern set up I saw on Bruny Island.
Location: 1005 Adventure Bay Rd, Adventure Bay, South Bruny. It’s at the end of the road along Adventure Bay.
Grass Point Walk
Next to Bruny Island Cruises is the start of this easy and nice walk to Green Point from the end of Adventure Bay. At one hour return, this flat track was fine even for our 4 year old.
It’s along the coast and there are various information boards along the way especially about the area’s whaling past.
Unfortunately, we didn’t see any wildlife on the land as we walked but we did spot dolphins out at sea jumping around which was a big highlight.
Grass Point itself is a grassy area with rocks remaining from an old whaling station. There are good views all around including to Penguin Island.
I highly recommend this as one of the top things to do on Bruny Island for anyone who loves walking through nature and is short on time, has kids or likes their walks short and sweet 🙂
This is inside South Bruny National Park so Tasmanian national park fees apply.
Location: This is also located at the end of the Adventure Bay road. We parked at Bruny Island Cruises.
Bligh Museum Of Pacific Exploration
This small museum built from convict bricks describes the local exploration of some big names like Captain Cook, Captain William Bligh, Matthew Flinders, Tobias Furneaux and Admiral Joseph-Antoine Bruny D’Entrecasteaux.
The collection includes maps, charts and manuscripts to help bring history alive. A small entry fee applies.
Location: 856 Adventure Bay Rd, Adventure Bay, South Bruny. It’s on the main Adventure Bay road.
Bruny Island Chocolate Company
For the chocolate lovers wondering what to do – Bruny Island has its very own chocolate shop. The Bruny Island Chocolate Company is a delicious stop on your way into or out of Adventure Bay.
Located in a small building on the main road, there is a good range of chocolate treats. I opted for some chocolate fudge offcuts and it was among the best fudge I have had.
The kids picked a variety of different chocolates and all were super impressed.
The super handy location at the top of the southern part of the island makes a stop here easy and a good reward for well behaved kids and adults.
Location: 55 Adventure Bay Rd, Adventure Bay, South Bruny.
Court House History Room
This small museum is located in an old courthouse in Alonnah and displays records and photos from the island’s whaling and social past as well as information about the various walks and attractions around the island.
There is free admission.
Location: 3893 Bruny Island Main Road, Alonnah, South Bruny. It’s easy to spot by the post office and police stations.
Bruny Island Premium Wines
For great wines and ciders and a good lunch, Bruny Island Premium Wines is definitely one for your Bruny Island trip list!
Located by the main road between Alonnah and Lunawanna, you can’t miss it. The vineyard appears first and then the main building with windows overlooking the vines.
Bruny Island Premium Wine, Australia’s southern most winery, handcrafts ciders and wines and you can enjoy their products here over a leisurely lunch in their restaurant.
There is a tasting area to the right on entry as well as a small shop of Tasmanian products.
The restaurant has a reasonable range of items on the menu (for Bruny anyway) and specialises in local produce. We had a tasting platter to try out many of them and it was very nice albeit on the small side. It went down very well with a glass of their sauvignon blanc.
You can read our full review of a visit to this Bruny Island Winery here.
Location: 4391 Bruny Island Main Road, Lunawanna, South Bruny.
Inala Nature Museum and Jurassic Gardens
Another of the top things to see and do on Bruny Island is located just past Lunawanna at Inala Nature Museum and Jurassic Gardens.
Home to a worldwide collection of seashells, fossils and gemstones in the Inala Nature Museum, there is also a 5 acre Jurassic Garden here with plants from the southern Gondwanan continents.
This private garden has almost 600 Gondwanan species grouped into botanical families to show the similarities between the species on the now widely separated southern continents. Each plant is labelled with a story to tell.
The museum shows how shells, fossils and gemstones tell a story from Gondwanan times to today.
You can visit independently or on a one hour walking tour. It’s an interesting place.
Location: 320 Cloudy Bay Rd, South Bruny. It’s a few kilometres off the main road south on the island. You need to make sure you go left in Lunawanna away from the coast. The last part of this journey is on a gravel road.
Cape Bruny Lighthouse
One of the top 10 things to do on Bruny Island is definitely to visit the Cape Bruny Lighthouse all the way at the bottom of the island inside South Bruny National Park.
This iconic lighthouse is the second created in Australia being first lit in 1838. It has the record for the longest continuously manned lighthouse in Australia.
It has an absolutely gorgeous location at the bottom of the national park. The scenery from here is absolutely spectacular in every direction and it’s worth the journey. Just so pretty! Photos don’t capture it at all.
It’s possible to visit the inside of the lighthouse but this is only by a tour with Cape Bruny Lighthouse Tours which are over 30 minutes.
Note that it is a somewhat long journey to get here – about 70 minutes from where you get off the ferry at Roberts Point.
The last nearly 20 kilometres is on a gravel road which was in good condition when we visited until you hit the national park. Then there are quite a few potholes and things were a bit harder in our regular little Kia. We reached it just fine though.
Location: 1750 Lighthouse Rd, South Bruny.
While visiting the Cape Bruny Lighthouse, I recommend you also visit the Labillardiere Peninsula in the South Bruny National Park. A great starting point is at the camping ground at Jetty Beach which you can reach via car by a turn off near the lighthouse. The road conditions are similar to those described above.
Jetty Beach is a nice spot with a nice beach, a drop toilet and some picnic tables. We had a picnic lunch here before setting off on the shorter of two walks to explore this area, the Luggaboine Circuit. This is a 1.5 hour circuit or there is a longer 5 hour circuit around the whole peninsula.
It’s a nice walk and well maintained apart from one section which was a bit squishier with the surrounding vegetation. We enjoyed it though and our 4 year old walked most of it himself.
It’s recommended to walk it in a clockwise direction with the best part near the end next to the coast and sea. However, there wasn’t that much in the way of views so I’m not sure why I had kept reading how great they are. Still, we did enjoy this walk.
Location: South Bruny National Park.
Bruny Island House Of Whisky
For gin and whisky lovers, things to see on Bruny Island will include a visit to the Burny Island House of Whisky. It’s easy to get to as well as it’s right there as you get off the ferry! Located just a few kilometres from where you drive off the ferry on the same road, you can be there quickly and easily.
The Bruny Island House of Whisky is home to an extensive collection of Tasmanian single malts and gins that you can taste. In fact, it’s home to the biggest range of Tasmanian single malts with 110 options. It’s also home to Trapper’s Hut single cask whisky releases and Seclusion limited release gins.
It has a beautiful setting with a great porch area overlooking the surrounds. I just wish they sold meals too so we had a reason to hang out here awhile.
Location: 360 Lennon Rd, North Bruny.
Bruny Island Quarantine Station
The Bruny Island Quarantine Station has a fascinating history from when it was established as a state maritime quarantine station in 1884 to quarantine arriving boat passengers to protect the colony.
In the early days of Federation, the Commonwealth Government took over the site and used it as an internment camp for Germans in Tasmania at the beginning of World War 1. It was then used to quarantine soldiers returning from the War for at least a week on their return to the state. I was surprised to learn that around 9000 soldiers had been quarantined here due to worries about the Spanish flu.
It’s also had many other uses and I was surprised just how interesting and well set up this site is for something I had never heard of until we were on Bruny Island.
In addition to the information boards and the buildings that remain, this is a gorgeous location which is easy to enjoy. A visit here feels extra topical right now as the world handles another pandemic with quarantining.
Entry is free with donations welcomed.
Location: 816 Killora Rd, North Bruny. Access is via gravel roads. This attraction is not as well signposted as others since it’s not located on a main road so check your map before leaving.
What To Do On Bruny Island Map
Bruny Island Accommodation
When it comes to where to stay in Bruny Island, there is a reasonable range of options as long as you book ahead in busy times. We last visited on a long weekend and tried booking a month in advance which did limit our choices – still, we did get something perfect!
There are no big hotels here. Most accommodation is holiday rental style with a few more commercial options. It can be expensive so, again, I recommend booking ahead to get the best range of options.
I highly recommend self contained accommodation on Bruny Island. The lack of eating out options is going to be really painful without your own kitchen.
Below, I’ve listed a couple of different places to consider.
If you would prefer to camp, read our full guide to all the Bruny Island camping options here.
Bruny Island Escapes And Hotel Bruny Review
If you are looking for award-winning accommodation located in various places in Lunawanna and Alonnah, consider Bruny Island Escapes.
They offer a range of cottages, villas and rooms at the Hotel Bruny in Alonnah. The two bedroom Explorers Cottages are the best with private balconies, log fires, full kitchen facilities and TVs. They have options perfect for families, couples, friends or solo travellers.
Captain Cook Holiday Park Review
Located on the main road at Adventure Bay right across from the water, Captain Cook Holiday Park is the place to head if you want to be near facilities and attractions directly by a beach.
There is a range of accommodation options from a caravan to a villa or cabin sleeping up to five.
On-site are BBQ facilities, a playground and a shared kitchen and lounge area. It’s close to the Bligh Museum of Pacific Exploration, a local store, Bruny Island Cruises and the Grass Point walk. There’s also bicycle rental to help you get around.
Bruny Island With Kids
Bruny Island is the perfect place to visit with kids. We know because we have three! Aged 4 – 10 years old on our latest visit, we visited just about every attraction on this list with them successfully.
There is so much nature to enjoy on Bruny Island which helps make this an easy destination for families. In addition to the things to do on Bruny Island listed above, there’s also just going to the beach which kids are sure to love.
The lack of eating out options and admission charges also made this one of our cheaper holidays. A lack of shops also meant a lack of whinging for “special treats” too.
We especially enjoyed hiking with the kids, but it was all good.
How To Get To Bruny Island
How do you get to Bruny Island?
It really is quite straightforward if you have your own car. Simply drive to Kettering and take the ferry across which runs hourly at most times of the year, more often at peak times. You can find the latest timetable here. I find their Facebook page useful for the latest updates.
Once you are on the island, you can drive yourself everywhere but do note that there are gravel roads only to some of the attractions listed above which may be problematic if you hire a car. I have noted all the attractions which are accessed via gravel roads for this reason.
It’s possible to catch a local Metro bus from Hobart down to Kettering to catch the ferry if you don’t have your own car. The ferry is free for pedestrians, but note there is no public transport on Bruny Island and distances are big.
For this reason, if you don’t have a car, I recommend you rent one. Click here to find the cheapest price on a rental car now.
Bruny Island is a fabulous slice of the world. As I finish this article back home in Hobart, I wish to be back exploring the national park, eating oysters and drinking the wine.
It’s the perfect combination of an easy place to visit that feels like you are in another world.
I hope you enjoy using this list to have your own great adventures on Bruny Island. Read more guides to southern Tasmania here or find our full review to visiting the Bruny Island penguins here, Get Shucked here or the Bruny Island winery here.
Sharon grew up in Tasmania, moved away and then came back with her family twenty years later. She loves re-discovering her home state and sharing it with you here.