Bruny Island is beautiful. Wild and free.
It gives new meaning to ‘remote’ and ‘off the grid’. It’s rustic yet stunning at every turn.
If I wanted to escape the world and just hide for weeks on end, Bruny would be the perfect place to do that.
I love to explore touristy areas just as much as the next person, but I am much more inclined to be one with nature. I love hiking in deep, lush forest areas. I love being near the water. And when I have a camera in my hand, I will happily spend an hour (or two) trying to capture a sky, a cloud formation, waterfalls… whatever!
Bruny Island was all that and more.
Discovering the natural beauty of Bruny Island was another adventure I had been looking forward to. This island is well known for its cheese and fudge but when we visited Bruny Island, we did not stop for either of these things. Shame on us. We were too eager for the wilderness.
Bruny Island was, is, beautiful. Wild and free. It gave new meaning to ‘remote’ and ‘off the grid’. It was rustic yet stunning at every turn. If I wanted to escape the world and just hide for weeks on end – and believe me there are days, like when I’m trying to write an eBook (!) for example – Bruny would be the perfect place to do that. I have to admit, I looked at the locals and wondered for a second – and only a second – how many of these people were running from the law or were at some point? Rich said it would be the perfect place to bury a body and then wondered how many murder mystery novels had been set on Bruny Island. Bruny has that kind of remoteness.
Being rustic, Bruny led us on dirt roads to remote areas. We came upon surfers hanging out, reading books, while they waited for their next set. We spent hours navigating rutted roads, trying to avoid paint chip damage on the rental car. That was an adventure in itself! Having grown up in the country, on a long dirt road, I was taught to drive fast over the ruts, versus driving slow and letting them shake the crap out of you. Rich was raised to believe the latter apparently. Yeah, it made for an interesting day since we traded off the driving.
One of the best parts about Bruny, other than the magnificent wilderness, was taking the ferry to and from the island. Upon arriving, you drive your car into one of three queues, waiting to be told which section of the ferry you need to be on. Then you board, slowly, stacking up bumper and bumper. You are required to stay in the vehicle while the ferry undocks, but then you can walk around for the 15 minute journey before disembarking. Dolphins are often spotted from the top deck, but we weren’t lucky enough to see them on either journey. We enjoyed a magical moment as a rain shower passed by on the return trip, giving us some beautiful contrast between the sky and water on the horizon.
The posted ferry schedule is strictly adhered to. The first ferry of the day departs Kettering at 6.35am (although not on Sunday, where the first ferry is at 7.45am) and the last ferry, leaving Bruny is at 6.30 pm (or 7.50 pm on Friday nights). A round trip ferry ride will set you back $30 per vehicle. Seniors can snag a pensioners discount.
Here are our tips for Bruny Island if you want to discover this fabulous place:
Take a packed picnic lunch. Plan to pick up some cheese and fudge to compliment your lunch. (So worth it!)
We recommend you rent a 4WD or a sturdy SUV. Your journey on Bruny will be much more enjoyable.
Plan ahead and make sure you check the ferry schedule closely. If you miss the last ferry you may be scrambling to find a place to stay on the island. We’ve heard the accommodations are quite lovely, but in peak seasons (and weekends) they fill up fast.
Expect unsealed roads for much of Bruny. Seriously unsealed.
If you are into photography, take your camera with full battery charge, an extra battery, your tripod and a back up memory card. You will take a lot of photos of Bruny Island. Guaranteed.
If you are lucky enough to stay the night and are visiting during breeding season, check out the fairy penguins at The Neck.
One adventure we regret not doing was the Bruny Island Cruise. Next time we visit, we’ll definitely check it out. We’ve heard the cruise around Bruny shows off the rawness of the Island and it’s wildlife in unforgettable ways. We’ve also been told it can get pretty rough, so be sure to pack seasickness pills.