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Guide To Bruny Island Cruises in Tasmania

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

Not only is there abundant coastal wildlife, but the boat is a thrilling adventure that passes under crags, through narrow gaps, and into the wild of the Southern Ocean in search of seals, penguins and whales.

a boat in water next to a cliff

We decided to sail with local legend Rob Pennicott from Pennicott Wilderness Journeys on our Bruny Island Cruise.

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

We had an incredible experience exploring Bruny Island via a Bruny Island cruise and so we have prepared this guide on how you can do the same.

We’ll be sharing with you how you can find Bruny Island cruises and what to expect from one…

About Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

a girl on a boat looking at the water

Rob 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 its world-class service and sustainable coastal wilderness experiences.

We had also previously experienced a tour with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys on a Tasman Island Cruiseand knew Rob to be a great guide.

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

We did the 3 hour wilderness cruise but there is also a full day tour.

If you take a full day tour, a morning tea and lunch of fish and chips are included in the ticket price (vegetarian and gluten free options available too).

Tours operate every day except Christmas Day.

To get all the details on Rob Pennicott Wilderness Journeys of Bruny Island including information on pick-up and tours from Hobart’s waterfront on Franklin Wharf (next to the constitution dock lifting bridge), visit the official website:


Where is Bruny Island?

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 crossing over from Kettering.

Access to Bruny Island is by vehicle ferry which departs from Kettering, 40 minutes’ drive south of Hobart.


About The Bruny Island Cruise

The 3-hour cruise starts from the Pennicott Wilderness Journeys Booking Centre at the aptly named Adventure Bay (40-minutes’ drive from Bruny Island Visitor Centre), 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-built boats, nicknamed the yellow boats, which were built for eco-cruising in the ever-changing waters of Southeast Tasmania, and were put through a quick safety briefing, with humour.

woman on baot with two children

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.

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 of the Tasman Sea and search for the wildlife of Bruny Island. I anticipated it was going to be good, but it was AWESOME!

boat cruising past small green islands
a boat on water next to a cliff
a boat on water next to a cliff
a boat on water next to cliffs

The boats are designed to be highly maneuverable and allow the skippers to get up close and personal with the waves and swells.

On one maneuver, we sped between a narrow gap in two huge rock formations known as The Monument, which I and the kids loved, and being the nice tour guides that they were, turned around for a second go 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 past some of Australia’s highest sea cliffs and into some dramatic deep sea caves scattered along the spectacular 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 wildlife such as Sea Eagles, Albatross, pods of dolphins, fur seals, fairy penguins, an abundance of other sea birds, 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

Tips for Taking a Bruny Island Cruise

The Bruny Island cruise is a must-do for anyone visiting Tasmania, but there are some tips to share with you before you go…

  • If you’re seasick, take meds. You can also get some herbal ginger tablets which help combat seasickness.
  • Make sure you dress warmly, even if you are visiting in the summer, as the wind is biting cold. Beanies, gloves, scarves and warm jackets are a must.
  • Pack waterproof housing for your camera. There will be splashes, though you won’t get drenched.
  • You need to check in for your cruise 30 minutes before departure, so plan ahead.
  • Click here for car rental rates and availability from

Book your tour in advance with Get Your Guide. You get free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance, and mobile passes!

Don’t miss nearby attractions and experiences:

Final Thoughts on a Bruny Island Cruise

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 was.

It made for a truly memorable family day out.

And whilst you’re on Bruny Island, consider indulging in some local fresh oysters, homemade cheese and fudge, and some premium wines at the southernmost vineyard in Australia.