Bruny Island Guide – Discover its Amazing Marine Wildlife
Bruny Island is one of Tasmania’s most beautiful regions. It provides its visitors with an incredible wilderness and a remote experience. The island is located just a 20 min ferry ride from the mainland. The highlights of Bruny Island consist of towering cliffs overlooking long sandy beaches, rich marine wildlife, exciting excursions and beautiful hikes. Spending at least one day on Bruny Island during your Tasmania Road Trip is an adventure not to miss. Follow our guide to find out the things that should absolutely do in Bruny Island!
Bruny Island Cruises
The main reason we came to Bruny Island, was the famous cruise which explores the rugged coastline of the island, and if you read this guide you should as well. The 3 hours excursion was even more epic than we expected. The boat passes next to high sea cliffs, beneath towering crags, next to sea caves and impressive blowholes. The thrill of seeing all that, speeding up and jumping on the waves in a fast boat was an awesome experience.
An unforgettable part of the cruise is passing next to a big group of seals, lazily scratching their bellies or sliding into the water in search of fish. Brace yourself: even from a distance, those adorable animals emit a very strong smell ?
The absolute highlight of our trip was a pod of dolphins which joined us on the way back. The dolphins surfed the wave, chased the boat and jumped out of the water. They clearly enjoyed showing off for our entertainment ??
Bruny Island Cruises are located in the Adventure Bay on the southern part of the island. It takes 40 minute drive to reach it from the ferry. Let the main road of Bruny Island easily guide you to your first adventure.
There is one tour operating year round and 2 seasonal.
10:00am Cruise (1 Dec to 28 Apr) Cruise 10AM to 1PM
11:00am Cruise (All Year) Cruise 11AM to 2PM
1:30pm Cruise (1 Dec to 28 Apr) Cruise 1:30PM to 4:30PM
We opted for the afternoon cruise as in the morning we visited Mount Wellington.
Tickets costs 135 AUD (80 EUR) per person. It’s not a cheap excursion, but really worth it.
What to bring
- Dress warm. It gets very cold out on the sea. You will get a big, water & windproof jacket, but you should have some warmer layers anyways. Take only a small backpack, as it will be stored away to keep it dry and safe.
- Take you camera and phone, but hide them during the ride under the jacket. The water splashes everywhere.
- The crew will be giving sea sick pills before the trip, take one if you get sick on the water.
Good to know
If you are an adventurer and don’t get sick on the water, try to get the front sits. You’ll get the biggest thrill of jumping on the waves and will always have the best views.
Otherwise choose a safer place at the back of the boat.
Climb the Neck
The Neck is easily the most popular spot on the island and for a good reason. The view from top of the hill is truly spectacular. You can see the narrow path connecting the south and north parts of the island, as well as the beautiful beach on the left and the bay on the right with its different height of water. There is a staircase leading all the way to the top, making the hike easy and doable by everyone.
Look out for Little Penguins after dusk
Little penguins are the smallest of all penguin species measuring only 33 cm and weighing 1 kg. Bruny Island is one of the few places they can be easily spotted. Little Penguins build their nests at the bottom of the Neck, where a wooden path was constructed specially for protection of their houses.
Every evening, just after dusk, a few patient visitors gather at the deck by the beach, waiting for the Little Penguins to come back from their daily fishing trip.
Be patient and very quiet. Before the last light will waste away, the Little Penguins will land one by one on the beach. They wait until the last of their companions is present and together, in one group, march across the beach, finding the way back to their nests.
This spectacle is really incredible. Specially the sounds those birds make are extraordinary.
↬ TIP : Bring a red light. It’s FORBIDDEN to use regular flashlights as bright light disturbs the animals. They are very shy and will NOT come if they hear or see people… which means leaving their babies until the next night without food or protection…
Go for a Hike
There are many beautiful walks on the island. We lacked time to discover them, but we heard that the 3h return Cape Queen Elizabeth and the 2.5h return Fluted Cape Walks are specially impressive. So if you have time on Bruny Island after all the cool things to do in this guide, don’t hesitate.
When hiking Cape Queen Elizabeth make sure to go only at low tide. During high tide part of the hike is covered, especially the famous rock formation.
Love hiking? Make sure to visit Freycinet National Park
The best way to get to Bruny Island is by car. It’s a 45 min drive from Hobart to the Bruny Island Ferry Terminal in Kettering. The ferry departs every half an hour and you can check the timetable and get tickets online here. The ferry crossing takes 20 minutes.
Where to eat
Bruny Island Cruises Seafood is a nice restaurant with indoor and outdoor sitting. The food is delicious and well priced. It’s a great place to have lunch just before or after your cruise.
Hotel Bruny serves fresh seafood and fish caught daily. There is also great selection of Tasmanian wine. The kitchen takes last orders at 7PM so make sure to arrive before then.
Get Shucked Oyster Farm and Oyster Bar located on the way from or to the ferry, this place serves some of the world’s finest oysters.
Where to stay
↬ There is a range of hotels in Bruny Island available on booking.com
We highly recommend the Lodge rooms of the Hotel Bruny (1st link below) for it’s amazing views and panoramic window.