Bruny Island has it all: dramatic scenery, artisan food and wine, wildlife at every turn and some hidden accommodation gems. You can literally see Bruny Island from Hobart; it’s a 45-minute drive from the city to jump on the ferry (cash only). There aren’t a lot of permanent residents on the island, but there is a strong shack culture, the island swells with visitors each summer. However don’t be put off, you’ll easily find a beach to yourself.
Bruny Island Cruises
One of the more popular tours in Tasmania is the Bruny Island Cruise, which runs out of Adventure Bay. The cruise takes you down the coast of the island to the southern tip, past shear cliffs to visit the seals. You’ll encounter dolphins, whales and albatross along the way.
Definitely worth a visit, especially if the weather is bad, as the next stop is Antarctica. The rugged coast makes for some great photo opportunities.
Cape Queen Elizabeth Walk
A relatively easy walk, the Cape Queen walk takes in one of the most pleasant beaches on Bruny. Also, if you look behind the dunes, you’ll see an old mutton birding hut.
One of my biggest tips for Bruny would be to buy a cheap rod and squid jig before you head down. For most of the year you can catch southern calamari (the tasty type) from pretty much all the jetties. It’s pretty hard to go past fresh calamari.
Bruny Island Cheese Co.
The Bruny Island Cheese Co. is located about 10 minutes south of the ferry terminal and is home of Nick Haddow’s (you may have seen him on the television series Gourmet Farmer) famous cheeses. Along with their amazing cheese, they also do wood-fired pizzas and bake their own bread. Worth stopping in for lunch.
I might be a little biased because I got married there, but the Jetty Cafe would have to be one of the nicest places to eat on Bruny. The cafe’s chef, Ray Jones, has a strong focus on simple, fresh food using as much local produce as he can. It’s worth ringing ahead in winter to make sure they’re open.
This is an oyster cellar door where you can drop in and grab freshly shucked oysters from their lease, which is only a few hundred metres away. You won’t taste better.
Bruny Island Premium Wines
A small vineyard on South Bruny, where sheep roam among the vines. Their reserve pinot comes highly recommended.
The Captain’s Cabin
Located on the northern end of the island, The Captain’s is a two-bedroom waterfront property that overlooks Nebraska Beach. Perched at the quieter end of the island, it’s a great spot to stay in summer as it’s sheltered from the sea breeze and has a huge deck.
Mures Cloudy Bay Retreat
Mures could possibly be the best place to stay in Tasmania. It sits in the dunes at Cloudy Bay overlooking the beach and the huge surf rolling in. The place sleeps up to six people and is a great spot to stay with a group of friends.
The Bruny Island Long Weekend
Not strictly accommodation, but more of a tour, the Bruny Island Long Weekend takes three days and leaves from Hobart on a fast catamaran. Over the three days, you’ll complete two guided walks, visit an oyster lease, Bruny Island Cheese Co., embark on the Bruny Island Cruise and visit the vineyard. At the end of the walks each day, you’ll stay in permanent tents in the hills of Cloudy Bay and enjoy meals of locally sourced produce. To top it all off, you fly home in the seaplane.
It’s worth staying at least one night down on Bruny Island; there is a lot to see and do and it's worth taking the time to do it properly and not having to rush to catch the ferry home.
Have a Bruny Island tapas-style dinner. Driving to and around Bruny, you’ll pass a lot of small artisan producers. I really recommend grabbing a taste from each and popping it all on a platter for dinner with a bottle of the reserve pinot noir…and hopefully some calamari that you caught yourself!