Bruny Island History

Bruny Isand History and Captain CookThe history of Bruny Island is mainly linked to the arrival of various explorers, and then their association with Adventure Bay.  However, we mustn’t forget the people who were here first.  They suffered at the hands of the new imigrants and a story of this part of history can be viewed by the story of Trugannani.

First discovered by Abel Tasman 1642, and later visited by Furneaux in 1773  naming Adventure Bay after his ship.  Cook in 1777, Bruni d’Entrecasteaux, Bass, Flinders and Bligh in 1788 and 1792

Bruny Island lies to the south of Hobart,Tasmania and is separated from the Tasmanian mainland by the d’EntrecasteauxChannel or simply, “The Channel”, which provides a large, sheltered, waterway some 60 kms long with many bays, islands and inlets to explore and fish.

In the past, the timber industry was predominant with many huge trees being milled and exported from Bruny Island to both mainland Australia and Europe.  Later, there was a sandstone quarry which exported its products mainly to Victoria.  Melbourne GPO and several other public buildings were in fact built from Bruny ‘freestone’.  Agriculture has always been important and the original settlers had to be quite self-sufficient until more recent times and the advent of the ferry service which replaced the old ‘Channel Boats’.  The first apple trees in Australia were planted in

History of Bruny Island and Bruny D'Entrecastaux

Adventure Bay by Captain Bligh (of the Mutiny on the Bounty fame) and for many years the fruit and orchard industries were employing many of the locals.

Whaling was an industry for a time  Fishing too has always been a local activity with wonderful scallops, oysters, mussels, abalone and crayfish in abundance together with a large variety of scale-fish. Eco Tourism is now becoming a feature of the island’s activities with bird watching tours and exciting sea trips with Bruny Island Charters.

Today, very little of the old industries now remain and although there are still huge tracts of State Forest and National Parks, there are only two small sawmills in operation.  Farming too, has diminished, although many of the inhabitants still have a few sheep and cows.  Aquaculture, particularly with oysters, mussels and Atlantic salmon, has been steadily growing and ‘ocean fresh produce’ may be obtained locally.

Below are some of the best places to get more information.


The Bligh Museum

The Bligh Museum is located at the southern end of Adventure Bay, on the main road close to the Captain Cook Creek.  The museum has a comprehensive selection of artefacts and documents relating to Pacific exploration.  Also in the museum are a selection of articles and maps etc related to other explorers including Captain Cook.  Read more



The history of Bruny Island is mainly linked to the arrival of various explorers, and then their association with AdventureRead more » Read more


The Bruny Island History Room

Entry is free to the Bruny History Collection housed in the Court House Building.   A large achieve of Bruny life, its people and its history.   Sit in comfort and brows the Life of this historic island, its early explorers: Cook, Furneaux and many others.  Open Seven days a week from 10am to 3 pm Read more


Captain Cook information board  

This information board and Plaque is located at the far southern end of Adventure Bay.  Cook is also mentioned on the formal memorial located in the centre of Adventure Bay, an image of which is shown below in the article about Furneaux Captain James Cook Read more