We head off for a quick 2 night trip over to Bruny Island, (click here for a map) a place that it seemed EVERYONE we spoke to in Tasmania said it was a must do. The Ferry Ride across is nice and quick only about half an hour across from Kettering a suburb only 35 miniutes south of Hobart. No need to book the Ferry, just rock up as the boats leave frequently and only cost $33 return. Once on the island we are keen for a bite to eat so we stop at a place close by called Dennes Point near the northern tip of the island. Good looking jetty, I had a fish off real quick while Holly cooked up some more of the calamari that we had just caught on mainland TAS.
We then make our way south as this is supposedly where all the action is. The island is broken into two land masses, North & South Bruny that are connected by a long skinny piece of land that is appropriately named ‘The Neck’. There is a big long staircase at The Neck which gives a great vantage point for a quick picture but it is very popular and was busy when we were there.
Before we made it to the neck we dropped in and checked out the Bruny Island Cheese & Beer co. where the bloke baking the fresh bread and pizzas in an outdoor wood fired oven gives us the tip to stay at either Cloudy Bay or Jetty Beach. We take him up on his advice and head to Jetty Beach after deciding that this is a place we need to come to for lunch tomorrow, this place is our heaven on earth, beer, cheese, pizza, fresh bread… we are already drooling.
Jetty beach is a nice and secluded spot that is within the South Bruny National Park. Tasmania’s National parks like many states require you to have a Parks Pass to enter. A day use pass is $24, 2 month pass is $60 and they have other longer term passes as well. The Parks Pass will cover you for the entire state and is really worth getting one as you are in the National Parks all the time while in TAS. Camping in the National park requires an additional fee of $8 per person per night on top of your parks pass (payable via cash at the un-manned entrance to all parks). There are places to stay on Bruny that are not in the National parks however most of them you have to pay for and often are a lot more than the $8/person/night. The National park camps are access able for all vehicles and setup sizes, they have drop toilets but that’s about it.
Quick fish at Jetty Beach has Holly hooked up to something big as she yells for me at the other end of the beach while she is struggling with the light surf rod to what from a distance I think is a snag for sure. It is not a snag but some kind of stingray that is putting up too big of a fight for the light line and old Alvey reel whose drag will not lockup any tighter as the ray pulls off line and has the rod bent over before inevitably snapping the line, all good fun. We made some friends at Jetty Beach, newlywed couple from Victoria on their honeymoon so we steal some heat from their fire and chat over a couple of drinks.
Camp Location: Jetty Beach Campground
Cost = $8/night plus TAS Park Pass
Travelled From: Sorell
Distance Travelled: 124 kilometres (inc ferry)
The next morning we head off to explore Bruny some more and luckily enough you don’t have to drive far to find something that’s worth a look. Cape Bruny Lighthouse is right near Jetty Beach and has a cracker view out to sea. Cape Bruny Lighthouse was built in 1838, the oldest continuously manned lighthouse in Australia and was a key navigational aid into Hobart. The landscape is beautiful and seems untouched, to think that a place so isolated as this was manned by lighthouse keepers and their families for all of those years with one of the original light house keepers having 12 children, one way to kill the time I guess.
We drive down to Cloudy bay where there are cars parked overlooking the beautiful beach. You can drive along the beach ONLY if you are staying over at the camp area (camp area is only accessible by beach at low tide, 2WD could make it across) but rules are made to be broken and we love getting on the beach.
Next stop is LUNCH! The Bruny Island Cheese & Beer Co. was all we hoped and more; great beer & food from local produce. I have to say that is something I love about Tassie, they have great produce and as a state they promote and use as much locally sourced produce as possible.
We then head to Adventure bay via an off road fire trail, there are plenty of little tracks around the island as well as a number of hikes however the temperature and wind deterred us from being overly adventurous especially after how our last hike ended up (Mt Amos = both drenched). Adventure bay is “The Place to Go” if you want to go white wallaby hunting and we were in luck 😉
Camp the night at The Neck camp ground (again requiring the National Parks Pass) and it has begun to get busy ahead of the upcoming Easter Long weekend.
Camp Location: The Neck, Bruny Island
Cost = $8/night plus TAS Park Pass
Travelled From: Jetty Beach – Lighthouse – Cloudy Bay – Adventure Bay
Distance Travelled: 66 kilometres
We head off early from the camp ground before we have breakfast and find a nice spot to cook by the water in Great Bay. The weather has really turned it on this morning and we decide this is a great spot to re-organise the Troopy as it has gotten quite messy. As we overlook the bay the local Oyster farmer is pulling out his boat with his old tractor, ‘Get Shucked Oyster Farm & Oyster Bar’ is just across the road so he doesn’t have far to drive.
That then wraps up our Bruny Island adventure as we head back to the Ferry. Bruny would get very busy at times as it is the ‘Island off an Island off an Island’ and for such a small place is packed with things to do, it is a great spot and we would consider it a MUST DO, but only if the weather is good and it isn’t a busy time of year. We have in no way seen all of Bruny Island, there was plenty that we missed but will just have to save that for next time!!