Bruny Island is home to a wonderful range of walks. Head out on foot and discover Bruny’s enchanting forests, pristine beaches, striking coastal scenery, unique wildlife, and spectacular views.
Remember to check the weather before you go, stick to the walking tracks, and leave no trace. It is important to take any rubbish back with you in order to protect the environment as well as Bruny’s wonderful wildlife. If the walk is located within the South Bruny National Park, you’ll need to grab a Parks Pass.
1. Mavista Nature Walk
Time: 30 – 40 minutes return
Distance: 1.4 km
The Mavista Nature Walk is a beautiful short walk for nature lovers. Follow the well-maintained track along a shaded gully filled with ancient and enchanting wet forest. Notice towering stringybarks, blackwoods, magnificent treeferns and a variety of understorey species. Stay a bit longer and make use of the picnic shelter at the beginning of the track.
Please note, the bush track is quite narrow and walkers should not keep going past the end as Mavista Falls are inaccessible. Another word of warning—prepare for leeches (at least they’re friendly).
2. Alonnah-Sheepwash Bay Track
Time: 1 hour return
Distance: 3 km return
Enjoy an easy and pleasant walk along the foreshore between Sheepwash Bay and Alonnah. The track was the main link from Sheepwash Bay to Alonnah in the early years of settlement. The walk follows the old rock-walled carriageway between the two previous jetty sites, meandering through coastal bush.
Keep an eye out for remnants of early settlers’ occupation, including a sawyers’ camp and several piles of stones near Sheepwash Creek. Logs from Bruny Island were prepared in the bush for barging to the windjammers for export to the UK and South Africa.
3. Labillardiere Peninsula Track
Time: Luggaboine Circuit 1.5 hours; Labillardiere Peninsula Circuit 5 hours
Distance: Luggaboine Circuit 4 km; Labillardiere Peninsula Circuit 15 km
This amazing coastal walk can be done as a short loop or as an all-day walk (hot tip: walk the circuit clockwise for kinder terrain and better views). From the western side of the peninsula, gaze out towards the southern ranges. Along the eastern side, the track hugs the coastline and includes Hopwood, Butlers and Jetty beaches, with views of the d’Entrecasteaux Channel.
The heathland and eucalpyt forest contains flowers year round, attracting a variety of birds. In the warmer months, it’s not uncommon to see snakes soaking up the sun on the track, so wear gaiters or long pants.
4. Fluted Cape Track
Time: 2.5 hour circuit
Distance: 5 km circuit
The Fluted Cape Track in the South Bruny National Park offers beautiful coastal views, unique wildlife, and poignant reminders of the island’s whaling history. The first part of the track winds through tall blue gums, white peppermint and sheoaks along the coastline of Adventure Bay (home to the famous white wallaby). Find structural remnants from the whaling industry (1820-40) at Grass Point, and perhaps even spot a real whale during migration season.
From Grass Point, the track climbs steeply along tall dolerite cliffs to the summit of Fluted Cape (families can skip this part and head back from Grass Point for a gentler 1.5 hour return walk). Enjoy distant views to the Tasman Peninsula and look up for soaring white-bellied sea eagles.
5. Cape Queen Elizabeth Track
Time: 3 hours return
Distance: 12 km return
The enchanting Cape Queen Elizabeth Track is on many a bucket list, combining beach and bush adventure. Trek between Big Lagoon and Little Lagoon, enjoy spectacular views of The Neck and Adventure Bay, walk through beautiful coastal heath, spot rich birdlife (including the rare forty-spotted pardalote), and discover remote Miles Beach with its hidden fisherman’s shack. The rocky archway in the sand at Mars Bluff is a real highlight!
6. East Cloudy Head Track
Time: 4 hours return
Distance: 12 km return
The East Cloudy Head Track begins with a 3 km walk along the windswept beach at Cloudy Bay in the South Bruny National Park. Nesting shorebirds lay their eggs amongst the beach debris during spring and summer, so please walk along the wet sand.
At the end of Cloudy Beach, the track follows a small creek inland before climbing 3 km through colourful bird-filled heathland to East Cloudy Head. Enjoy spectacular views along the south coast of Bruny Island to The Friars (home to a noisy fur seal colony). Gaze to the west and north-west for views towards the southern ranges and kunanyi/Mt Wellington.
Please note, the walking times are a general guide—you may complete the track more quickly or take longer if you spend more time enjoying the scenery.
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Header image: Cape Queen Elizabeth Trail by Jess Bonde