My day trip with Bruny Island Safaris

Since I only had 3 days in Tasmania and only in Hobart, I knew I had to use my time wisely. I usually avoid doing expensive day trips in Australia because you can do a lot of the activities on your own if you are clever and have your own vehicle. I am the former, but I don’t have the latter. So I knew I was going to have to go on a tour. I did what any savvy traveler does these days; I jumped on to TripAdvisor for a list of the top Hobart activities. That’s how I found Bruny Island Safaris, currently ranked #5 of 67 activities in Hobart.

I was not looking for a huge, impersonal tour company that crams you onto a bus and runs you around all day. I wanted a locally run, small company. Enter Bruny Island Safaris. Bruny Island Safaris is a relatively new tour operator on Bruny Island. The owner, Craig (who happened to by my bus driver) has been in the tourism sector for the past 10 years or so, operating on the tour boats. Bruny Island Safaris is his project. So I knew this company was about as local as it could get. And it was a food tour, and after eating crap for the past 3.5 months in Newman, I was ready for some good food!

Why Bruny Island? I know what everyone is thinking. You went to Tasmania and you didn’t do a giant hike?! Believe me, I wanted to. But in the interest of time and due to the fact that I was exhausted I opted for the bus tour. Bruny Island has a permanent population of 620 and is almost two islands, separated by a narrow isthmus known as “the Neck.” It’s renowned for its wildlife (fairy penguins, white wallaby’s, sea birds), has great coastal scenery, and is not that touristy.

On to the tour. Craig picked us all up at our Hobart accommodation around 7AM (so early for me as I was still on Perth time!) The first stop of the day was at the Nutpatch Nougat in Kettering. This place was literally a hole-in-the-wall, blink and you will miss it shop. This place is heaven on earth, locally made chocolate! I purchased a 30 set sampler that will be making it’s way back to my home in Ohio soon…


Literally, this is a blink and you’ll miss it kind of place.


So many to choose from!

After having our chocolate breakfast, it was time to head for the ferry to Bruny Island. We spent the bulk of the day touring Bruny Island interspersed with stops at the local shops for food tastings. The food tour included: the Bruny Island Cheese Factory, morning tea at the Hothouse café, lunch at the Bruny Hotel, and oysters at Get Shucked, and salmon tasting at the Smokehouse.


Cheese! It was so good.


Get Shucked! And yes, I did try an oyster.


The salmon tasting at the Smokehouse

Bruny Island is home to awesome wildlife, including the white wallaby, a rare sighting. It’s not an albino; it’s actually white. However, we didn’t see the elusive white wallaby. We did see a normal one. I also spotted a Black- Faced Cormorant and an Australian Black Swan.


The ‘normal’ wallaby, hiding in the grass


Black-Faced Cormorants on the docks in Kettering


Australian Black Swan

One of my favorite parts of the day was the visit to Cape Bruny Lighthouse, part of South Bruny National Park. It’s set among spectacular scenery.

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For our hike of the day, we climbed to the top of the Truganini Lookout for a view of “the Neck.”

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It was a fantastic day with great food tastings, wildlife spottings, short walks, and a great tour operator.


Tasmania, or the place I could live in forever

I finally quit my crazy job in Newman after 3.5 months of working at Seasons Hotel. I said goodbye to housekeeping in 40+ degree heat with glee, and got on a plane to Hobart. Tasmania, in some ways, is like New Zealand. It has lots of walking tracks and a more temperate climate than mainland Australia. I spent 3 days in Hobart, which has a hippy vibe. Any city that can support numerous used bookshops and a Saturday market selling locally made handicrafts is a place I could spend a lot more time in.

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I arrived on Saturday morning and headed to the Salamanca Market, in which everything from organic produce to tacky tourist souvenirs is sold. I picked up two woolen head wraps that I cannot wait to wear once I actually experience winter again.

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Sunday was unfortunately, half wasted due to jet lag and obnoxious people in my dorm the night before. However, I made it on the 1:30 PM Mount Wellington bus trip. Basically, the bus takes you from the visitor’s center up a winding road to the Mt. Wellington (1270 m) lookout. The view is phenomenal. That headband that I purchased the previous day came in handy here. It was –3 with the wind!

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Coming review of Bruny Island Safaris