Journey to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse

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Travel down Tasmania's south coast for a day trip to Australia's second oldest and longest continually staffed existing lighthouse at Cape Bruny.

The Cape Bruny Lighthouse was built almost 180 years ago, to help guide vessels past Bruny Island following a series of shipwrecks south of the island which included the "catastrophic wreck" of the convict transport, George III.

The 13 metre high lighthouse was designed by colonial architect John Lee Archer, and was constructed using free convict labour.

The lighthouse stood as Tasmania's third lighthouse (Australia's fourth) when it was first lit in March 1838, but has now become one of the country's most significant due to the length of time it was manned.

Life for Cape Bruny's lightkeepers in the nineteenth century was noted to be harsh with the evening task of maintaining the light incessant, and Tasmanian lightkeepers paid poorly and many toiling for years without leave.

Cape Bruny's light was lit for the last time on August 6 1996 and was replaced by a solar powered light.

In December 2000, Cape Bruny Lighthouse was added to the South National Park, which is known for its strong historic Aboriginal ties and wildlife including little penguin (fairy penguin) colonies, short-beaked echidnas, Tasmanian pademelons and Bennetts wallabies.

The light station is open for vehicle access from 09:30 to 16:30, with pedestrian access only available outside these hours.

Visitors can camp at nearby Jetty Beach in the South Bruny National Park, with accommodation also available at Lunawanna, Alonnah and Adventure Bay on Bruny Island.

There are a number of spectacular sights to explore during your visit to the lighthouse, with South Bruny National Park the home of dramatic sea cliffs and various walking tracks with breathtaking views.

Make sure to head along on the Fluted Cape short walk, which will have you following the Grass Point track until you reach open grassland at Penguin Island.

You can then jump on route to a steep climb following the Fluted Cape circuit sign, staying close to the coastal cliffs and providing glorious views of Fluted Cape and the distant Tasman Peninsula.

Visitors should note that specific and varied exclusions apply from rental car companies with regard to taking a hire vehicle onto the island by ferry. You should ensure that you are aware of those restrictions or exclusions – as they apply to insurance, it is important to know what each renter imposes or does or does not cover.

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  • Robyn says:

    We are visiting Bruny island in november – hiring a car from Hobart – and nwo find out there are restrictions for hire cars on bruny island – are you able to provide any information on this. thxs Robyn

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