A day trip to Bruny Island is a must when visiting Tasmania but you need a plan to squeeze in everything the island has to offer in just one day. This Bruny Island day trip itinerary has you covered with the best lookouts, walks, and of course food!
Bruny Island is not far from Hobart, the capital of Tasmania and Australia‘s southernmost city, so you could feasibly get there and back in a day quite easily, and that’s the way most people do it. A day trip to Bruny Island from Hobart is a great add-on to a weekend in Tasmania’s capital.
We stayed in the nearby town of Snug which has a good campground for campervanning Tasmania and shortened the drive to the ferry in the morning, meaning we could sleep in a bit and get more time on the island.
You can use this map to navigate around the island.
Getting to Bruny Island, Tasmania
Start your day with a morning ferry ride to Bruny Island from Kettering. If you’re coming to Bruny Island from Hobart, I’d recommend stopping at the Margate Pancake Train on the way down to grab some breakfast. There are food options on the island but they’re better for lunch/dinner/tastings than breakfast.
I have a full guide to the Bruny Island ferry that has all the details, but the main thing is that you need your own vehicle as there’s nowhere to go at the other end without a car.
Bruny Island Visitor Map
To help you make the most of your day on Bruny Island, I’ve put all the key Bruny island attractions into the below Google Map which you can use to plan your route around the island.
Bruny Island Day Trip Itinerary
Get your photos at The Neck Truganini Lookout
Once on the island, I’d recommend heading south on the main road towards the lighthouse. The lighthouse is the furthest point from the ferry wharf where you’ll start your day on Bruny Island so by heading there first, you’ll get to see it before the crowds and save the afternoon for eating!
Before you get to the lighthouse, however, you won’t be able to resist making a stop-off at Truganini Lookout at The Neck which is about halfway down the island.
This thin strip of land connects the two halves of the island and is the most spectacular lookout point on Bruny Island. You do have to climb a bunch of stairs to get the views, but the winding wooden staircase is part of what makes the scene so Instagrammable.
If you’re there at the right time you might catch a sighting of the penguins who make their home at the rookery on the Eastern side of The Neck.
The Neck can be extremely windy so make sure to hold onto your hats, glasses and car doors (we made that mistake!).
Cool fact – The Lookout at The Neck is named after Truganini who was a famous Aboriginal woman who once lived in Tasmania.
Visit Bruny Island Lighthouse
The lighthouse is one of the most famous landmarks on Bruny Island and a must on any Bruny Island itinerary. Actually getting there is a bit of a pain however as the last section of the drive is over 10km of dirt road covered in potholes.
You can check out our full guide to Bruny Island Lighthouse which has the whole rundown of getting out there, the lighthouse tours and the best photo spots.
While you’re there, you might want to attempt one of the walks around the southwestern part of the island that have spectacular brews of the fluted cliffs. The Labilladiere Peninsula Walk is around 5 hours while the Luggaboine Circuit is shorter at around 1.5 hours.
Given the length of these walks, if you’re trying to see Bruny Island in one day and really want to hike, you’ll need to make a trade-off by cutting down on some afternoon activities. You could skip Adventure Bay or double down and spend the whole day in nature and miss the tastings, it just depends on whether you want your Bruny Island day trip to be more foodie-focused or adventure-focused.
Stop for lunch at Hotel Bruny
After the trek out to the exposed lighthouse, it’ll be time to go inside and warm up with some lunch. The best spot on the bottom part of the island is Hotel Bruny in Alonnah (also Bruny Island’s biggest township).
The hotel largely offers pub-style food with huge servings (check out the size of the chicken parmigiana below!). They’re also the home of Bruny Island Cider with the full range of ciders available for tastings plus an awesome hot cider in winter.
As an alternative for a more luxurious experience, you could instead try Bruny Island Premium Wines for lunch. They’re open daily for a la carte lunch and tasting platters at their cellar door near Lunawanna.
Walk on the beach at Adventure Bay
After a hearty lunch, with lots of local seafood, head back north towards Adventure Bay. Adventure Bay is the main holiday spot on the island and is where you’ll find most of the accommodation options.
On your way, you could stop off at Bruny Island Chocolate Company, it’s an ok option for gifts but we found it a bit underwhelming. If you’re after a sweet treat, then Bruny Island Raspberry farm is a go-to in summer.
Adventure Bay is where the Bruny Island Cruises depart from. If you want to see more of the island’s scenery without hiking this is a great option, but you’ll need to plan your day around it as the 10 am – 1:30 pm cruise times don’t leave much room for anything else.
Adventure Bay is a great place for some beach time in summer or just a walk on the coast in winter. The long stretch of coastline lined by forest is beautiful and a great spot to camp if you have time for an overnight stay on Bruny Island.
You can walk part or all of the Fluted Cape Track (2.5 hours return), the first section around Grass Point at the end of Adventure Bay is very accessible and perfect for an out-and-back stroll.
Where to eat on a Bruny Island day trip
Bruny Island is a foodie destination for a reason and no Bruny Island itinerary would be complete without several tastings. Hopping between tasting rooms as you work your way back north towards the wharf is a great way to spend an afternoon.
My favourite place was Bruny Island Cheese & Beer Co which does delicious tasting boards of a whole range of cheese and locally made condiments. They also do craft beer flights if that’s your thing.
For seafood fans, Get Shucked, is a fun experience, it’s a drive-through oyster bar that also has a sunny deck where you can throw down oysters by the dozen. Their oysters are so fresh you can watch them being shucked and they taste of the sea.
Before you leave, two other great stops are Bruny Island Honey and Bruny Island House of Whiskey, more top-quality local producers offering tastings and lots of goodies to take home.
If you have a bit more time left at the end of the day, you could drive further north on the island. The roads up north aren’t great but there are some beautiful lookouts around Dennes Point as well as the Historic Bruny Island Quarantine Station and the Art Untamed Gallery.
By the time you get the boat home, you’ll be full and exhausted but hopefully had a great day out.
Best Bruny Island Day Tours
If you don’t want to drive on the island or want to make sure you are packing the most into your one day on Bruny Island then a day tour is a great way to go.
There are plenty of companies running day tours to Bruny Island from Hobart, I would recommend Pennicott Wilderness as they’re a well-established operator in Tasmania and offer really well-curated itineraries. Their Bruny Island Traveller day tour has a bit of everything including food and drinks tastings, a museum and walks. Click here to book the tour online.
If you want something that’s more of an activity than a full-day tour, Bruny Island Cruises offers boat trips around the island which let you see different areas that are inaccessible by car. You can join the cruise from Adventure Bay (on Bruny Island) or book transfers from Ketteridge or Hobart. Click here to book your cruise online.
The third Bruny Island guided day tour I’d recommend is the Tassie Tours day tour from Hobart. It’s very similar to the Pennicott Bruny Island Traveller but more affordable as food is not included. Click here to book Tassie Tours online.
Frequently asked questions about a Bruny Island day trip
Do you need a car to see Bruny Island?
Yes, Bruny Island has no public transport so you will need to either hire a car to get around or book a Bruny Island day tour that provides transport.
Can you see Bruny Island in a day?
Absolutely yes. A day trip is a great way to see Bruny Island as it’s enough time to explore the main attractions and try some of the great food plus catch the ferry back to the mainland of Tasmania.
How long does it take to drive around Bruny Island?
Driving from the ferry wharf to the lighthouse at the southern end of Bruny Island takes approximately 1-1.5 hours due to poor road conditions. Driving from the wharf to the top of the island takes just under an hour. So you can drive a lap of Bruny Island in under 3 hours, excluding stops.
Where to stay overnight on Bruny Island
If you have more time, consider staying the night on Bruny Island. There are no hotels but there are several campsites, holiday homes and boutique lodges on the island.
Here are some options for each budget range:
- Budget / Camping: Captain Cook Holiday Park
- Mid-range / Luxury (they have multiple properties at different rates): Adventure Bay Retreat
In Short: Bruny Island In One Day
Australia Travel Resources
- Find the best prices on hotels with flexible cancellation at Booking.com
- Pre-book your tickets to attractions on Klook
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