Last updated on January 27, 2023 by Wandering our World
Located off the southeastern coast of Tasmania in Australia, Bruny Island is truly one of a kind with its quiet and rustic atmosphere. And campers looking for a picturesque place to stay for their getaway will be treated to an abundance of wildlife amongst a backdrop of looming cliffs.
It’s an island steeped in history and there’s no shortage of amazing beaches. So, when thinking about where in Australia to camp, Bruny Island should be near enough top of your list.
Luckily if you’re planning your own Bruny Island camping adventure we have everything you need right here. From what to expect at each free campground and any permits you need to the rules around fishing, and even what wildlife you can spot including where to see them and what time of year is best!
Simply put, everything you need is right here. Let’s get started!
- Getting There Within Tasmania
- Paid Campgrounds On Bruny Island
- Free Camping & Campgrounds On Bruny Island
- Rules, Regulations and Advice
- Fun Things To Do When Camping On Bruny Island
- Places To Eat
- When To Visit & Camp On Bruny Island
Getting There Within Tasmania
Your flight might be coming in domestically to Hobart Airport, Launceston Airport, or any other airport located on the island. Or you might be flying in from abroad straight to the island, or catching a connecting flight from mainland Australia to Tasmania. Plan your journey with a planner like this one.
Of course, you cannot drive or catch a bus or train straight to the island as it’s surrounded by water! So, whatever your choice of travel from whatever airport you’ve landed at, just make sure to head to Kettering which is just 30 minutes from Hobart – Tasmania’s capital.
There you’ll be able to catch a ferry service that runs very regularly. Check out the timetable and purchase tickets here. But don’t worry – you can buy tickets on-site too.
Drive your car or rent a car to get to Kettering which will take about 3 minutes from Hobart. The ferries from there carry both passengers and vehicles.
Just keep in mind that you will need a vehicle permit if you’re planning to drive through any of the National Parks on Bruny Island.
When driving in Tasmania keep an eye out for animals. Make sure to fill up too! The only fuel on Bruny Island will be found at Adventure Bay General Store.
Bus (to the Port)
It is possible to catch the 415 bus from Hobart to Kettering once you arrive in Tasmania. The journey takes about 50 minutes.
Paid Campgrounds At Bruny Island
Remember to buy a National Parks Pass before entering Bruny Island. Once you have done so, you can choose from all the amazing camping spots the island has to offer.
If you have arrived without any camping gear, consider staying at a campsite that provides necessities like shelter, toilets, and showers. There are little to no places to rent gear from on the island.
1. Camping at Bruny Island
This 50-acre site located on Cloudy Bay has everything you’ll ever need and could be a great choice if you’re just starting out in the camping world.
Here you’ll find a private beach, glamping sites (just bring clothes and food!), spaces for camper trailers, flushing toilets, showers on request, and shelters fitted with barbeques. There is some water but it’s best to bring your own. Pets are welcome.
Close to this site are Bruny Island’s many attractions such as the Bruny Lighthouse and some stunning hiking trails. Make sure to book in advance. It’s $65 per night or $345 for 6 nights.
2. Captain Cook Holiday Park
Situated at the centre of Adventure Bay on Bruny Island is Captain Cook Holiday Park, which is sat opposite a stunning beach where you will spot plenty of wildlife, such as migrating dolphins, whales, birds, and wallabies.
Also, this site is located nearby many popular attractions on the island like South Bruny National Park and the Bruny Eco Cruise.
You may choose to stay in one of their cosy cabins (including a wheelchair-accessible cabin) or a villa, however, for those looking to camp, you can choose from unpowered and powered sites to park your camper van or RV.
Powered sites include amenities and start from around $35. Unpowered sites start from $25.
Free Camping & Campgrounds On Bruny Island
You may camp anywhere on Bruny Island so long as you have a valid National Parks Pass for National Park-owned areas like Jetty Beach, The Neck, and Cloudy Corner. The cost of this pass starts at $10 per night for 1 or 2 adults, or families of five can pay $15 a night.
You don’t need to book – it’s first come, first served. You’ll have to bring your own gear or RV/campervan. This includes water, food, and firewood.
1. Jetty Beach Campground
Find yourself a camping spot nestled in trees on Jetty Beach which is ideal for families. You’ll have a beach right outside your tent or RV perfect for swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, and fishing.
This site has pit toilets and non-treated seasonal tank water.
2. The Neck Reserve Camping Area
You don’t need to pay or book to camp here if you’re outside the boundaries of the National Park.
The Neck is a campsite that has easy access to the beach and is situated behind sand dunes – these are full of birds’ nests and other wildlife. Nearby is a lookout with stunning views of the island.
This site has pit toilets and non-treated seasonal tank water. It’s a fantastic Bruny Island camping spot.
3. Cloudy Corner Campground
The Pines Campsite at Cloudy Bay requires no purchase nor any bookings, but accessing Cloudy Corner (which is on the other side of the bay) requires the standard pass fee.
You’ll find a lovely beach here and an area to launch boats from – but don’t park any cars on the beach. The Pines is great for surfing and hiking and you can also launch boats from there.
You’ll find limited water, toilets, and firepits at both campsites. At Cloudy Corner, there is non-treated seasonal tank water.
4. South Bruny National Park
With a valid pass, camping anywhere in South Bruny National Park is possible and a wonderful experience. There’s nothing quite like its striking scenery, towering cliffs, and coastal wildlife.
You’ll never be far away from a refreshing hike or a bird-watching expedition.
Bruny Island Camping: Rules, Regulations and Advice
Sites & Their Facilities
Ensure that you bring plenty of cash with you as there are absolutely no ATMs on the island. And if you’re planning to free camp, try to bring a portable toilet as bush toileting isn’t encouraged.
Many campsites won’t allow pets so check before you book.
And finally, bring lots of drinking water to those sites without it!
Looking After Yourself & The Area
If you’re camping anywhere in the National Park, here are some things you need to know:
Campfires are only allowed at designated campsites as they provide fire rings. So, no campfires when free camping within the reserve. And make sure to bring your own firewood (collecting wood is not permitted) and put any fires out completely after use! The official advice is to soak and stir the hot coals more than once. It’s preferred for visitors to bring their own contained fire pit, and most sites only allow these.
For camping anywhere on the island, ensure you take all trash with you.
To protect the environment when camping on Bruny Island, your gear should be dry and clean on arrival so as to not spread diseases and parasites. Gear should be cleaned before going back home too.
It’s also asked that you obey signs and follow designated tracks as they are there for the protection of wildlife. For more information on how to stop the spread of pests and diseases like root rot, Tasmanian authorities have made this handy guide.
Here is a great tip to reduce waste: If you bring food (you probably should), take it out of the original package and place it in an air-tight container.
If you have a drone and want to take some cool shots, make sure to follow the rules. You can’t use them on reserve land or in National Park areas. They disturb wildlife like birds, and they can be a privacy issue as well as a safety issue. Check out where exactly they can’t be used on this map.
Make sure you camp and wash at least 50 meters (165 feet) away from any lakes or streams, and don’t alter the ground you want to camp on. Good ground materials that don’t need altering include rock, gravel, sand, and any provided platforms. If you take any rocks as weights, put them back where you found them. All natural objects should be left as they were.
Bury all toilet waste in 20cm holes and cover it if you must bush toilet.
Don’t feed wildlife as they will become a nuisance to others, and they could get ill. Secure waste and food to keep wildlife away. Keep a good distance from any wildlife.
Try not to disturb the environment and people around you by keeping artificial light to a minimum and by speaking quietly.
For your safety, log any hikes and trips in logbooks. This means you can be located if you are reported missing or there is a bushfire. There’ll be more about hiking and walking later on in this article, so keep reading!
If you come well-prepared and with friends or family, you are sure to have a great time camping on Bruny Island.
Fishing On Bruny Island
Bruny Island is the perfect location for fishing. The most common catches tend to be flatheads, school sharks, gummy sharks and the Australian salmon.
The best fishing locations are Dennes Point, Alonnah, and Adventure Bay. There are also many lagoons you may come across.
You must follow regulations when fishing on Bruny Island. There are limits to the size of your catch and the methods you use depending on where you fish. Sometimes a single line can’t have more than 2 baits or 2 lures. You might even need a licence to fish in certain ways.
Check specific rules for particular locations here.
Things To Bring
Don’t forget to pack these essentials if you’re planning to camp on Bruny Island:
- Lots of water. There are shops on the island.
- Filter for water
- Waterproof clothing
- A fire pit or gas stove
- Binoculars – keep a safe distance from animals
- A torch with a red filter – this protects animals’ eyes
- Trash bag
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
12 Fun Things To Do When Camping On Bruny Island
1. Hiking Trails
Bruny Island is famous for its brilliant hiking trails that range from an hour long to 12 days long! Here’s a little information about some of the best.
Just note the grading system. The higher the grade (1-5), the more experienced you need to be for the walk. This means knowing your way around navigation, first aid, rough tracks, steep inclines, and unmarked paths.
Some overnight walks also have limited capacity (so ensure that you register) to protect wildlife. You should register your walk with Tasmanian authorities anyway for your own safety.
The Eastern Arthur Range Traverse is a Grade 5 walk that lasts around 9 days. You’ll experience idyllic views of the peaks in the National Park on this challenging hike. Register here. However, the Western Arthur Range Traverse is just as tricky and stunning but lasts 12 nights!
For less experienced walkers or families, you can try the Mavista Nature Walk or the Truganni Memorial and The Neck Lookout. The views are just as beautiful, and the hikes last a few hours. Also, don’t miss out on hiking around the iconic Cape Bruny Lighthouse!
Check what you should pack for all types of walks here. You’ll also find some useful tips and advice.
2. Bruny Island Cruise
Witness all the wildlife Bruny Island has to offer on a 3-hour cruise. You might spot the likes of seals, dolphins, whales, and birds with the help of experienced guides.
The boat itself is quiet and eco-friendly. This cruise in particular costs $155 per adult and departs from Adventure Bay every day. Book here.
3. Bruny Island History Rooms
Learn about the history and culture of Bruny Island in this quaint museum. It’s home to a collection of artefacts and stories, and ideal if you wish to look through any records and information. It’s open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.
4. Bruny Island Premium Wines
Bruny Island Premium Wines is Australia’s most southern vineyard and is home to thousands of well-nurtured vines that are turned into wine.
It’s a family-run business which is open Saturday nights for dinner and every day from 11 am. You can purchase from a selection of fine wines and ciders, as well as locally sourced food.
5. Inala Jurassic Garden
Inala Jurassic Garden is a botanic garden and nature museum bursting with over 750 species of plants and colourful flowers.
You can also see a fascinating collection of living fossils in the nature museum, as well as a gift shop selling a small selection of plants and souvenirs. Entry for adults is $10 and for children, it’s $5.
6. The Arch
Hiking the Cape Queen Elizabeth Track, you may come across this natural wonder dubbed The Arch. It’s a breathtaking rock formation set amongst the backdrop of Bruny Island’s dazzling coastline. It’s worth a visit if you’re not too far away.
7. Bruny Island Cheese Company
Visit the Bruny Island Cheese Company to browse their artisan cheeses, sweet treats, beers, hampers, and gifts. If you can’t get the chance to visit, you can always order products online.
8. Cape Bruny Lighthouse Tours
Cape Bruny Lighthouse is the second-oldest lighthouse tower in Australia. It was built by convicts to prevent the many shipwrecks that were occurring on the island’s shore.
You can book a tour around this piece of history by boat. They depart multiple times a day and there are different types available, such as a sunset tour. Take a look here.
9. Bruny Island Arts Globe
In Adventure Bay you’ll find the Arts Globe by Matt Carney – an interesting and fun sculpture by the beach and opposite the tennis courts.
10. Bligh Museum of Pacific Exploration
Explore Bligh Museum’s collection of exploration artefacts including maps, documents, and paintings relating to the explorers that arrived at Adventure Bay.
The building itself is a piece of history as it was built in 1954 with materials made by convicts. Admission for adults is $4.00, students and pensioners cost $3.00, and children cost $2.00.
11. Two Tree Point
Two Tree Point is a natural wonder and historically significant spot also located in Adventure Bay. It’s made up of a riverfront and some trees, which have remained unchanged since 1792.
This site is where Captain Furneaux and Captain Cook would replenish their supplies of water. There have also been aboriginal artefacts found in this area. But above all, it’s a beautiful place to visit.
12. Island Scenic Flights
Experience Bruny Island in a more exhilarating fashion with Island Scenic Flights. You’ll get to see the whole island from above as you look out of the window of a small plane.
The duration of the flight depends on the type of flight you book. The Neck flight is around 10 minutes and costs $80 per person, but the Scenic Flight is $370 per person and lasts 80 minutes. Look at all the flights offered here.
Places To Eat When Camping On Bruny Island
1. Bruny Island Gateway Café and Café at the Ferry Terminal
There are opportunities to grab a bite to eat and drink at both ends of the Kettering ferry route to and from Bruny Island. While waiting for your ferry you can enjoy some lunch or a coffee, all with a sea view.
2. Bruny Island Food Truck and Catering
Adventure Bay is home to this convenient food truck that sells quick, on-the-go breakfasts, lunches and even dinners. You’ll find typical food items such as hot dogs, burgers, and rolls, as well as cold drinks.
3. Bruny Island Raspberry Farm
For a sweet treat drop by Australia’s most southern raspberry farm. Not only will you be treated to delicious locally sourced crepes, preserves, ice cream, cakes, scones, and coffee, but you’re also surrounded by eucalyptus forest and abundant wildlife.
4. Oysterbay Restaurant
Situated in North Bruny is Oysterbay Restaurant which serves perfectly prepared oysters among other dishes such as salads and sides. There’s also a drive-thru window and takeaway service.
When To Visit & Camp On Bruny Island
You may want to time your camping trip to align with one or more of the following events and conditions.
Did you know there’s a chance to spot penguins on Bruny Island during the summer? They’re known as Little Penguins or Fairy Penguins. You can only see them at The Neck Game Reserve.
Bruny Island is also home to the adorable White Wallaby which lives in forests and can easily be seen during the day in open spaces. The breeding season is from January to July.
You might also see the Echidna, which looks very much like a hedgehog. They live in burrows as they don’t like hot weather. But you might see them looking for food.
The Elephant Seal is the largest species of seal in the world. They spend the most time in the water, so the best chance to see them on land or up close is from September to May. But you’re more likely to see the Fur Seal at the south of Bruny Island, chilling out in the waters or on rocks as a colony.
A great time for birdwatching is during March. Species of birds include honeyeaters, nativehens, wattlebirds, and scrubwrens.
You’ll experience a mild climate on Bruny Island, with even the Australian summer months of November, December, and January only reaching highs of 68 degrees Fahrenheit on average. But that’s nothing to be sniffed at of course!
The wettest months tend to be July, August, September, and October, with around 12 days of rainfall. Pack warm clothes and gear for nighttime temperatures all year round, which tend to be in single figures (Centigrade).
The busiest time is the summer months, so keep this in mind and book things well in advance.
Here are some of the island’s popular events:
- At Lunawanna Hall during March is the Nature Market Day where you can find an array of produce, products, and information about nature and birdwatching.
- At Christmas time you might find Christmas markets in Adventure Bay selling crafts, food, and festive fun.
- Bruny Island Bird Festival is an annual event in March, celebrating all things bird of course!