Cape Bruny Lighthouse, perched at the southern tip of Bruny Island, Tasmania has a few claims to fame. It’s the second oldest surviving lighthouse tower in Australia and has the longest history (158 years) of being manned continuously. It’s also the only Southern Tasmanian lighthouse that’s currently open for tours.
Heritage-listed Cape Bruny Lighthouse was designed by acclaimed architect John Lee Archer who was behind many well-known buildings around the world. The lighthouse was built in 1836 and first lit two years later. It stands a proud 114 metres above the spectacular cliff tops of the rugged South Bruny 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.
Constructed in 1836, the Cape Bruny Lighthouse lantern was first lit using sperm whale oil two years later. It remained alight, guiding vessels from as far away as 26 nautical miles until it was decommissioned in 1996. A caretaker looked after the premises until 2011.
The lighthouse was only the fourth to be built in Australia and has since been restored to its former glory. Today, a group of dedicated volunteers take care of Cape Bruny Lighthouse and are often onsite to have a chat with visitors and share some fascinating stories.
A Cape Bruny Lighthouse tour is the ideal way to explore this historic structure. The tours were created by Craig Parsey who lived with his family at Cape Bruny Lighthouse and other remote Tasmanian light stations in the 1970s. Scale the wrought iron spiral stairs to take in magical views while hearing tales of Bruny Island's rich history.
At Cape Bruny Lighthouse, local guides tell stories of tragic shipwrecks on the nearby islands and reefs, the hardships suffered by convicts, and the challenges faced by lighthouse keepers and their families.
With a backdrop of the rugged coastline of the southwest tip of Bruny Island, a climb to the lighthouse balcony is a must. The reward is worth it – panoramic views across the Southern Ocean, Southeast Cape, Whale Head, and the small islands sitting out from the coastline.
Wildlife is also in abundance on Bruny Island. One-third of the world's Swift Parrots can be found here along with the endangered Forty-spotted pardalote and 12 of Tasmanian endemic bird species.
Colonies of penguins and Australian fur seals are scattered along the coastline, and you don’t have to walk far to encounter Bennetts wallabies, Tasmanian pademelons, echidnas, Eastern quolls, and Brushtail and Pygmy possums.
Bruny Island was named after French explorer Bruny d'Entrecasteaux who visited the island between 1792 and 1793. Settlement began in 1818 when Captain James Kelly was granted land on North Bruny. Shortly after, in 1820, shore-based whaling stations commenced operations.
From Hobart, it’s a half-hour drive to Kettering where the ferry departs for Bruny Island every 20 minutes. Once on the island, it takes approximately an hour and 15 minutes to drive to the southern tip and Bruny Island Lighthouse. Booking a tour is the best way to take in all the fabulous sights the island has to offer.
Bruny Island boasts three lighthouses – Cape Bruny, Low Head, and Iron Pot.
The historic Cape Bruny Lighthouse was built in 1836 and is the only southern Tasmanian lighthouse open for tours.
Cape Bruny Lighthouse stands an impressive 114 metres high. Towering over the rugged dolerite cliffs of Cape Bruny, it offers spectacular views of the South Bruny coastline.
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