The perfect weekend road trip
With its comparatively short distances between attractions, Tasmania is the perfect place for short weekend road trips. In fact, some trips can be completed in a day due to the small size of the island. One of these is a drive down to stunning Bruny Island for some outdoor fun and gourmet local food. At Thrifty, we offer great car rental specials when you book a Bruny Island car hire with us for a day or two, so check them out and go exploring.
How to get to Bruny Island
To get from Hobart to Bruny Island, drive down to Kingston either via the faster inland route or the scenic coastal route. Here you’ll find the Australian Antarctic Division Headquarters, great beaches, and walking trails, as well as an unusual shopping destination known as the Margate Train.
When you hit the road again, take the Channel Highway to Kettering, which is only a little over 30 km south of Hobart. It’s a charming small town surrounded by apple, pear and cherry orchards on the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. In summer, the fruit is ripe for the picking, but why not also take some time out to go kayaking or yachting while you’re there?
Kettering is the gateway to Bruny Island, with the ferry departing from this spot. Remember to take your car across on the Bruny Island Ferry so you’ll be able to get around when you arrive. One important thing to note—you want to make sure you get to the ferry terminal early, as they run a tight schedule. Also bear in mind that in the unlikely chance that your car is damaged on the ferry, your protection won’t cover it, so be sure to make sure it’s locked and in a secure spot.
Bruny Island consists of two parts: North Bruny Island and South Bruny Island. The ferry will take you to the drier North Bruny Island, from which the road leads south across a narrow isthmus called ‘The Neck’. Before you go south, make a stop at the Art at the Point gallery found at Dennes Point (the northernmost tip of the island). This new attraction is where you’ll find all manner of creative pieces, from jewellery, cards, and ceramics to paintings, textiles, and sculptures – all of which have been produced by local Bruny Island artists.
When you’re ready to cross The Neck, take a stroll along the boardwalks to see the little penguins and breathtaking views from the Truganini Lookout.
Once you arrive in the southern part of the island, you’ll notice an immediate difference in this area’s climate and landscape. It is wetter and home to large patches of forest, as well as the South Bruny National Park. Adventure Bay on the island’s east coast is a popular spot for swimming, and you can also take one of the cruises departing from the bay to see more of the coastline. These tours normally last about three hours and offer the best views of South Bruny National Park’s dramatic coastline, not to mention seals and dolphins.
Things to do during your Bruny Island day trip
Hiking is one of the top reasons to visit the island, as not only does it let you enjoy a little exercise during your mini-holiday, you’ll also see some of the island’s spectacular scenery and, hopefully, its wildlife. Try the Mt. Mangana hike (roughly 90 minutes return) from Coolangatta Road to walk to the top of the highest point on the island for phenomenal views of your surrounds. For something nice and easy for the whole family, the one-hour return hike at Grass Point offers incredible views of Adventure Bay.
For something truly unforgettable, leave your four wheels behind and take to the skies with Island Scenic Flights, a company that offers tours over the island. You’ll fly over Adventure Bay and get up close to The Friars rock formation, where you might spot seal colonies and even a whale or two.
Glorious local offerings
Back on land, be sure to check out Bruny’s gourmet local offerings. There is an array of cheeses, smoked goodies and oysters to taste, and the island is also home to both Australia’s southernmost winery as well as its southernmost licensed pub. With so many hikes on the island, you won’t feel guilty about eating too much!
Bruny Island measures only about 40 km in length, so one of our compact or medium range cars is perfect for getting around. You can easily visit just for a Bruny Island day trip, but there are wonderful accommodation options on offer, so don’t forget that you can easily stay a night or two to truly unwind.
And, if you love Bruny Island so much that you’re looking for more adventures just like it, read our Tasmania road trip guide for a 10-day road trip of a lifetime.