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Whether you are a gourmet, a history buff or lover of the outdoors, Bruny Island has a unique ability to enchant.

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Cheese wheels Bruny Island cheese

Bruny Island Experience

Whether you are a gourmet, a history buff or lover of the outdoors, Bruny Island has a unique ability to enchant.

Just off the south-east coast of Tasmania, Bruny is the same size as Singapore, but has a population of less than 1000, rather than 4.5 million. It's a great place for beach walking, or taking a trek to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse.

Tasmania's fourth-largest island is just a 30-minute drive and 15-minute car ferry ride south of Hobart.

It is close to 100 kilometres from Bruny Island tip to tail and can be almost deserted midweek, making it the perfect escape from city hustle with limited mobile reception, beautiful beaches (Adventure Bay has been named among the best in Australia) and dramatic scenery.

Bruny Island was first sighted by Abel Tasman in 1642 and named after Rear Admiral Bruny d'Entrecasteaux, who visited the island in 1792-93.

Captains Furneaux, Flinders, Cook and Bligh all anchored in Adventure Bay, which takes its name from Furneaux's ship. The tiny Bligh Museum of Pacific Exploration at Adventure Bay and the Alonnah History Rooms are both open to the public.

There are several cafes on what are effectively two islands joined by a narrow isthmus. Lovers of fine food will be in their element here with a selection of artisan cheeses and wood-fired breads from Bruny Island Cheese, fresh oysters from Get Shucked, wine tastings at Bruny Island Premium Wines, Australia's southernmost vineyard and an extensive selection of Tasmanian single-malt whisky at the Bruny Island House of Whisky.

Check out the Bruny Island Chocolate Factory to sample fudges, truffles, sauces, chocolates, jams and gourmet foods. Or, in summer, try some fresh raspberries from the Bruny Island Raspberry Farm – pick your own if you enjoy working for your supper.

Wildlife on the island includes albino wallabies, nocturnal creatures like quolls and pademelons, a colony of fairy penguins and all manner of birds, from parrots to perky little red breasted creatures. Fur seals inhabit rocky outcrops and can be seen on an adventure cruise.

Also keep an eye out for sea eagles, albatrosses and – during the season – dolphins and whales. There might even by the odd sluggish echidna crossing the road.

Most of the accommodation here is self-catering, or camping. There are no five-star resorts or big brand hotels.