South Bruny National Park is situated on the southern tip of Bruny Island off the Tasmanian south east coast. The park stretches along the coast from Fluted Cape to the southern part of Great Taylors Bay. Bruny Island is separated from mainland Tasmania by the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
The area was designated South Bruny National Park in 1997 for its magnificent coastal scenery with towering cliffs, rocky headlands and long sandy beaches. The park extends several kilometres from the shore in some parts protecting areas of rainforest with several endemic plant species. South Bruny National Park is a popular tourist destination where visitors are attracted by the rugged coastal scenery and rich bird life. Adventure Bay has sheltered swimming areas, as does Jetty Beach. Cloudy Bay is a popular surfing spot.
There are camp grounds at Jetty Beach and Cloudy Bay with toilets, water and fireplaces. There is no firewood provided so bring your own or use your own fuel stove. There is another camping site at Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve, with toilets and limited water.
You can launch a boat from the beach, but there are no boat ramps. The Partridge Island jetty can be used for boat landing, but no mooring of boats is allowed.
There area several walking tracks in South Bruny National Park giving views of the scenic coastline with its tall cliffs. Walks vary from an easy stroll along the Cloudy Bay beach to a full day hike on the Labillardiere Peninsula circuit.
- Grass Point (1.5 hours return). The walk starts at the Adventure Bay park entrance. Follow the short stretch of beach next to the car park and turn left. The track follows the coast and is fairly flat with some gentle slopes. Grass Point is an open grassy area where you can see the remains of a whaling station can be seen
- Fluted Cape (2.5 hours return). Start at starts at the Adventure Bay and take the Grass Point track to the open grassy area at Penguin Island. Follow the signs for Fluted Cape circuit. The track is near to the cliffs and climbs steeply giving you spectacular views over Fluted Cape. After about fifty minutes walk you will come to a sign that indicates where the circuit returns, and you follow the path back down gradually descending to Adventure Bay.
- East Cloudy Head (4 hours return). Start at the end of the Cloudy Bay Road and walk about three quarters of an hour to the south end of the beach. When you get to Imlays Creek, turn inland following the creek. You will cross the creek a few times over a hundred metre stretch. When you reach an old four wheel drive track, follow the track until you get to the headland, and then come back the way you came.
- Labillardiere Peninsula Circuit (5.5 – 6.5 hours return). The circuit starts at the Jetty Beach camp ground and does a loop round the peninsula. You can do the circuit clockwise or anticlockwise, but for best views of the scenery and best photography conditions, it is best to start on the western side. Once you climb Mt Bleak you will have a view over to Partridge Island. The track drops down to Hopwood Beach and Butlers Beach and on through woodland to finish back at Jetty Beach.
South Bruny National Park with its range of habitats including rugged coastline, sandy beaches, rainforest, heathland and open pasture supports a diversity of bird life. Over 120 species have been recorded on the island including the Australasian gannet and the Ground Parrot. Hooded plovers nest on the beach and dunes. Swift Parrots feed in the Blue Gums. Partridge Island has a colony of the rare Forty-spotted Pardalote.
There are a number of Short-tailed Shearwater (Muttonbird) colonies and Little (Fairy) Penguin colonies. On Courts Island, off Cape Bruny, there is a small colony of Sooty Shearwaters.
Short-beaked echidnas may be spotted while out walking during the day. In the evening you often see,Tasmanian Pademelons, Brushtail Possums and Bennetts Wallabies. There is small population of white Bennetts Wallabies near the Fluted Cape entrance where they are often seen feeding in the grassy areas at dusk.
The Australian Fur Seal can be seen at The Friars islands off the southern tip of South Bruny. Leopard Seals are rare visitors. Don’t approach a Leopard seal, as they can attack if disturbed. An average of about five leopard seals visit the coast of Tasmania each year – contact the Parks and Wildlife if you see one. During the whale migration season you may Humpback Whales or Southern Right Whales in the protected waters around Adventure Bay. Whales can be seen as they migrate north from June to September and return south from September to late October. In the early part of the 19th century whaling was carried out in Adventure Bay catching mainly Southern Right Whales. There were whaling stations at Cloudy Bay and Grass Point in the north of the park, and remains of these stations can still be seen. The whales were hunted almost to extinction and by the late 1840s the whaling industry collapsed.
To get to South Bruny National Park from Hobart, take the southbound Southern Outlet (A6) to Kingston, and then take the B68 to Kettering about 40 km south of Hobart. There is a car ferry from Kettering to Bruny Island with regular departures throughout the day. The ferry trip is about 15 minutes and takes you to Roberts Point, on north Bruny Island. From Roberts Point you can drive to the southern part of the island.