I was sent on a road trip to explore Tasmania by Cheaptickets.sg and Tourism Tasmania (@tasmania). In this post, you’ll find details on a day trip to Bruny Island, a holiday island 45 minutes south from Hobart.
While planning the Tasmania trip, I started to look up day trips I can take from Hobart and the name Bruny Island kept popping up. Bruny Island is only a short 30-minute drive and then a 15-minute ferry rides away from Hobart. It is known for its wildlife and gourmet local produce. So when Laura (my friend from CheapTickets.sg) asked if I want to go for a food-tasting tour on the island, I did not hesitate to say yes!
The Bruny Island Traveller tour takes us on a culinary journey through the island – all in all, it was an amazing day of eating and sampling gourmet produce made locally on the island itself. The total cost of the tour might seem steep – but if you take a look at the list of food included, I think it quickly makes up for the cost.
Here’s what’s included in the tour:
- Hotel / CBD Pick up and drop off
- Transfer to Bruny Island (including Ferry transfer)
- Tasting of 4 types of Cheese and 2 types of Beer
- Half a dozen of freshly shucked Tasmania Oysters
- Morning tea – Berries Jam, Clotted Cream, and scones with coffee
- Wine tasting of 3 types of local wine
- Lunch of our choice (Pork, Fish, Chicken, or vegetables)
- Chocolate tasting
- Honey tasting – we got to take home a small jar each!
- Whiskey or Gin & Tonic drink
And without further ado, here are the details of the day:
The Bruny Island Experience
We woke up bright and early and made our way down to Penicott Wilderness HQ at the dock area in Hobart. Shortly after we arrived, a small shuttle bus (which fits about 20 people) drove over and its friendly driver checked us in. He was relieved to find us there as he wasn’t sure where to pick us up since we didn’t request a hotel pick-up. We got on the bus and it looks like everyone else was already picked up straight from their hotel!
Tip: Definitely have them pick you up from your hotel so you don’t have to walk to the HQ like we did.
We then drove down to the Kettering Ferry which took about 30 minutes from Hobart. Kettering is the point where all vehicles board the ferry going into Bruny Island. We waited about 15 minutes before our shuttle bus made its way into the ferry, and off we went to Bruny Island! The ferry journey took about 15 minutes, just enough for us to check out the top deck and get some fresh air.
Once we were on the island, we wasted no time getting to our first stop (out of 9).
Stop 1: Bruny Island Cheese Company
We kicked off the Cheese Tasting of 4 types of cheese. We tried Tom, Saint, George, and O.D.O (One Day Old). I loved Tom the most! As part of the tour, we received a 20% discount on all the cheese so I ended up buying two Toms – one to take home and one for a friend I was meeting up with in Melbourne, our next stop after Tasmania. Our driver informed us that there is a cooler on the bus we can use to store our cheese so that it doesn’t go bad.
Stop 2: Get Shucked Oyster Bar
The next stop is one of my favorites – we get to try half a dozen of freshly shucked Tasmanian oysters! I’ve always been partial to Tasmanian Oyster so this is the perfect snack for me.
To top it off, we happened to sit next to a couple who did not like oysters, so they offered us their leftovers after trying 1-2 oysters. I was in heaven!! The oysters were the freshest I’ve ever had AND I got to have more than expected.
Stop 3: The Neck
We continued the drive down south across “The Neck” which is a very narrow part of Bruny connecting the north and south islands. Yup, Bruny Island is actually formed by two large land masses, separated only by a narrow stretch of sand. It is so narrow it resembles a neck, hence the name.
If you happen to be in Bruny from September to February, you can also go for Fairy Penguin viewing here at night as they come back to feed the young.
We stopped here for about 15 minutes, just enough time to climb up the stairs to the very top of the hill to Truganini Lookout, where you can see the view of both the North and South parts of Bruny Island.
And yeah I was being cheeky with the choice of photo here 😛
Stop 4: Bruny Island Berry Farm
We had a morning tea at the Bruny Island Berry Farm. We had a choice of Berry Muffin or Scones with fresh berries jam and clotted cream. We also had a choice of drinks of tea or coffee. I chose the scones and flat white coffee.
After tea, we crossed over to the other side to enjoy the white beach of Adventure Bay.
Stop 5: Albino Wallaby!
This one is just a brief stop, but Bruny Island is also famous for housing the rare all-white albino wallabies. They are thriving on Bruny Island due to the lack of predators on the island – I’d imagine they don’t do very well in the wild. If you’re lucky, you might spot them around Adventure Bay – and we were lucky to see two that day! The other name for the white wallabies is “Painted Wallabies”
Stop 6: Bruny Island Premium Wines
We stopped by the winery for lunch. We had a series of wine-tasting of wines made from grapes harvested right from the vineyard and made at the venue. We tried a 2013 Gewurztraminer (White wine), a 2016 Pinot Noir (Red wine), and a house cider.
The tasting was promptly followed by lunch and wine of our choice – I chose the Tasmanian salmon and a Pinot Grigio wine. Yeah, I know white wine is supposed to be a better pairing for fish but I felt like having red that day 😛
Stop 7: Bruny Island Chocolate Company
I’m already full by now, but I had to make space for this next stop – Bruny Chocolate Company for chocolate tasting. I love the adorable toy house look of this chocolate shop!
We tried a bunch of chocolates – some with fruit fillings, some with coffee bean fillings. I took home some of the coffee bean chocolates and hot chocolates for our friends back home.
Stop 8: Bruny Island Honey Pot
Next, we visited the honey shack for some locally-made honey. We tried 8 different kinds of honey and 2 types of mustard, and were allowed to take home a small jar per person for free! We took back some Leatherwood and Pure Tasmanian Honey.
Stop 9: Tasmanian House of Whisky
The last stop is the whiskey shop. It would be natural to taste their whiskey, but I chose G&T instead – and boy am I glad I did! The G&T ended up being the star of the trip for me (followed closely by the oysters, because I LOVE oysters). This magical gin right here is called Seclusion. It is Bruny Island’s first gin release, distilled on the Tasman Peninsula.
So why is it so magical? In the bottle, it is originally a deep bright blue color but once you pour tonic water on it, it turns into this beautiful gradient of pale purple/pink color! It turns out that this change in color is from coloring made from the Butterfly pea flower, which reacts with citrus to change color. I’ve been seeing a lot of butterfly peas in food and drinks lately – I think they are going to be the next big thing! I couldn’t help but take a small bottle home for myself. 😍
And this last stop wrapped up our trip to Bruny Island. We left the island the same way we came in – via the Ferry. We were back in Hobart by 5PM, as promised on the itinerary.
Is the Bruny Island Traveller tour worth it?
The Bruny Island Traveller tour costs AU$ 235/person, and I personally think it’s worth it.
As I mentioned above, the list of food, transport, and activities included with this tour makes up for the cost. If you are driving on your own, the ferry transfer into Bruny by itself would cost you $33 and up per vehicle. You’d also have to factor in the cost of car rental (about $70/day) and the cost of fuel to get there. On top of that, you’d have to pay the costs of food on your own, and in my experience meals in Australia are not very cheap – on average we spent about $15-20 for breakfast (with coffee) and $35-40 for lunch (with a glass of wine).
So if you love eating and want a taste of everything I mentioned above, I highly recommend going on the tour – it saves you both time and money.
However, if you’re just going for the sights and not so much the food, I recommend driving yourself and perhaps taking the Bruny Island cruise instead (AU$135/person). PS: I took the Tasman Cruise with them and loved it!