Camping Bruny Island: A Complete Guide

Camping Bruny Island - feature image

Tasmania is a sparkling shell of natural beauty, and Bruny Island is the pearl that sits inside. Bruny Island takes all the charm of Tasmania, ferries it across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, and concentrates it in one space. Camping Bruny Island is an excellent choice. And it won’t disappoint.

The whole of the south of the island is a national park: South Bruny National Park. Home to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse. This region connects to the northern section of the island via a thin stretch of land, or an isthmus, called ‘the neck’. Which by all accounts is particularly idyllic.

There are some wonderful camping options within the national park. Including one slightly more sophisticated camping on Bruny Island Tasmania option. So you’ll never be short for somewhere to pitch your tent or park your caravan.

In this post I’ll cover: things to consider before camping on Bruny Island, locations of campsites, and other information such as costs and booking processes.

camping bruny island: things to consider

There are five campsites on Bruny Island. Four of them are in the southern section of the island, and thus fall into the national park boundaries. As such, all visitors will need to abide by Tasmanian national park laws. Which state that to enter a national park in Tasmania you will need to purchase a parks pass. Fortunately, they are not expensive and you can learn more about them, here.

The fifth campsite (The Neck Reserve) sits on the southern end of the isthmus, and is not inside the national park. Which means those camping here are not subject to national park fees. However, this campsite does still charge campers to stay (prices and booking details below). There isn’t, strictly speaking, any free camping on Bruny Island. But it is still very low cost.

Camping Bruny Island - The Neck, Bruny Island
The Neck, Bruny Island

Other things to consider would fall under the category of equipment. It is well worth knowing that if staying at any of the five campsites listed below, you will need to bring your own fuel stove and water supply. You will also have to bring firewood with you if you need it, because visitors are not permitted to collect firewood in the national park. You’ll also have to bring a bin with you, or keep hold of all the rubbish you create. All of the campsites listed below have pit toilets.

If you are bringing a furry friend along with you, then you’ll want to stay at Captain Cook Caravan Park, as they allow pets. Generally speaking, dogs are not permitted in the national park.

camping bruny island: prices and booking

Only Captain Cook Caravan Park allows guests to book ahead. The other four campsites do not need to be booked, and act on a first-come, first-served basis. You’ll find self-registration deposit boxes at each campground, so you’ll need to bring cash with you. Except for Jetty Beach, which has a pay display kiosk for card payments.

Here is a breakdown of prices for all of the camping sites:

The Pines Cloudy Corner and Jetty Beach The Neck Captain Cook Caravan Park
National Park Pass Required? yes yes No Yes
PriceFree (other than Parks Pass)1 or 2 people – $10.00 per night

Each additional adult (18+) – $5.00 per night

Each additional child (5-17, under 5’s go free) – $2.50 per night

Family (2 adults, 3 children) – $15.00 per night
1 or 2 people – $10.00 per night

Each additional adult (18+) – $5.00 per night

Each additional child (5-17, under 5’s go free) – $2.50 per night

Family (2 adults, 3 children) – $15.00 per night
Prices start at $25 per night

Each additional adult (18+) – $5.00 per night

Each additional child (5-17, under 5’s go free) – $2.50 per night

Family (2 adults, 3 children) – $15.00 per night

Bruny island campsites

The Pines Campsite

This and Cloudy Corner (below) are the two campsites that can be found in Cloudy Bay. It will quickly become evident why this site is called ‘The Pines’. All around you the tall Radiata Pine trees work their magic to bring a nice shade to the campsite. Though the site is only small, it is ideally located for those who are drawn to the sea. Or, those who enjoy a good hike. I will cover some of the island’s best walking routes later in this post.

Camping Bruny Island - The Pines
Cloudy Bay, Bruny Island

Cloudy Corner Campsite

This is the larger of the two sites found at Cloudy Bay. It is at the far end of the bay, and as such enjoys more peace and quiet. However, it is only accessible by 4WD, and requires a 3km drive along the beach at low tide. It is also possible to launch boats from the beach here. There is a water tank containing non-treated water at this site.

Jetty Beach Bruny Island Campsite

Camping Bruny Island - Jetty Beach

You’ll find this site right down on the southwestern tip of Bruny Island. And thus, guests enjoy a slightly quieter, even lusher corner of natural beauty. Consequently, it is a brilliant place for families. Nestled amongst the trees, and leading onto a sandy cove with a private feel, visitors can swim, snorkel, kayak and go fishing. Additionally, there are a few picnic tables around the site, making it a nice spot to have some lunch. Furthermore, the Cape Bruny Lighthouse is just a ten minute drive away.

The Neck Campground

Stairs to the Neck Lookout
Stairs to the Neck Lookout, Bruny Island

This Bruny Island camping site is the only one of the five that isn’t inside South Bruny National Park. Thus campers do not have to pay for a parks pass to camp here. But, as seen in the table above, other camping fees still apply. Set in the Neck Game Reserve, this site is just a 3 minute drive, or a 25 minute walk from the Neck Lookout. Which affords visitors a wonderful 360 degree view over the entire island, the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and the Tasman Sea. The site is also right next to the main road, so is easily accessible.

You’ll be a stone’s throw from the beach that runs along the isthmus. Upon which, after dusk, you may be able to spot groups of Little Penguins. Who make their way onto land to nest after a long day hunting at sea. Another great thing about this campsite is its proximity to Adventure Bay and Alonnah. Both useful places to pick up supplies.

Captain Cook Caravan Park Bruny Island

Last but certainly not least is the more sophisticated option for camping Bruny Island Tasmania. Of course, camping at a commercial site has its perks. For instance, at Captain Cook’s there’s an indoor kitchen and dining area, BBQ area, well-maintained bathrooms, kayak and peddle car hire and coin-operated laundry machines.

Adventure Bay
Adventure Bay

The site can be found in Adventure Bay, just opposite the beach. Because it’s set in a slightly more human-centric area of the island, you’ll find there are a few more things to do around this campsite. For example you could visit the Bligh museum of Pacific Exploration. Which houses a number of maps, documents, paintings and other artefacts. All of which offer a historical insight into visits made to Adventure Bay by explorers such as Captain William Bligh, Tobias Furneaux and Admiral Joseph-Antoine Bruny D’Entrecasteux. You’ll recognise the last name, no doubt. Bruny Island Cruises is also nearby if you fancy an eco-friendly swish around the island.

Bruny Island Walks

It would be a great shame to visit Bruny Island, camp in any of these amazing spots, and not embark on some of the wonderful Bruny Island hikes. So here are just a few of the nature-full walks that you can take.

Grass Point

This scenic walk begins at the Adventure Point entrance to the national park. It takes you along a well-maintained track that is ideal for families and those new to bushwalking. Easy and largely flat, this trail will provide splendid coastal views for the majority of your walk. Also, this walk is just a short one, taking around one hour and thirty minutes (return).

Fluted Cape

This trail begins at the same place as Grass Point walk. It follows the same route until you reach the grasslands at Penguin Island. From there, walkers should follow the Fluted Cape Circuit sign. Although not extremely difficult, this walk still presents a more challenging time than Grass Point. For instance, there are a handful of steep climbs and it takes roughly two hour and thirty minutes (return).

East Cloudy Head

This wildlife-rich walk begins at the end of Cloudy Bay Road. You’ll trace the curve of the beach to the south end before turning inland and crossing Imlays Creek. From here, walkers will follow an old 4WD track with a handful of steep ascents and descents for a further 3km. You’ll reach Cloudy Head in around two hours, and then return the way you came.

Labillardiere Peninsula Circuit

You’ll begin your walk at Jetty Beach (ideal for those camping there). The circuit can be taken in either direction (better clockwise), and will take you to the top of Mt Bleak. You’ll descend onto either Hopwood Beach or Butlers Beach, depending on your chosen direction. Fortunately, the rest of the circuit is a stroll through light forest and shrubbery. If you’re lucky, you may spot some of Tasmania’s colourful birds. This walk takes roughly six hour, return.

Luggaboine Circuit

This walk is a shorter version of the previous circuit. Again, it will afford better views and easier hiking if taken clockwise. And, it will take roughly one and a half hours to complete the circuit.

I do sincerely hope that this guide to Camping Bruny Island has been useful for you. If you’re interested in visiting the island and need an idea of what to do, then take a look at this 10 day Tasmania Itinerary. Also, if you’re thinking about travelling around Tasmania in general, and want to save on accommodation costs, then check out this guide to free camping in Tasmania. Furthermore, if you’d like to tour the island in a pre-organised fashion, try this tour.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.