Welcome to Bruny Island

Bruny Island

Tasmania is the largest of an archipelago of over 200 islands which also feature Flinders, King and Bruny. Bruny Island is the most accessible of these, only an hour’s drive from Hobart to the ferry at Kettering, and is a popular day trip or escape for a short break.

Ferry times can be found at www.brunyisland.org.au together with other plentiful information. In the peak season it’s a good idea to be there early for a place in the queue although if you’re aiming for the first trip of the day be aware that the good cafe and information centre only opens an hour before the ferry leaves making the place very busy and maybe affecting any dream you may have for a long and relaxed breakfast. Chris, my mate of over 60 years and our wives had visions of a long and loud sojourn but were disappointed although we well made up for it over the weekend!

The main island centre is at Adventure Bay where Pennicott’s Wilderness Journeys www.pennicottwildernessjourneys.com.au   are located. Rob’s much awarded cruises are a great way to enjoy the marine surroundings and wildlife as well as having enough time to spend discovering the island and enjoying spectacular coast lines, towering forests and beautiful secluded beaches if you are only on a day trip.

A great round trip is from Adventure Bay across the rain forested National Park mountains to Cloudy Bay and Cape Bruny Lighthouse and then back to Adventure Bay or elsewhere through Alonnah if you are staying overnight. The track is unsealed and rather rough and narrow in places but don’t let that put you off as there is good opportunity to see the re-growth of forest after logging and a big old sawmill at the end of the trail together with fantastic ocean and coastal views.

Accommodation on the island varies from basic Parks and Wildlife camping areas and a more formal caravan park at Adventure Bay to a good number of 3 1/2 to 5 star self contained units.

There is a general store at Adventure Bay with a wide range of product and should you make an impromptu decision to stay overnight you’ll have no trouble finding all that you could want. We even found fresh local Trevally which went down a treat on the barbecue.

And what about eating? A good berry farm come cafe is just outside Adventure Bay but if you want to take berries away be early as they quickly use up the produce picked that morning in the cafe itself. Another feature that you will have passed on the way is the “Get Shucked” oyster farm. We had a great lunch of cold beer, a couple of dozen oysters and stone ground bread washed down with a good local Riesling and this was a treat. What more could you wish for! Have a look at the way the owner keeps his 40 year old tractor that has a daily trip into the briny. It’s testament to the quality of his oysters.

The Alonnah Hotel has been completely re-built and the food and drink extremely good for lunch or dinner and we were impressed with the no nonsense quality food so far outside Hobart. As you return to wherever you’ve decided drop in to the newly opened bric a brac shed where you just might pick up a useful gadget as a reminder of your visit. A Tupperware tea strainer was good for us as it was lacking in our accommodation.

The well known Smoke House which you’ll come across just after you alight is famous for its smoked goods and also features homemade pickles jams etc as well as Tasmanian whiskies and local wines. An outside barbecue of smoked delicacies can be enjoyed and it’s a great place but check the prices of any shop items before you actually purchase. We didn’t and were therefore surprised! You’ll also find Nick Haddow’s much awarded cheese factory along the way which provides an opportunity to taste cheeses out of the ordinary.

There are, of course craft and small gallery opportunities throughout the island.  These are small and personal and should not be missed under any circumstances is “Art at the Point” at Dennes Point. If elsewhere is your intention make a point of visiting on the way there or allow yourself time on the way back to the ferry. It’s only 10 minutes from the main road each way and to our minds one of Bruny’s features.

The galley is housed in a new and interesting community building and is up with anything anywhere.  The artworks are strictly local and of a wide enough range to satisfy the most critical. Another particular feature is the range of prices which could be a lesson for better known galleries who perhaps have an over inflated view of their wares.

Also with the gallery is a terrific cafe with innovative food and good coffee together with a store in which you can find basic supplies and some local produce. What is amazing is the period layout and display which is something g to see in itself.

If you’re dwelling on another coffee we found he little kiosk at the ferry terminal equal to the task so that you can get a takeaway for the 20 minute voyage or just have a relax before boarding.

Bruny is quite large and indeed some 100 kilometres long so there is much to explore over a longer stay. Bush and coastal walks on marked tracks abound, fairy penguins at the neck and it’s a fisherman’s paradise along the beaches and coast and even the Tasmanian wily brown trout can be found in Big Lagoon. .

Don’t miss Dennes Point!!

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