This tiny Aussie Island is food heaven

A breezy 40 minutes from Hobart, Bruny Island has everything: a colorful history, prehistoric landscapes, weird and wonderful animals, fresh and sumptuous food, the cleanest air in the world, and perfect alchemy of sea, land, and sky.

Given I’ve got only six hours – the average lunch break in France – I’m dedicating my “Bruny Island blitz” to French explorer Bruni D’Entrecasteaux, after whom the island is named (so too the pretty channel we cross by car ferry to get there).

Doing as Bruni might’ve, I eat a wallaby burrito for breakfast while dreaming of oysters and beer for lunch. Served with pinto beans and bush pepper cheese, this is what Bruny’s traditional owners, the Nyunoni, ate before the kiosk opened.

Palate primed, it’s time to fill the belly with briny Bruny oysters. Along the way, I feast my eyes on the rugged nature for which the island is famous: sea eagles and shearwaters overhead, echidnas, and dingo-sized feral cats in the heathlands. No sign yet of the rare white-fur, pink-eye albino wallabies that call Bruny home.

As a nosy journo, I’ve been directed to Get Shucked many times. Finally, I’m here. This famous oyster farm and bar overlooks Great Bay and it’s 200m from bed to plate. My flirty dozen mixes natural, Kilpatrick, and Asian panko, and being shellfish, I don’t share, chasing them down with a can of Bruny Stout. Magnifique!

Oysters and Tasmanian sparkling at Get Shucked
Oysters and Tasmanian sparkling at Get Shucked. Picture: Adam Gibson/Tourism Tasmania

But every Frenchman knows, that oysters are merely an appetizer for bigger things. Of course, I mean artisan cheese and fresh bread washed down with more booze. My own homage-to-fromage takes shape down the road at Bruny Cheese & Beer Co. Then, with my gullet glazed by fine aged dairy and ale, I head for The Neck.

Long before Bruni, Captain Cook and Abel Tasman dropped anchor here, The Neck was a sacred country for the Lunawanna and Alonnah tribes. It’s easy to see why. From the road, penguin rookery, and Truganini Lookout on high, it’s epic.

Time to sweeten the deal. I veer left to Blighs Rocks and Adventure Bay. This was a whaling country and its seas still attract big pods of seals, dolphins, and whales. This time I’ve brought my own blubber but, in tribute to Bruni, I double down on dessert and buy a brick of homemade fudge from Bruny Island Chocolate on Adventure Bay Road.

The Neck connects north and south Bruny Island
The Neck connects north and south Bruny Island. Picture: Adam Gibson/Tourism Tasmania

I need a walk but I have to settle for a waddle along Daniels Bay. With a view to die for out to Satellite Island and a bellyful of unctuous food in me, Cemetery Beach is as good a place as any to curl up and kiss the mortal coil farewell.

But Bruny is too beautiful to bid adieu to just yet. I shuffle out of the bustling little hamlet of Alonnah to continue south into South Bruny National Park. The vista has shifted dramatically. The sheltered sandy bays and lush farms of the north have now given way to mighty eucalyptus forests and rugged coastlines.

I’m heading for a light on the hill. It’s an uphill trek but worth every labored step. Built-in 1836, the Bruny Lighthouse at the southernmost tip of the island was the longest continually run beacon for mariners in Australia. Now, as a cool tour attests, it’s a silent monument to shipwrecks, convict courage, and primal beauty.

Cape Bruny Lighthouse at the southern tip of Bruny Island
Cape Bruny Lighthouse at the southern tip of Bruny Island. Picture: Tourism Tasmania

For me, this end of the world is the end of the line and I head back to the ferry.

Chugging back across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, the mist descending and fires in the hills smoking, I imagine Bruni at the prow of his frigate, Recherche, and raise a beer (a “roadie” is de rigor) in tribute. It turns out, that just a year after discovering this island, Bruni died of scurvy and malnutrition. Poor bugger.

Unlike Bruni, I’ll be back to blitz Bruny… maybe after a lie-down.

The writer was a guest of AAT Kings and Tourism Tasmania. This article originally appeared on Escape and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com

About the author

Ozzie

Hi! I’m Ozzie!

Before joining Australia Exploring, I was a writer at Tripadvisor.

I'm looking for the best posts for you about travel adventures in Australia and around the world. This website has the purpose to inspire you to travel… travel more and better. I hope it can help you explore the world a little bit better.

I graduated from the University of Sydney. I live in California with my wife and two children.

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