As a first destination of our trip, we chose Bruny Island (the Tasmanian aboriginal name is Lunawanna–alonnah), which is an island south of Hobart and you can reach it by ferry. According to the website, the price for our van was $38, but we were only charged with $32,20. We don’t know why, but of course we were happy with it. It’s a return ticket and we think ~20 € is a fair price 🙂 The ferry trip took about 15 minutes and we could remain seated in our van.
Bruny Island actually consists of two larger islands (North and South Bruny) which are only connected by an isthmus called The Neck. South Bruny is a national park, for which visitors need a national park pass. We plan to visit several national parks during our stay in Tasmania, so we bought a Holiday Vehicle Parks Pass (price: $60, ~37,36 €). With this pass, Christiane and I can visit every national park in Tasmania during the next 8 weeks. By the way, a daypass for a vehicle costs already $24 (~14,94 €). So a Holiday Vehicle Parks Pass pays off already after the third visit. You can buy the pass online, in one of the national parks, or in a visitor center. We bought our pass immediately after arriving in Hobart, where we also bought the visitor guide for the 60 Great Short Walks.
In this post, I’ll summarize our visit on Bruny Island. You can see our itinerary on this map:
The Neck and Cape Bruny Lighthouse
After arriving on Bruny Island, we drove directly to the Neck Game Reserve Camping Area. We still had to unpack our stuff, put away our groceries, and just get a bit sorted. Neck Game Reserve is a simple camping area with (very clean) long drops, a water tap, and a sheltered picknick area. Considering this is only $10 per night (6,23 €), it is really a great location.
The camping site is very close to the lower end of the isthmus. So after we got organized, we walked a bit on the beach towards the Truganini Lookout.
After we climbed the 200+ steps of the lookout, we got a good overview of the area. It took about 100 minutes to get there and back, and the beach was almost empty. If you don’t have the time, there is a parking area at the foot of the stairs and you can go directly up to the lookout. After we came back, Christiane cooked dinner and we called it an early night.
The next day we drove further into the South of South Bruny. To get there you have to drive a longer distance on a gravel road. If there is a village, the road is tarred for a brief stretch and at the end of the village it turns into gravel again. But it was no problem for our van. We first went to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse and took some nice pictures. The weather was still overcast and the rough coast was really nice.
After a short visit to the lighthouse museum (consisting of a small room with adjoining toilet) we drove to the Jetty Beach Camping Area. This camping site is in the Southwest of the island, offered us the same “comfort” as the Neck Game Reserve, and is the starting point for two beautiful hikes. As the day was already a bit advanced, we only walked the shorter one, the Luggaboine Circuit Walking Track.
We were hiking for about two hours, but we also took a longer break at the beautiful beach and enjoyed the view of the turquoise sea.
If you have more time, you can walk along the Labillardiere Peninsula Walking Track and circle the whole peninsula. After we came back to our camp site, we enjoyed the evening with a nice glass of Australian white wine.
Adventure Bay: Fluted Cape Walk
On our third day we went towards Adventure Bay in the northeast of the South Island, where we wanted to take on the Fluted Cape Walk. So we had to go back over the gravel road. The road to Adventure Bay itself is the C630, runs along the coast and offers great views to the sea between the vegetation – here we got a real roadtrip feeling. Before we started the Fluted Cape Walk, we had a short break at the town hall and used the public toilets there. Here we got approached by a nice ranger from Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service. She told us about the “discovery activities” that were offered today and to which she invited us. At 13:00 they offered a reptile show from All about Reptiles. Unfortunately we had to pass because our hike would probably take about 2.5 hours.
We started at 11:30 a.m. from the adjacent parking lot and were thrilled from the beginning. Similar to the road to Adventure Bay before, the path always gave us a view of the sea. However, this time I did not have to pay attention to the traffic and could really enjoy the view. After about half an hour we reached the first stop: Grass Point. Afterwards the ascent to the Fluted Cape began. Here you walk higher and higher along the cliffs that fall steeply into the sea. In the background, you can see the beautiful sea and also the very long beach of The Neck.
The weather was absolutely amazing and there were almost no clouds. However, thanks to the vegetation, we were still able to walk mostly in the shade. After reaching the top, we had a short break and then started the descent.
On the way back we stopped again at the town hall. We wanted to ask the ranger for some drinking water and found out that the reptile show had been delayed. Apparantly the ferries were quite crowded at the beginning of the weekend. Good for us! We spontaneously decided to stay and waited just another 30 minutes, before Michael and his reptiles started their show. And we have to say that it was really worth it.
Michael showed us Tasmania’s venomous snakes: Copperhead, Tiger snake und White-Lipped-Snake. He also told us how we should behave in case we would ever encounter one of them in the wild. We also learned what to do if you get bit; what emergency number to call, and so on. He also showed us non-venomous but no less deadly snakes, such as the the python. Here you are not poisoned but strangled or your neck is broken 😉 We were allowed to touch the skin of the snakes or and even have snakes put around our neck. But for us, touching those snakes were enough! In summary, the show was really great, helped us a lot to get a better understanding and certainly made us a little more “sensitive” to the subject. It’s really great that something like this is offered free of charge!
Afterwards we drove on and went back to the Neck Games Reserve Camping Area, where we had already spent the first night. But we didn’t notice anything about the masses of people and cars that were supposedly brought to the island by the ferry. We were even able to get hold of the same camping spot we had before. To refresh after a long time without shower (ok, it was two days) we went to the beach to have a swim in Tasmanian sea. Oh my gosh – that was cold! ?
When I got up during the night, I was overwhelmed by the starry sky of the southern hemisphere. I went for a little walk over the camping site to get a better view of the sky between the trees. For me this was the perfect ending of our time on Bruny Island. The next day we had to say goodbye to this beautiful little island to go further to the west towards the Tasmanian mountains.