Bruny Island is a unique foodie’s haven, hugging the rugged coastline of southern Tasmania. Reached via car and ferry within an hour of Hobart, this rural spot has become popular for those seeking an authentic Tassie experience. The island offers up local produce, from oysters and whisky to honey and wine, and the added attraction of a coastal outlook. With so much to taste you may even want to extend your trip overnight, at least to ride out the inevitable food coma. When we explored Bruny Island by campervan earlier this year, there were a few foodie pit stops that really stood out. These places offered up a well rounded experience on one simple route from north to south…
GETTING TO BRUNY ISLAND
Firstly, you’ll need to make your way to Kettering’s ferry terminal, about 35 minutes drive from Hobart. The car ferry to Bruny Island runs roughly every hour from 6:30am to 7pm. You cannot book, instead return tickets for vehicles can be purchased at the gate (pedestrians travel free). Disembarking in North Bruny, it’s simple to make your way south on Bruny Island Main Rd. The food tasting itinerary below is in sequential order, starting as you drive off the ferry. If you don’t want to self drive there are also day tours available which I look at below.
The Neck Lookout where North and South Bruny meet.
A picnic spot at Two Tree Point.
TASTE TESTING ITINERARY
Not 3 minutes off the ferry and you’ll come across the Tasmanian House of Whisky. Now, obviously you’ll have to be mindful of who is the designated driver here incase there’s a whisky lover behind the wheel. This whisky house is home to the most extensive known collection of Tassie single malt. An absolute must-visit for whisky connoisseurs. Everything is up for tasting, including limited releases and special editions. Tastings are available in their expansive bar or take your tipple out on to the verandah.
Get Shucked Oyster farm is the next stop, serving up freshly shucked Bruny Island pacific oysters. Approaching Great Bay you can see the oyster racks peeking out of calm waters, a preview of what’s to come. The Get Shucked dining setting is casual, with a licensed bar and drive through window if you’re really in a hurry! Oysters are only $18 a dozen (natural), making me weep at Sydney prices. We tried their trio of dressings which are served on the side for your own taste.
You’ll barely get the car warmed up before it’s time to pull over again. This time for a cheese fest at Bruny Island Cheese Company. Their tasting menu changes daily and offers a good range of soft, hard and marinated cheeses. I loved the freshness of the o.d.o (one day old) cow’s milk cheese which was a noticible change to my usual aged favourites. You can also observe the cheese making process on site and purchase local condiments to make up the perfect picnic.
After choosing your favourite cheese take three steps to your right and enter Bruny Island Beer Company. That’s right, Bruny’s cheesemakers have joined forces with brewer Evan Hunter to produce a wide range of local ales. You can buy a flight to sample a little bit of everything or purchase bottles to take with you. There’s also a great outdoor area under the eucalypts for enjoying all of your spoils.
Heading off past Great Bay, sweet tooths will be rewarded with a pit stop at the Bruny Island Honey Shop. This cute little shipping container setup showcases the nectar from 400 hives around the island. The bees produce honey from a wide range of plants like Prickly Box, Manuka and Leatherwood. Their colourful jars make the perfect gift for loved ones too.
Another great spot for sweet treats is Bruny Island Chocolate Company, most famous for its fudge. You can sample their creamy flavours in the lolly-lined store, set on beautiful acreage. To reach the fudge shop, turn left onto Adventure Bay Road just after crossing to South Bruny.
5 minutes down this beautiful coastal road you will come across Bruny Island Berry Farm. A perfect spot for families or anyone wanting to stretch their legs, you can pick your own berries at this family run farm. If sampling the goods is more your thing, indulge in some berry ice-cream, pancakes or strawberry champagne. Their BBQ and picnic area is perfect for taking in the natural surrounds and acquainting yourself with the local birdlife.
*NOTE: Nearby Adventure Bay is a great spot for an overnight stay, with powered camping facilities near the beach.
A visit to Bruny Island Premium Wines will take you across to the west coast of South Bruny. If you’re headed for Bruny Island lighthouse, this is the perfect opportunity to stop and taste wine from Australia’s southernmost vineyard. The wine is made and bottled by hand, on site there at Wayaree Estate. The cellar door is open 7 days a week, offering up several red and white choices. Being a cool-climate vineyard my choice would be one of their two chardonnays, a varietal I tried A LOT of in Tasmania. To make a day of it, grab a cheese platter to enjoy amongst the vines.
A tasting of Exile.
One of many oyster plates at Get Shucked.
A flight of Bruny Island beers.
o.d.o cheese ready for tasting.
BRUNY ISLAND TOUR OPTIONS
There are a couple of standout day tours from Hobart for those who don’t have their own vehicle (or want to really get into that wine).
- Bruny Island Traveller: This 7-course gourmet tour covers all of the stops above. It also includes a visit to The Neck lookout and a stroll along one of Bruny’s secluded beaches.
- Bruny Island Safaris: This sightseeing and food tour include a few extra stops at key attractions, including the lighthouse. It doesn’t include all of the tastings I’ve mentioned but offers extras like cider tasting and a visit to the smokehouse.
We visited Bruny Island for one day, staying overnight in Adventure Bay and leaving early the next morning. If you’d like to experience all of the tastes and sites on the island I would definitely recommend staying for the night. Activities like a lighthouse tour or walking through the national park will really add time to an already busy food trail.
What kind of food would you most look forward to on this trip? I’d love to hear about your favourite tasting experiences below. If you have any questions for me about Bruny Island, feel free to add those too.
Photography by Escape Button and Justin Rule.