The blue and white Bruny Island ferry transports vehicles and passengers across the D'Entrecasteaux Channel between Kettering and Bruny Island, Tasmania.

Bruny Island Ferry Guide

My Bruny Island ferry guide is based on my own experience of visiting gorgeous Bruny Island just off Tasmania’s south-east coast. When I was researching Bruny Island ferry information, I had trouble finding all the relevant, up to date information in one place, which was frustrating and confusing. So here I have compiled all my experience and research into one quick, simple guide to directions, timetables, cost, and tips so that your trip to Bruny Island is seamless.

The blue and white Bruny Island ferry transports vehicles and passengers across the D'Entrecasteaux Channel between Kettering and Bruny Island, Tasmania.
The Bruny Island ferry transports vehicles and passengers between Kettering and Bruny Island, Tasmania.

Ferry to Bruny Island

The first step in your Bruny Island adventure is getting there – and it’s simple! Note that you will need your own vehicle (unless you’re on a tour). The fast and reliable ferry to Bruny Island operates from the picturesque port town Kettering, an easy 40 minute drive from Hobart.

You can pre-book tickets online for the Bruny Island ferry, however… The ticket is valid for 1 year, NOT for a specific date or time. That means that you will still have to drive to the port at Kettering and queue up with the other vehicles. Basically, pre-purchasing a ticket doesn’t get you many advantages! 

I recommend that you drive down to the port whenever you’re ready. Follow the ample signage to the vehicle queuing area to buy your ticket from the ticket window. It is very well signed so you won’t have any trouble finding where to go. The ticket seller – in a little booth on the side of the road – will tell you where to park your car while you wait for the next ferry. If you have some time to spare, you can leave your car and go into the little cafe on site. Grab a hot or cold drink or a snack and watch the boats on the water while you wait for the ferry. Toilets are available.  

Dozens of small boat masts gathered together in port with some greenery and pink flowers in the foreground.
Boats in port at Kettering, Tasmania.

When the ferry is ready for boarding, it is a quick and slick process. Be aware of that if you go to the cafe – keep an eye on the incoming ferry – I don’t want you to miss it! The ferry only holds a maximum of about 30 cars, so the disembarkation and boarding process happens very quickly. Vehicles are guided off and onto the ferry by ferry assistants, so no time is wasted.  

When you’re on the Bruny Island Ferry, turn your vehicle off and apply the handbrake. The journey across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to Bruny Island is scenic and only takes 20 minutes. You may leave your vehicle; you can go upstairs to the small indoor seating area, use the on-board toilet, or stand on the side of the ferry and watch Kettering fade behind you and Bruny Island approach. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to disembark onto beautiful Bruny Island!

Again, the disembarkation process is swift and slick so be back in your vehicle and ready to drive off as soon as the ferry docks.

Tips

* Check the Bruny Island ferry timetable in advance and allow a little extra time during peak seasons (ie, summer, and the Christmas and Easter school holidays).
* The ferries are busiest between 8am-10am from Kettering, and between 4pm-5pm from Bruny Island.

Bruny Island Ferry Time

The Bruny Island ferry operates every single day of the year! If you ever needed any confirmation that it’s always a good time to visit Bruny Island, this is it! 

The ferry makes trips from Kettering to Bruny Island – and back again – approximately every 30 minutes every day from about 6am-7pm.

  • During peak times, the ferry runs every 20 minutes, and at less busy times, the ferry only runs every 40 minutes. That means there are over 30 ferry crossings from Kettering to Bruny Island every weekday of the year.
  • The ferry services start a little later on weekends (particularly Sundays), and there are slightly fewer services on weekends. 
  • Several crossings each day are reserved for school buses.

So the Bruny Island ferry timetable is pretty regular and frequent! I didn’t have any trouble getting on a ferry when I visited in late 2023 (summer = peak period), so I’m hopeful you won’t either.

Bruny Island Ferry Cost

The cost of the Bruny Island ferry depends on two factors:

  1. The size of the vehicle. Generally speaking, the larger the vehicle, the higher the cost. Size categories include: motorbikes, cars less than 6 metres, cars towing trailers/ caravans, trucks.
  2. The time of the ferry crossing. From Kettering to Bruny Island, the early morning ferries departing before or at 7:30am are the cheapest. The ferries between about 7:30am and 2:30pm are the most expensive. Ferries departing after 2:30pm attract a discount.

As a very general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay around AUD$50 for a small-medium sized car. The return journey is included, or ‘free’, and all passengers traveling with their vehicle are free. Bicycles and motorbikes are considerably cheaper (around AUD$7), and vehicles towing caravans are more expensive. I paid AUD$50.60 for my SUV including my family of four people, which I thought was really good value.

I found that getting to Bruny Island by ferry really was very easy – and enjoyable! Bruny Island is spectacularly beautiful, and I’m sure you will enjoy it as much and my family and I did.

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