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4×4 Guide to Bruny Island – Tasmania

Bruny Island Map

Bruny Island Tasmania Map

Why head across to another island when you are on an island? Well there are many reasons to travel across to Bruny Island from Tasmania including the fantastic scenery, rugged coastline, abundant wildlife, natural produce, and great camping.

Bruny Island seems small but in fact is nearly 100km long. From the tip of Dennes Point in the north to Cape Bruny lighthouse in the south, the landscape changes dramatically. Sheltered sandy beaches and farmland are prevalent in the north, tall forests open bays and wild coastlines in the south.

Getting to Bruny Island

The main way to get to Bruny Island is via the Sealink ferry that departs regularly from Kettering on the Tasmanian mainland. There is no requirement to pre-book – just arrive at the ferry terminal and wait for the next available crossing. The ferry trip takes approximately 15min and arrives at Roberts Point on Bruny Island.

The ferry operates 365 days a year and the ferry timetable can be found on the sealink website.

The sealink website also has plenty of information on the island and things to do.

Bruny Island Tasmania Sealink Ferry

On the Island

Once on Bruny Island and off the ferry, take the Lennon Road (B66) eastwards. The B66 road turns southward and becomes the Bruny Island main road. Another 5km is the Get Shucked Oyster Farm on the left where you can watch the expert ‘shuckers’ in action preparing the day’s catch of oysters. Here you can sample some very fresh oysters, or better still grab some take-away oysters to enjoy around the campfire with pre-dinner drinks.

A short distance further south is the award winning Bruny Island Cheese Company. The regular demonstration and tastings of the large variety of cheeses are well worth the effort, and they serve great coffee if needing a fix. Perhaps grab some of their produce to go with the oysters later on.

A further 3km south just north of the airstrip is a turn-off on the left that leads to the Bruny Island Game Reserve. This 4WD track offers spectacular views across Moorina Bay to Cape Queen Elizabeth and south across Adventure Bay. There is a walking track emanating from here as well.

The Neck

Back on the Bruny Island Main Road the next attraction is the narrow strip of land that separates the north and south sections of the island, known as ‘the neck’. At the start of the neck there is a carpark on the left and a steep boardwalk that leads up to Truganini Lookout. From here you can see the entire island with spectacular 360o panoramic views, well worth the 10min climb up the stairs.

The Neck Bruny Island Tasmania

At the southern end of the neck there is a campground on the left with tables, shelter, and toilets. With the beach close by, this is a good spot to have a break or camp overnight. But there are better spots to camp further on that require a 4WD to access, so use the facilities for a break and continue on.

After traveling 30km from the ferry terminal, there is a turn-off on the left to Adventure Bay settlement. Continuing to the right and westwards on the Bruny Island Main Road, we’ll visit Adventure Bay via another more adventurous route later in the trip.

The road hits the coastline 6km further on at Alonnah and heads south. There is a general store here, as well as the only Hotel on the island. A few more kilometers there is a winery (Bruny Island Premium Wines), worth a stop to sample their wines and a great spot for a meal if you want a break from cooking.

Lunawanna Lighthouse

The next settlement is Lunawanna and the road comes to a T intersection. Take a right turn on Lighthouse road because we’re headed for the most southerly section of Bruny Island and the lighthouse.

Bruny Island, Tasmania

Lighthouse road continues through a mix of farmland and forest, with some great views to the left across Cloudy Bay. The road terminates at the lighthouse, and then it’s time to take the short walk up to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse and admire the panoramic views. At the carpark the old lighthouse keepers cottage has been converted into a museum with a range of displays from the past, so remember to check this out before or after your walk to the lighthouse.

Lunawanna Lighthouse Bruny Island Tasmania

Heading back from the lighthouse there is a turn-off on the left down to Jetty Beach, a nice campground with toilets and several walks heading from here. On this trip we’re looking for something with a bit more adventure so continue back along the main road to Lunawanna and continue straight before turning left into the forest on Coolangatta Road. The road winds through rainforest with large trees towering above and ferns line the road.

Adventure Bay

About 5km before Adventure Bay there is a carpark on the right and a walking track to Mt. Mangana. Mt. Mangana is Bruny Island’s highest peak (571m) and the 1.5hr circuit ascends through dense rainforest which boasts a large variety of flora and fauna.

Coolangatta Road terminates in the main Adventure Bay Road, turn right and head into the largest settlement on the island. Here there is a general store for some last minute supplies, fuel if running a little low, and even a caravan park (caravan park name?????) if looking for some amenities.

From Adventure Bay take Lockley’s Road which starts right at the bridge over Captain Cook Creek. Lockley’s Road heads south past a number of properties before ascending into the forest.

About 4km from Adventure Bays take a right turn into Cuthberts Road which heads eastwards. Stick to the main road here, there are several logging tracks leading into the forest and these are generally dead-ends. But if you are looking for some adventure and have a bit of time then explore some of these 4WD tracks but be warned, some can turn pretty wild.

Bruny Range

It’s a good idea to select 4WD at the start of Cuthberts Road as it isn’t long before the road turns into a 4WD only track as it climbs over the Bruny Range. This is the heart of the Mount Midway forest reserve , and while traveling through here keep a lookout for some firewood for the evening campfire as wood can be scarce on the island.

Cuthberts Road terminates into Cloudy Bay Road, turn left and head 6km down to Cloudy Bay. Just prior to the beach is the Pines Campground on the right, but a much better campground is the Cloudy Bay Camp area further on. Before entering the beach it is advisable to drop your tyre pressures and ensure 4WD is selected, then drop down onto the beach for the fun 3km beach run. The beach here is popular for surfing but beware of the strong rips if entering the water for a surf or swim.

Bruny Range Bay Camping

The beach is generally quite firm and shouldn’t pose any problems. Enjoy the scenic views with the waves rolling in on the right, but keep alert for odd streams cutting through the sand. The exit at the end of the beach can be a little tricky, and then it’s only a short drive into the Cloudy Bay Camp Area

Cloudy Bay Campground

The Cloudy Bay Campground is a great place to spend a few nights, with large shady and sheltered sites adjacent to the beach. There is a large variety of birdlife present to keep you entertained, and plenty of walking options to stretch the legs if desired.

You can camp here with a trailer camper, however, we prefer our Slide on camper by Trayon Campers because you have all the conveniences of a well-equipped caravan without the extra fuel, rego, ferry fees & hassle of a trailer. It means we can go to more remote places and reduce the strain on our vehicle compared to dragging trailers everywhere.

Bruny Island Tasmania Campgrounds

One of the more popular walks that leave from the campground is the 4km track to East Cloudy Head. Tackle this walk and you will be rewarded with fantastic views along the southern section of the island and across to the mainland.

There are plenty of other things to do while on Bruny Island including visiting wineries, tackling some of the other walks, taking a fishing charter, or going on the famous Bruny Island Cruise. Would highly recommend the cruise – it is fantastic.

Bruny Island Cruise Tasmania
Dolphins at Bruny Island Tasmania

One of the greatest things to do while on Bruny Island is to simply relax, soak up the island atmosphere and enjoy the serenity.

Conclusion

Bruny Island is a spectacular place and one of my favorite places in all of Tasmania. If visiting Tasmania from the big island or if you reside in Tasmania, make the time to head across D’Entrecasteaux Channel on the ferry and allow several days to explore and experience first-hand this incredible island.

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