3 Hours of Unspoilt Wilderness on a Bruny Island Cruise in Tasmania

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a boat in water next to a cliff

I wanted to visit Bruny Island off the southeast coast of Tasmania as soon as I’d heard it was the ultimate wilderness experience to have in Tasmania.

After hearing about Caz’s previous cruise with local legend Rob Pennicott from Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, we were hoping to have Rob as our guide again exploring Bruny Island.

Caz said Rob reminded her of Steve Irwin; passionate about nature, enthusiastic and quick with a joke.

He started Pennicott Wilderness Journeys as a small family business in 1999, running cruises along the Tasman coastline, and now boasts a staff of over 70 people. Rob Pennicott has won numerous awards because of their world-class service and sustainable coastal wilderness experiences.

So we made plans to jump on a three-hour eco-adventure cruise with Rob’s company.

Bruny Island is an easy day trip from Hobart. You can jump on a tour or self-drive to Bruny Island like we did and catch the vehicle ferry over from Kettering.

The 3-hour adventure cruise starts at the aptly named Adventure Bay, and whilst we weren’t having Rob as our guide today we soon learned that his personality shines through on all his staff, they obviously love what they do, and they were just as excited as we were.

We boarded the custom designed boats, nicknamed the yellow boats, which were built for eco-cruising in the ever-changing waters of South East Tasmania, and were put through a quick safety briefing, with humour.

Our kids were made feel safe being fitted with life jackets, and we grabbed a seat at the back of the boat which appeared to have the best viewing options, but we soon discovered the open-air tiered seating gives each passenger an excellent all-round view.
a woman sitting on chairs with her children

We were all set, camera in hand, and had been blessed with a sunny day (which can be hard to come by in Tasmania.) We took off in our yellow boat to explore the rugged coastline and search for wildlife. I anticipated it was going to be good, but it was AWESOME!

Bruny Island Cruise Tasmania

a boat on water next to a cliff

a boat on water next to a cliff


a boat on water next to cliffs

a girl on a boat looking at the water

The boats are designed to be highly manoeuvrable and allow the skippers to get up close and personal.

On one manoeuvre, we sped between a narrow opening in two huge rock formations which I, and the kids loved, and being the nice tour guides that they were, turned around for a second go and to watch the following boats for an action shot.

a boat going in between rocks

But there was so much more to come.

Our yellow boat took us into some dramatic deep sea caves scattered along the coastline and right up close to the towering Jurassic Dolerite cliffs and natural rock formations, with some cliffs being over 200 metres above sea level.

I was taking photos like crazy and the colours and rock formations were fantastic.

cliffs in the water

rocky cliffs


Water next to rock

water next to a rock wall


a rock arch in the ocean

An island in the middle of a body of water

But Bruny Island is not just about rock formations and sea caves. It’s also home to fur seals, fairy penguins, an abundance of bird life and if you time your trip, the opportunity to see migrating whales.

We didn’t get to see whales on our cruise, but we did meet some furry seals and Black-faced Cormorants.

A seal on a rock

seals on rocks

people on a boat looking at seals

birds standing on rocks

If you’re visiting Hobart, or on an extended road trip around Tasmania, I highly recommend the Bruny Island cruise experience.

The whole package was incredible from the scenery, to the wildlife spotting, and I can’t speak highly enough of how professional and infectious the staff were.

It made for a truly memorable family day out.

And whilst your on Bruny Island, consider indulging in some local fresh oysters, homemade cheese and fudge, and some premium wines at the southern most vineyard in Australia.

]Bruny Island Cruise Details

Access to Bruny Island is by vehicle ferry which departs from Kettering, 40 minutes drive south of Hobart. We did the 3 hour cruise but there is also a full day tour.

To get all the details on Rob Pennicott Wilderness Journeys of Bruny Island including information on pick-up and tours from Hobart, visit the official website: www.BrunyCruises.com.au

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