Planning a day trip to Tasmania’s very own slice of heaven – Bruny Island? Here’s the best things to see and do…
Home to scrumptious seafood eateries, luxurious cellar doors and Tasmania’s best outhouse toilet, welcome to Bruny Island. First things first, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s small – Bruny Island is anything but! It’s just over 50-kilometres from north to south, which is the equivalent of driving from Sydney’s Bondi Beach to Penrith.
Our ultimate day trip guide to Bruny Island shares the popular attractions, eateries and tippling spots – and most can be done in one day! From the Cape Bruny Lighthouse in the south to the Jetty Cafe in the north, here’s our list of top things to do on your next day trip to Bruny Island, Tasmania.
How do you get around Bruny Island?
A car is the best form of transport for getting around on Bruny Island. Please note though that many hire-car companies in Tasmania do not allow their cars to be driven on Bruny Island. We recommend hiring a 4WD or equivalent specifically for the island and taking extra caution when travelling on dirt roads.
We also recommend purchasing a Tasmanian National Parks Pass which you will need to enter certain areas of the island.
Keep scrolling for our ultimate Day Trip Guide to Bruny Island, Tasmania.
Where To Eat on Bruny Island
Despite the naughty hidden pun in its name, Get Shucked is one of the best restaurants for oyster lovers in Tasmania. The venue has been visited by celebrity chef Adam Liaw, who was happy to have natural oysters after finding the kitchen was closed, because “that’s the best way to eat them.” We recommend getting there when the kitchen is open though, so you can taste a range of natural and specially dressed oysters. While you’re here, get an alcoholic beverage to match and even learn about oyster farming.
Bruny Island Seafood Restaurant
When you’re on an island, surrounded by sea, it’s obligatory to get a taste of the fresh-as-you-get seafood that’s available – and that’s exactly what you’ll get at Bruny Island Seafood Restaurant. Stuff yourself silly with their seafood basket, featuring all the tasty treats from the nearby ocean. Or, may we suggest their crumbed Blue-Eye Trevalla with chips and slaw? They even serve fish and chips for the kids and host a well-stocked bar for tipplers.
Bruny Island Honey
Nothing beats pure honey – which is why Bruny Island Honey is one of Australia’s best bee farms. With 900 hives at their disposal, the Wright family follow the bees around Tasmania to collect a wonderful selection of honey, with much of their stock collected on Bruny Island. Their leatherwood honey comes from Mount Mangana and their manuka honey comes from the Great Bay and The Neck. Our top pick is their bush honey which comes from all over the island, depending on where the eucalyptus grows – it’s what honey should taste like.
Where To Drink on Bruny Island
Bruny Island Premium Wines
Wine connoisseurs would be kicking themselves if they missed out on this vineyard and winery restaurant during their day trip to the island. Bruny Island Premium Wines is a local winemaking enterprise, selling a hearty selection that changes with the seasons. Check into their Bar and Grill for some seriously tasty burgers and other ample items while letting your tastebuds travel through their wine list. You’re also welcome – and encouraged – to make a booking or appointment.
House of Whisky
This is the first and last attraction you’ll see on Bruny Island as it’s right near the ferry terminal. Bruny Island’s House of Whisky is a one-stop shop for Tasmanian single malt whisky and gin. Highly recommended for those who don’t mind splurging a little more than they would at their local bottle shop. But don’t fret, as the selection here is worth the pennies. The bar also includes proficient connoisseurs. Happy tippling!
Things To Do on Bruny Island
You can’t visit Bruny Island without stopping for a walk at The Neck. The spectacular view from the top shares a bittersweet comparison between the gushing waves from the Pacific Ocean on the left and the calm waters on the right. During the warmer months around dusk you are likely to see the local fairy penguins hobble back to their nests and burrows. Also, keep an eye out for short-tailed shearwaters who may be nesting.
It would be silly to call it Adventure Bay without a bit of adventure – and it does not disappoint! Along the southern end of the bay is the seafood restaurant mentioned before, along with a Captain Cook memorial and the locally famed fluted-cape walk that features a good view of Penguin Island at the end. Please note that this is a challenging walk; allow two-and-a-half hours and it is not recommended for kids. At the northern end of the Main Beach is Matt Carney’s sculpture, depicting a whale and her calf inside a globe of the world.
Cloudy Bay is home to Tasmania’s best outhouse toilet, given simply for its amazing view of Cloudy Bay Beach. Aside from this, there’s the lagoon with the inlet which you can stroll to in the north-west and there’s the East Cloudy Head walk that goes along the south. The latter takes about four hours return and some parts of the route are not properly marked. Make sure to pack supplies and take caution.
Image by Andrew Balcombe via Shutterstock.
Mount Mangana is the highest peak on Bruny Island boasting the most diverse range of flora and fauna. The walk from Coolangatta Road ascends to the a stunning lookout overlooking the expansive southern end of Bruny Island, while taking you through a luscious and untainted forest. You may want a sturdy vehicle to tackle the road going up, though; it’s quite bumpy.
Image by Bastiaan Schuit via Shutterstock.
Mabel Bay Beach
If you blink, you’ll miss it. On your way to the Bruny Island Lighthouse, just past Cloudy Bay, is a lookout with a tree-laden view of Mabel Bay. But, if you take the time to check it out, you can also find your way down to the pristine beach below. A few steps south of the lookout is a dirt road; follow that down and you’re on your way to a superb reading location or picnic place. Or even surfing spot!
Cape Bruny Lighthouse
Tasmania contains a lot of old buildings, from the oldest still-running flour mill to Australia’s oldest stone bridge, but none of them is surrounded by a picturesque view like Cape Bruny Lighthouse. You may want to book in advance for a tour up the stairs, which also includes a detailed history of the building. There’s a little museum to peruse in the nearby house and a few tracks around the grounds to wander through. As usual, use caution when hiking.
Image by Kirsten Covington via Shutterstock.
Cape Queen Elizabeth
On the opposite side of the road from Bruny Island Honey is the beginning of the Cape Queen Elizabeth Walk. The first 20 minutes feature an unremarkable view of a 4WD track with trees lined on either side, but don’t give up yet! The first point of call is The Arch – a photographic wonder. Continue north along the beach and rise into the trees to be greeted by expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. As you continue along clockwise, you’ll be gifted a big finale as you return to the lagoon.
Need some more travel ideas in Tasmania? Discover our pick of the top 10 unique getaways across the island. If you’re more of a city slicker, get the low down with our ultimate guide to Hobart. Planning a road trip, try this Hobart to Cradle Mountain ultimate road trip planner.