Bruny Island in southern Tasmania is a feast for the eyes, with abundant fauna, flora, and stunning natural landscapes at every turn. It’s also a gastronomical feast, with many superb gourmet delights produced across the island. Bruny Island has a fascinating history too, dating back 40,000 years when the Nuenonne Aboriginal people called this place Lunawanna-allonah. A large community continues to live on the island and many settlements are known by their traditional names.
European settlers named it Bruni Island after French explorer Bruni d’Entrecasteaux, and in 1918 the spelling was changed to Bruny. Since the 1830s, Bruny Island has been used for timber, grazing sheep and cattle, and growing apples. Today, it’s an island of farmers, cheesemakers, bakers, beekeepers, and brewers. Visitors come to sample the fresh oysters, juicy berries, and single malt whiskey and to visit Cape Bruny Lighthouse, take a cruise, or explore the rugged coastline.
Treat yourself this Christmas with the awe-inspiring sights and tastes of Tasmania with 11 days discovering Port Arthur Penal Settlement, Tasman Arch, Derwent Valley, Eaglehawk Neck, Bruny Island and more. We celebrate Christmas in Hobart with a long sumptuous lunch and spend New Years Eve in Launceston. You’ll be tempted by heritage, culture, taste sensations and glorious natural scenery whilst also visiting Cradle Mountain, Strahan and Launceston.
One thing about a Bruny Island tour, you’ll never be bored! The landscape of this 100-kilometre island changes dramatically at every turn. One minute you’re driving through tall forests, the next alongside beaches and bays, and then past rolling green farmlands.
The island is classified as an ‘Important Bird Area’ and is home to one-third of the world's Swift Parrots, the endangered Forty-spotted pardalote, and 12 Tasmanian endemic bird species.
The Neck is an isthmus of land connecting north and south Bruny Island and is an important habitat for native wildlife. From September to February, you can watch the antics of the world’s smallest penguins, known as fairy penguins.
Bruny Island also has a thriving population of fur seals, Bennetts wallabies, white wallabies, Tasmanian pademelons, echidnas, and Eastern quolls. Every year southern right whales and humpback whales travel past Bruny Island, some stopping for weeks to shelter in Adventure Bay.
Bruny Island tours visit the magnificent Cape Bruny Lighthouse, built in 1836 on the southern tip of the island. The second oldest surviving lighthouse in Australia, Cape Bruny Lighthouse has the longest history (158 years) of being continuously manned. It’s also the only lighthouse in Southern Tasmania that’s open for tours.
Cape Bruny Lighthouse was only the fourth built in Australia and was designed by acclaimed architect John Lee Archer, renowned for many well-known buildings around the world. The lighthouse has been restored to its former glory and today, passionate volunteers take care of it and lead visitors 114 metres up the wrought iron stairs to the top of this heritage-listed structure.
On a Cape Bruny Lighthouse tour, you’ll hear stories of Bruny Island’s rich history, tales of tragic shipwrecks on the nearby islands and reefs, the hardships suffered by convicts, and the challenges faced by lighthouse keepers and their families.
From Hobart, it’s a 30-minute drive to the ferry terminal in Kettering before enjoying the 20-minute ferry ride to Bruny Island. The vehicular ferry runs several times daily.
Bruny Island is 100 kilometres long so could take a while to traverse, however many wonderful walks take hikers through a variety of landscapes, from forests to coastlines. The most popular include the Labillardiere Peninsula Circuit, Cape Queen Elizabeth Walk, and Fluted Cape Walk.
The Aboriginal name for Bruny Island is Lunawanna-allonah, which combines the names of two island settlements, Lunawanna, and Alonnah.
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