An interstate reader asked the question of Think Tasmania: “is there a bridge to Bruny Island?” The question was posed after last week’s article about Cape Bruny Lighthouse. So we thought we’d answer, not only for that particular reader, but for everyone else who’s wondering too. No, there’s no bridge; visitors must catch the Bruny Island Ferry.
Catch the Bruny Island Ferry to Roberts Point
The Bruny Island Ferry departs the Tasmanian mainland from Kettering, about 30 minutes drive south of Hobart. The vehicle and passenger ferry trip takes less than 15 minutes once you’re on board and underway. So far, in our experience there’s been no need for seasickness tablets when crossing the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
We have crossed the Channel previously on a bus, part of an adventure cruise trip with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys. Everything went smoothly that day, with a brief stop at the ferry terminal in Kettering. We had just enough time to enjoy a nice coffee from Mermaid Cafe while gazing at yachts in the Oyster Cove Marina; and then we were on board without incident.
Timing is Everything
We had heard rumours that catching the Bruny Island Ferry during peak season was a nightmare. Expect long delays, we were warned. So with some trepidation we arrived at Kettering post Boxing Day, and joined the seriously long queue with other holiday-makers. The Mirambeena was just leaving the terminal when we got there, and we were a long way back in the line. Fortunately, our car just squeaked onto the lower deck on the next journey… the last car to do so!
We must say, we were pleasantly surprised by our experience. Regular schedules are abandoned during busy times, and while cars continue to queue, the Bruny Island Ferry just shuttles back and forth continuously. The official website lists the regular time schedule and the prices. We paid $30-00 for our car and that covered all passengers (four people and a dog) and the return journey as well.
One very important point that could catch a lot of visitors unawares: the ferry terminal operators do not have EFTPOS facilities. So… no cash, no go. Well, not with a car, anyway. Several pedestrians rode the ferry and weren’t required to pay anything; but Bruny Island is too large to cover on foot. Some of those passengers were collected by a bongo van, possibly headed for backpacker’s accommodation.
Don’t Push Your Luck
Once on board, we were free to exit the vehicle, lean over the railings and take in the views. There are toilets at both terminals, as well as on the ferry. However, on the return journey, we were on the upper deck and parked so closely to the adjacent car we couldn’t open our doors. So the moral of the story is… if you have to “go”, don’t risk waiting until you’re on board. Arrive at the terminal with time to spare.
On the return journey, we arrived at Roberts Point to see the Bruny Island Ferry close its doors and leave us waiting at the head of the queue. That wasn’t a major problem though. There was a musician playing some calming music at the well-stocked kiosk, and we struck up a conversation with some interstate tourists.
From Queensland, the Tasmanian tourists were in need of directions from Kettering to Cygnet, and figured anyone in a car branded “Think Tasmania” should be able to help them! Which we gladly did, of course.
Mirambeena: Ferry To and From Bruny Island
On our cruise with Hobart Cruises to Peppermint Bay in Woodbridge we captured a photo of the Bruny Island Ferry (*see above). So it seemed only fitting that we captured a photo of the luxury catamaran from the Mirambeena this time around.
We also found a photo in our files of the Bruny Island Ferry, captured from the Oyster Cove Inn as well. We were on their beautiful deck enjoying a hard-earned (?) drink after a day-trip south of Hobart. The scenery in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel region has to be some of the best in Tasmania. And that’s saying something really!
So that should answer the original question about the bridge (or lack thereof), and hopefully provide some insight into the logistics involved when travelling to Bruny Island. But of course, if you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’ve allocated our 6:00pm Facebook status every day to forum o’clock to address reader questions.
We’re quick to admit we don’t know everything there is to know about Tasmania yet; and we share only first-hand experiences rather than random Google searches. But we do have a terrific, engaged audience who are only too pleased to share their opinions. Maybe you can join Think Tasmania in these discussions too?
For more information, and current schedules and prices, please visit the Bruny Island Ferry website or phone (03) 6273 6725.
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