Exploring the Ancient Roots

Exploring the Ancient Roots

Unveiling the Indigenous History of Bruny Island

Bruny Map

Nestled off the southeastern coast of Tasmania, Bruny Island is not just a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers; it is also home to a rich indigenous history that dates back thousands of years. As the custodians of this land, the Indigenous peoples of Bruny Island have left an indelible mark on its landscapes and culture. In this blog post, Adventure Bay Retreat takes you on a journey through time, unveiling the ancient roots and enduring legacy of the island’s First Nations inhabitants.

The First Custodians

Before the arrival of European settlers, Bruny Island was inhabited by the Nuenonne people, part of the larger South-East Tasmanian Aboriginal nation. For over 34,000 years, the Nuenonne lived in harmony with the island’s diverse ecosystem, relying on its abundant resources for sustenance and spiritual connection. Their deep knowledge of the land, sea, and skies enabled them to thrive in this rugged island environment.

Spiritual Connection to the Land

The Nuenonne people held profound spiritual beliefs tied to the natural world around them. Each landmark, from soaring cliffs to tranquil beaches, held significant spiritual meaning. Many of these sacred sites still resonate with spiritual energy today, creating a profound sense of connection to the past for modern visitors.

Cultural Practices and Traditions

The Nuenonne people expressed their cultural identity through art, storytelling, and ceremonial practices. Intricate rock carvings and cave paintings adorned the island’s hidden corners, capturing the essence of their beliefs and daily life. Stories and oral traditions were passed down through generations, preserving the history and wisdom of their ancestors.

Impact of European Contact

With the arrival of European explorers and settlers in the 18th century, the lives of the Nuenonne people dramatically changed. The introduction of foreign diseases and the encroachment of European settlers on their traditional lands caused significant disruptions to their way of life. Sadly, this contact resulted in a drastic decline in the Nuenonne population, and their rich cultural practices faced immense challenges.

Honoring the Past: Reconciliation and Preservation

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of acknowledging and preserving the indigenous history of Bruny Island. Various initiatives and collaborations between the local community, Indigenous elders, and cultural organizations aim to honor and celebrate the Nuenonne people’s legacy. The island’s traditional custodians now play a pivotal role in sharing their history, knowledge, and connection to the land with visitors and the broader community.

Embrace the Ancient Heritage

As visitors to Bruny Island, it is essential to approach this beautiful landscape with respect and appreciation for its ancient roots. The Indigenous history of this island is a vital part of its identity and should be acknowledged and celebrated. Adventure Bay Retreat invites you to embark on a journey of discovery, one that not only reveals the breathtaking natural wonders but also the enduring legacy of the Nuenonne people, the First Nations custodians of Bruny Island.

Through honoring their history and cultural heritage, we can foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the timeless connection between the land, its traditional custodians, and those who visit this extraordinary island today. Let us walk together, embracing the past and forging a more inclusive and respectful future for Bruny Island and all who call it home.

New biography of Nuenonne woman Truganini shows us a powerful strong survivor




Discover Bruny Island’s Winter Wonders – Your Adventure Awaits!

Fur Seal swimming in Bruny Island

Experience the Magic of Winter on Bruny Island

As winter descends upon Bruny Island, the rugged landscape transforms into a wonderland of enchanting experiences. Adventure Bay Retreat invites you to embrace the chilly season and indulge in the unique offerings this island paradise has in store for you. From wildlife encounters to gastronomic delights, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on Bruny Island during the coming months.

Wildlife Encounters in Winter Wonderland

Winter marks the migration season for various marine species around Bruny Island. Witness majestic whales gliding through the crystal-clear waters during one of the island’s whale-watching tours. Spot seals and sea lions basking on rocky shores as you explore the coastline. Don’t miss the chance to observe the adorable little penguins returning to their nests after a day of fishing.

Winter Hiking and Nature Trails

Lace-up your boots and embark on a winter hiking adventure. Bruny Island’s trails offer breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains and lush greenery. The Truganini Track takes you through diverse landscapes, while the Cape Queen Elizabeth Track treats you to awe-inspiring vistas of the Southern Ocean. Remember to bring your camera to capture these mesmerizing moments.

Gourmet Delights and Local Flavors

Foodies, rejoice! Bruny Island’s gastronomic scene is bustling with seasonal treats. Savor the island’s famed fresh oysters, served in various delectable ways. Warm up with artisanal chocolates and sip on local wines at the island’s vineyards. The winter season also brings a variety of food festivals, showcasing the best produce from the region.

Stargazing and Aurora Australis

Bruny Island’s remote location offers a unique advantage for stargazers and astrophotographers. Experience the brilliance of the night sky, unobstructed by city lights. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the mesmerizing Aurora Australis, a stunning display of dancing lights across the southern horizon.

Adventure Bay Retreat welcomes you to experience the wonders of Bruny Island during the upcoming winter months. From wildlife encounters to gastronomic delights and celestial spectacles, this island paradise promises an unforgettable adventure. Pack your bags, bundle up, and let Bruny Island work its magic on you!

Bruny Island’s Best Walks

Bruny Island's Best Walks

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walking tracks on Bruny Island. Whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll or a hike that’s a little more challenging you’ll find it on Bruny Island. Experience magical vistas, native wildlife and mesmerizing fauna all whilst enjoying the  tranquility of the Island. 

So its time to get those walking shoes out and explore the beauty within Bruny Island. Check out our rundown of Bruny Island’s best walks.




Time: 30 – 40 minutes return
Distance: 1.4 km

The Mavista Nature Walk is a lovely short walk which takes you into a beautiful ancient wet forest filled with towering stringybarks, blackwoods and magnificent treeferns.

There’s plenty of parking at the start of the track and the trail follows a well-maintained track along a beautiful shaded gully.

Pack a picnic and enjoy the cosy picnic shelter at the start of the walk.

Remember – this is a wet forest so be prepared for leeches. But don’t let this put you off this stunning walk.

Track warning – don’t proceed past the end of the well maintained track – Mavista Falls are inaccessible.

Mavista Nature Walk. Image credit: alexandrapaffenholz/Instagram



Time: 1 hour return
Distance: 3 km return

The Alonnah-Sheepwash Bay Track is a fantastic easy walk that’s steeped in history!

In the early years of settlement this foreshore track was the main link from Sheepwash Bay to Alonnah.

It’s an easy 1 hour return walk where you follow the old rock-walled carriageway located between two previous jetty sites. You’ll even pass remains of the early settlers’ occupation way back from the 1850’s. 

The historic track meanders through beautiful coastal bush dominated by large eucalypts and other native trees and plants.

Alonnah-Sheepwash Bay Track. Image Credit: bonnie_hamilton/Instagram


Time: Luggaboine Circuit 1.5 hours; Labillardiere Peninsula Circuit 5 hours
Distance: Luggaboine Circuit 4 km; Labillardiere Peninsula Circuit 15 km

Whether you feel like a short walk or a day long hike the Labillardiere Peninsula track offers a stunning coastal walk.

The Luggaboine Circuit – is a short loop. Whereas the Labillardiere Peninsula Circuit is an all day walk.

Important tip – the view is a lot better and the terrain is significantly kinder if you walk the circuit clockwise!

With stunning coastal views of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, beautiful forests filled with heathland and eucalypt, as well as an abundance of native flowers and birds, this walk will keep you entertained from start to finish!

Labillardiere Peninsula Track. Image credit: ultimatesaunter/Instagram


Time: 2.5 hour circuit
Distance: 5 km circuit

Gain an understanding of the islands whaling history whilst you enjoy the beautiful coastal views and unique wildlife on the Fluted Cape Track.

Surround yourself with tall blue gums, white peppermint and sheoaks as you walk the first part of the track along the coastline of Adventure Bay. Keep your eyes open for the famous white wallaby, and if you’re walking the track during migration season you may spot a whale at Grass Point. Here, you’ll also see structural remnants of the whaling industry of 1820-40.

From Grass Point get ready for a steep climb as the track heads along tall dolerite cliffs to the summit of Fluted Cape. But the uphill is it worth it with the gorgeous distant views of the Tasman Peninsula. Don’t forget to look up to the sky and check out the mesmerising white-bellied sea eagles.

Fluted Cape Track. Image credit: roamfreescapes/Instagram


Time: 3 hours return
Distance: 12 km return

The Cape Queen Elizabeth Track really does have it all – beach, bush, spectacular views, rare birdlife, and one or two hidden spots waiting to be discovered!

The track takes you between Big Lagoon and Little Lagoon presenting you with epic views of The Neck and Adventure Bay. Continue to the remote Miles Beach and discover it’s remote fisherman’s shack and check out the incredible rock archway in the sand at Mars Bluff.

Rock formation at Mars Bluff on the Cape Queen Elizabeth track. Image Credit: wenra.au/Instagram


Time: 4 hours return
Distance: 12 km return

Experience the beautiful white sands of Cloudy Beach for the first three kilometres of the East Cloudy Head Track. If you do this walk during spring and summer please walk along the wet sand as nesting shorebirds lay their eggs amongst the beach debris during this time.

When you get to the end of Cloudy Beach the track starts to follow a small creek inland before climbing 3kms through heathland to East Cloudy Head. Here you can enjoy breath taking views along the south coast of Bruny Island to The Friars. Turn your head and also enjoy the view of the southern ranges and kunanyi/Mt Wellington.


East Cloudy Head Track. Image Credit: kerri_furtado/Instagram

If you’re keen to explore one of these incredible walks – and would like to enjoy luxury accommodation in the heart of Bruny Island’s nature –  then check out our accommodation options at Adventure Bay Retreat.

Bruny Island Food – A Paradise Island for Gourmet Lovers

Bruny Island food

Food on our island home is core to Island life and an important part of Bruny Island’s identity. We’re proud of the sustainable practices that harvest our Island’s natural and wholesome foods.

A visit to Bruny Island is simply not complete until your taste buds have experienced the fresh gourmet produce that our proud local artisans produce.

Read on for our selection of our favourite Bruny Island Food experiences.

Bruny Island Cheese Company

Cheese lovers rejoice! Bruny Island Cheese Company is a trail blazer in the world of homemade, traditional cheese – and boast some of the finest artisan cheeses in Australia. Their cheese has a distinctive Tasmanian taste and their doors are open to avid Cheese lovers to experience their incredible cheese tasting plates.

Added bonus? All this delicious cheese can be washed down with equally delicious home brewed beer from their beer brewery that’s located just behind the Chessery. Win, win.

For more information click here: Bruny Island Cheese Company

Bruny Island Food - Bruny Island Cheese Company

Delicious Bruny Island cheese from the Bruny Island Cheese Company. Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania and Andrew Wilson

Bruny Island Premium Wines

Family owned and operated, this incredible local vineyard and winery proudly grow, produce and bottle their wine by hand on Wayaree Estate.

Wayaree Estate is Australia’s southern most vineyard. It’s vines produce premium quality, cool climate wines – and testament to this quality, is the 30 medals collected in wine shows around the world.

You can visit their cellar door seven days a week – and taste for yourself some of Tasmania’s finest wines.

For more information click here: Bruny Island Premium Wines

Bruny Island Food - Bruny Island Premium Wines

Superb local wines from Bruny Island Premium Wines. Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

Bruny Island Berry Farm

There is no better, nor more beautiful place, to pick your own berries than Bruny Island Berry Farm. This 12 hectare, beachfront, berry farm is conveniently located at Adventure Bay and ran by locals Katherine and Graham who’s family have had the farm since 1880.

You can pick your own berries as well as enjoy Bruny Islands finest berry deserts. Tuck into berry pancakes and scones made from fresh berry jam. You may even enjoy a pairing of strawberry champagne or local wine.

For more information click here: Bruny Island Berry Farm

Bruny Island Berry Farm

Mouth-watering berry pancakes served at Bruny island Berry Farm. Image Credit: Julia Smith

Get Shucked

Boasters of Tasmania’s freshest and finest oysters – Get Shucked is a locally owned and operated oyster bar here on Bruny Island.

Their oysters are sustainably cultivated in the pristine waters of Great Bay, Bruny Island. The oysters are harvested daily and are freshly served to visitors from their oyster bar – a fantastic bay to bar dining experience!

If you’re keen to learn more about how oysters are harvested you can take a peek inside their processing shed where you can see for yourself how the oysters are sorted and cultivated.

For more information click here: Get Shucked

Bruny Island oysters at Get Shucked

Fresh Bruny Island oysters from Get Shucked. Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

Bruny Island House of Whiskey

For the discerning Whiskey drinker – you’ve just hit gold. Bruny Island House of Whiskey has the most extensive known range of purely Tasmanian Single Malts as well as being home to ‘Trappers Hut’ 15-year-old, Limited Single Cast Release. Whoa!

This is a great place to taste Tasmania’s award-winning single malts with (very) knowledgeable staff who have an unrelenting passion for all things Whiskey.

For more information click here: Bruny Island House of Whiskey

Tasting whiskey at Bruny Island House of Whiskey

Dive into a unique Whiskey tasting experience at Bruny Island House of Whiskey. Image Credit: Rob Burnett

We’re very pleased to meet you

Welcome to Adventure Bay Retreat on Bruny Island in Tasmania, Australia.

Picture yourself nestled into the open bushland of Adventure Bay on 33 acres you are guaranteed privacy.

Surrounded by wallabies including the white wallaby (unique to the area). There are many great photographic opportunities while experiencing the local wild life in close proximity and only a 400 metre walk to the beautiful white sands of Adventure Bay Beach … a northerly facing beach which is fabulous for swimming, fishing and boating. Numerous mapped walking tracks exist all over the Island from a short stroll to a few hours.

We invite you to come and stay, in eco-friendly tranquility.

Bruny Island Wildlife – A walk on the wild side

The wildlife that we share Bruny Island with, is nothing short of unique. A stay at Adventure Bay Retreat gives you a magical opportunity to experience this wildlife at your very front door. Whether it’s spotting wallabies from the Retreat’s front porch, checking out the local seal colony, marveling at the endemic birdlife or scratching your head in wonder at the prickly echidna. Be sure to take a deep breath, and fill your heart with the incredible animals that call Bruny Island home. With so much wildlife to discover we’ve listed some of our favourite Bruny Island animal experiences.

Spotting Bruny Island’s famous white wallabies

White wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus) are our favourite furry neighbours and regular visitors to Adventure Bay Retreat. You wont even have to leave the Retreat to get the opportunity to marvel at these incredible and unusual animals. White wallabies are unique to Bruny Island and are easily recognisable due to a rare genetic mutation that gives them their signatory white fur. White wallabies live in the forest areas that surround Adventure Bay Retreat and can often be seen resting during the day and eating grass, roots and leaves in the evening. They’re used to attention from humans so capturing a great photo from the back porch is easy!

Bruny Islands famous White Wallaby. Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne

Checking out Fur Seals

Commonly seen in the waters of Bruny Island, fur seals are magnificent creatures and a special part of our ocean landscape here on the Island. A colony of seals can often be spotted on rocky outcrops at the southern end of Bruny Island. A great way to view the seals is a trip on a Bruny Island Cruise where you can see them sunning their blubber and taking a break from hunting fish, squid octopus and lobster.

The magnificent Australian Fur Seal. Image Credit: Sean Scott

Gazing at Tasmania’s Endemic birdlife

Bruny Island is home to a huge variety of birdlife, including all 12 species endemic to Tasmania. With incredible birds such as the Forty-spotted Pardalote, the Swift Parrot, and the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle all calling Bruny Island home you can see why our Island is named in the top 10 bird watching sites of Australia! A great place to spot these magnificent birds is by taking a tour on Inala Private Reserve which is home to an incredible 95 different species of birds.

The impressive Wedge-tailed Eagle. Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Supplied Courtesy of Latrobe Council

Being amazed at spiky Echidnas

Common in Bruny Island is the short beaked Echidna. These cute, spiky mammals live in caves, burrows and under vegetation. They’re not fans of hot weather (as weirdly, they can’t sweat) and they hibernate during winter. They like to roam, and with no fixed home you may be lucky enough to spot one as you explore Bruny Island. If you do come across a Echidna they may roll into a ball or burrow into the ground, leaving only the spiky part of their body exposed – a common action whenever they feel threatened.

The very cute (and prickly) Echidna. Image Credit: Sean Scott

Marvelling at Fairy Penguins

One of Bruny Islands favourite birds – the ever-so-cute Fairy Penguin. These can be spotted at the Bruny Island Neck Reserve – which is situated between the north and the south of the Island. Fantastic boardwalks and viewing platforms in the reserve give you a great opportunity to observe the little Fairy Penguins, as well as the remarkable short-tailed shearwater birds. The best time to view the penguins is during the warmer months between September to February. There’s an interpretation board where you can learn more about the penguins, and during peak viewing times there’s a Parks and Wildlife Interpretation Guide present at dusk so you can learn even more about these incredible creatures.

Bruny Island’s Fairy Penguins. Image Credit: Tourism Tasmania & Chris Bell