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 is a great add-on to a weekend in Hobart.
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
Start your day by a morning ferry ride to Bruny Island from Kettering. If you’re coming 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.
Get your photos at The Neck Truganini Lookout
Once on the island, I’d recommend heading south on the main road towards the lighthouse. This way you get there 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 The Neck.
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 its over 10km of dirt road covered in pot holes.
You can check out our full guide to Bruny Island Lighthouse that 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 want to hike, you’ll need to cut 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 lighthouse it’ll be time to arm up with some lunch and the best spot on the bottom part of the island is Hotel Bruny.
The hotel largely offers pub style food with huge servings (check out the chicken parma below!). They’re also the home of Bruny Island Cider and they do 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
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 cruses depart rom. 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 10am – 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.
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.
Taste your way up the island
Bruny Island is a foodie destination for a reason and no 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 the 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. If you have more time, consider staying the night on Bruny Island at one of the many campsites, holiday homes or 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