Discover one of Lunawanna-allonah / Bruny Island’s best walks, inclusive of a hidden hut, epic beach arch, and stunning sea views, before finishing the day off with a trip to the delectable Bruny Island Cheese Co. Sounds like an adventure to me!
We acknowledge that this adventure is located on Lunawanna-allonah, the traditional land of the Nuenonne people who have occupied and cared for this land for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.
- Check out the Rock Arch
- Swim in the crystal-clear water of Moorina Bay
- Find the hut hidden in the dunes
You’re Going to Love Bruny Island
If you like beer, cheese, and beautiful scenery, then you’ll love Lunawanna-allonah / Bruny Island. With just a short drive south from Hobart to Kettering and a ferry ride across, it’s not surprising that Bruny is hugely popular with tourists and locals alike.
Bruny holds a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s the memories from school camping trips there, or my 18th birthday spent on a friend’s bush block. Whatever it is, every time I go, I find something else to love about this little island off an island.
Recently, I decided that, on top of working three jobs and numerous other hobbies, I’d take up photography. Lunawanna-allonah / Bruny Island felt like the natural place to have my first outing with my new camera. I roped a couple of friends in and booked the ferry.
Walking The Cape Queen Elizabeth Track
The Cape Queen Elizabeth Track is one of Bruny’s lesser-known walks, although, like everything on the island, it has become way more popular in the last few years.
Depending on how far you feel like going, you can make this walk as short as 1.5 hours return to the Rock Arch and back or extend it out to a 5+ hour mission. You’re looking at a total distance of 12.6km if you head all the way to Cape Queen Elizabeth and back.
Top tip – check the tides before you go! There’s a high tide and low tide route, so if you time it right you can do a part of the way as a circuit. To make the most of this, try to plan your walk so that you’re either setting out at around low tide, or so that you’ll be walking back around low tide.
The trailhead is well signposted and starts from the car park located just off the main road, about a 20-minute drive south from the Bruny Island Ferry Terminal. There are no bathroom facilities at the trailhead, but there are amenities a little further down the road at the Neck Lookout.
The first 30-40 minutes of the walk is an easy stroll along a wide, sandy track that takes you towards the beach through coastal heathland. This area is brimming with rare and diverse plants. You’ll also pass by two lagoons (dry at certain times of the year) that are a high conservation value area for numerous native bird species.
Once you’re on the beach, you can either head around the cliffs past Bligh’s Rocks, or head uphill on the high tide track. If the tide’s low, I suggest walking along the beach from here until you reach the Rock Arch, then keep heading past there until you link up with the high tide track. But be smart. If in doubt about the tide, definitely take the high tide route.
The high tide track climbs for a while before levelling off, but it’s well worth the effort. You’re treated to incredible views looking out over the cliffs towards Adventure Bay and the Fluted Cape.
After another half hour or so you start to descend back down to the beach and eventually come out at Moorina Bay. The crystal-clear water makes this spot perfect for a swim or just to sit and soak up the view.
From here, you can keep going towards Cape Elizabeth and head all the way out to the point. If you’d prefer to keep the walk a little shorter, you can head back down the beach southward to find the Rock Arch.
Side Trip to Cardboard Goblet
The Cardboard Goblet is a ramshackle hut that was built by six ‘scallywag’ mates back in 1955. It can be tricky to find but makes for a fun little detour along the way to the Cape.
The way to the hut isn’t signed, but if you keep heading along the beach towards the Cape, you’ll see a bit of a trail heading into the dunes just before you reach the rocky end of the beach. Walk along there and keep your eyes peeled, the hut is through some bushes on the left.
Originally constructed from timber salvaged from a shipwreck, over the years a group of friends continued to add to the hut, turning it into what stands today.
We learned all this from the logbook in the hut, which has a section devoted to its history. Leafing through it, you get a sense of how much they loved this place. They kept coming back year after year, well into their 70s and 80s.
Today, the Cardboard Goblet feels a little eerie, tucked away in the heathland. People still occasionally stay overnight here, judging from logbook entries, but the hut is quite rundown at this stage of its life. Probably best to just have a poke around and leave it as you found it.
Read more: Remember to leave no trace!
Extend Your Hike to Cape Lookout
Despite the walking track being named after Cape Queen Elizabeth, not many people actually venture that far. Us included! I was taking so long photographing everything that we had already been out for over three hours by the time that we reached the Cardboard Goblet.
We decided to head back so that we had time for a stop in at the Bruny Island Cheese Company before the ferry ride home. We couldn’t resist the call of a cheese toastie and a beer!
On a previous trip, I walked all the way to the lookout. From memory, the track heads up off the beach at the far end (just a little further from the turn off to find the Cardboard Goblet) and takes you towards the point.
Like every step of this walk, it is beautiful! This last push of the walk features even more stunning cliff views and finishes with vistas northwards out to the Tasman Peninsula.
Good to Know
When planning a visit to Lunawanna-allonah / Bruny Island, be sure to book the ferry ahead of time, or at least plan to arrive at the ferry terminal well before your scheduled crossing, especially if you’re going on a weekend.
- Money for treats at the cheese factory!
- Warm layers
- Rain jacket, just in case
Beginner to intermediate, depending on how far you go
Distance Covered / Duration / Elevation Gain
Up to 12.6km / up to 6 hours / approx. 300m on the high tide route