Bruny Island – The Perfect Tasmanian Short Break
Despite being only 45 minutes by private boat from Tasmania’s capital city Hobart, Bruny Island seems another world away. With a population of just 650 permanent residents Bruny Island was, for many years, Tasmania’s best kept secret. In recent years, however, Bruny has come to capture the imagination and interest of Tasmanians and international visitors alike.
Lying off the south-east corner of Tasmania, at the edge of the Southern Ocean, Bruny Island is blessed with spectacular rugged scenery, pristine beaches and an abundance of wildlife. The extraordinary beauty of the island has attracted a unique band of locals who use Bruny Island’s pure environment to craft and grow some of Tasmania’s finest foods.
The cool, clean waters that surround Bruny island support an abundance of life including crayfish, abalone, salmon and oysters. On land there are a number of well known producers making cheese, growing wine, olives and berries, making fudge and farming pigs, goats, sheep and wallabies.
The idea of a long weekend suggests a relaxed and indulgent approach to travel, almost a celebration. A Long Weekend on Bruny Island is total immersion into the best of Tasmania’s food, wildlife and scenery.
This morning you will meet your tour guides and fellow guests (maximum of 8) on the waterfront of Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart. Step aboard your private boat and let the adventure begin with a cruise down the Derwent river to Bruny Island. Today our goal is to walk to the spectacular Cape Queen Elizabeth (12km, 5-6 hours return).
On returning from our walk we will meet former stockbroker turned oyster farmer, Sam, and wade out into the crystal clear waters of Great Bay to learn how he farms his famous Bruny Island oysters and sample them straight from his hands. The perfect way to cool down after a walk!
It is then on to the most southerly vineyard in Tasmania to taste their wines and tuck a couple of your favourites under our arm to take back to camp. These will be the perfect complement to our Bruny Island cheeses.
Next stop; our camp. After a hot shower, join us in the dining house for a drink and to share stories of the day’s adventures as the guides busy themselves preparing your dinner sourced from either on Bruny Island or in the waters surrounding it
- Step aboard our private boat and explore the river Derwent as we cruise to Bruny Island (we offer the only alternative access to the long queues of the Bruny Island ferry)
- Enjoy a guided walk to Cape Queen Elizabeth (12km return, 5-6hrs, don’t worry you won’t need to carry a pack)
- Cool off by wading out into the crystal clear waters of Great Bay and harvesting your own oysters
- Sleep in a king size bed in a luxury tent and enjoy a hot shower at our camp set on a secluded 100 acres
- Sit back and enjoy a glass of wine as your guides prepare dinner sourced from either on Bruny Island or in the waters surrounding it
Day two might begin with a gentle thumping past your tent. While the inquisitive wallaby isn’t your wake up call, his visit, or the promise of warm croissants might lure you from your crisp sheets of king-size luxury to reunite with us at the rustic wooden dining table once more.
Today’s walk is East Cloudy Head for views of Tasmania’s far south and the wild Southern Ocean. The five-hour journey begins by walking the length of Cloudy Bay Beach. Windswept and beautiful, the walk then leads us into coastal heath and up toward spectacular views of Bruny Island’s rugged south coast.
As with the previous day, the afternoon is time for more gourmet spoiling. Next we drop in on Ross and Emma O’Meara’s farm to collect the free range pork that they have had slow cooking in their smoker for us overnight. Back at camp enjoy time to sit on the deck, walk among the ferns, partake in another lavish shower or simply read a book while your guides prepare the evening meal.
- Guided walk to East Cloudy Head for views of Bruny Island’s rugged South Coast and the Southern Ocean (12km return, 5-6hrs, dont worry you wont need to carry a pack)
- Drop by our neighbour Ross O’Meara’s farm (of Gourmet Farmer fame) and collect some ingredients for the evening’s meal (Bruny Island Food)
- Have some time to yourself and try to spot some of Bruny Island’s 150 species of birds (including all 12 Tasmanian endemics)
- Gather round the fire with a glass of pinot from Tasmania’s Southernmost vineyard
- As darkness descends on camp, watch as Tasmania’s unique nocturnal wildlife emerges
The final day promises much exhilaration. After a short rainforest walk and a search for Bruny’s famous white wallabies, we board Rob Pennicott’s award-winning wilderness and wildlife adventure cruise.
We journey along the stunning coastline past some of the highest sea cliffs in the southern hemisphere and out to the Friars Rocks we’d seen walking the day before. Playful dolphins, bold fur seals, cruising albatross and the taste of salty lips complete the thrilling experience.
A leisurely late lunch is enjoyed on the deck of The Jetty Cafe as we wait for our seaplane to arrive at the beach below. Your Bruny Island Long Weekend finishes on a real high as we return to the Hobart waterfront by seaplane, gaining spectacular views of southern Tasmania (alternative transport to Hobart can be arranged on request).
- Enjoy a short morning rainforest walk
- Experience Rob Pennicott’s multi-award winning wilderness and wildlife adventure cruise with the chance to see seals, dolphins, whales and albatross
- Enjoy lunch and a farewell drink on the deck of The Jetty Cafe as you wait for your seaplane to arrive at the beach below.
- Finish on a high and return to the Hobart waterfront by seaplane gaining spectacular views of the region (alternative transport to Hobart can be arranged on request). Returning to Hobart at approximately 5PM.
Bruny Island’s Food
Food is an element very closely connected with Bruny Island and an important part of The Bruny Island Long Weekend. For an island with around just 650 inhabitants, Bruny Island’s local produce is exceptional.
Almost 100% of the food we consume over the long weekend has been sourced from Bruny Island itself or within Tasmania. Our food miles are so low that in most instances, you will see where your food is produced on the same day that you eat it. You may even have met the person who made it.
The cool, clean waters that surround Bruny island support an abundance of seafood and on land there are a number of well known producers making cheese, growing wine, olives and berries, making fudge and farming sheep, goats, pigs and wallabies.
We endeavor to use them all.
Surrounded by towering Eucalypts and blackwood trees, our private reserve supports an abundance of endemic Tasmanian birdlife and marsupials. With most of our days spent in wild, powerful, coastal places, our camp is a sanctuary we can return to at the end of each day, as we change to a more introspective focus gathering round the fire in the dining room and sharing food and stories from the day.
It is often said that Bruny Island is like a microcosm of Tasmania with an amazing variety of environments compacted into an island that takes just one hour to drive across.
Our guided walks take you through varied terrain including beaches, rocky headlands, bush trails and rainforest and by the end of the Long Weekend you will feel like you know Bruny Island intimately.
The walks are challenging enough to support our questionable claim of being a ‘calorie neutral’ tour, but easy enough to be within most people’s ability. We recommend you be in good health and be moderately fit to undertake the trip. We walk for approximately 5-6 hours on both day 1 and 2 and cover around 12km each day. On the third day we enjoy a short guided walk through the rainforest.
One of the great aspects of our walks is that as we return to the same camp both nights, you do not have to carry a pack!