The Neck and Truganini Lookout
Directions - Located on North Bruny Island, after catching the ferry from Kettering, drive along Bruny Island Main Road for 18.5km. The car park for The Neck is well signed as you approach the narrow strip of land between North and South Bruny Island. Head up the wooden steps on the north side of the car park to reach the boardwalk.
The Walk - One of the most iconic features of Bruny Island is the small strip of land called The Neck that separates the North Island to the South Island. Home to the famous Little Penguins that come home to their nests every night during the summer period, the hills of The Neck is also home to thousands of Shearwaters that arrive just before the penguins. When the wildlife isn't returning home, there is a great lookout on top of the hill, providing excellent views over both islands, and even across to Hobart.
Staying a short drive away behind the Bruny Island Cheese Company, I visited a couple of times during my stay on the island, with the bulk of the photos in these galleries from my first visit on the first day I had here. After hiking the Cape Queen Elizabeth Track, I had a bit of a rest at my accommodation, knowing the best time to visit would be around sunset. Arriving around 8pm, the daylight hours during the Taswegin summer meant I was probably a bit early but I would get a bit more even light between the east and west sides of the hills. The big drawcard here is the Truganini Lookout, named after Truganini, a local Aboriginal woman who lived on and around Bruny Island during the 1800s. Like many Aboriginal people during early colonial occupation, life was not easy for her and I recommend reading up a bit more on her life and the lives of the Nuenonne people. I didn't count the number of stairs leading up to the lookout but for most people, it shouldn't present a problem. Reaching the top, the views were outstanding and everything I was hoping for after seeing the tourist photos before coming to Bruny Island. From the lookout that sits about 30 metres above sea level you can see all the way to Mount Wellington to the north, Cape Raoul and the Tasman Peninsula to the east, Cape Queen Elizabeth to the north east, Adventure Bay to the south and the hills of South Bruny Island to the south west.
I stayed up here for a while, mainly waiting for the Instagram couple to finish taking their five millionth photo, so I could get that iconic shot of the stairs looking down at the narrow strip of land below. With the shot I wanted in the bag, I headed back down the stairs and off towards the beach lookout where the Little Penguins can be viewed from every evening. The signage at the lookout suggests they come in just after sunset but this needs a correction I think. I waited there with a few other people and after a while we decided they weren't coming. I returned the next evening closer to sunset and waited there with the crowds. A Tas Parks ranger is there every evening to educate people and make sure everyone is doing the right thing, and he said the time they return from fishing ranges from about half an hour after sunset to midnight. In the cold winds, the Shearwaters arrived first, divebombing into the hills (apparently they can't land easily). There was enough light to still make them out and you could hear the thumps as they hit the ground. It wasn't until about 10pm that the Little Penguins started arriving and I felt a bit silly thinking my DSLR would be able to capture them. Torches are banned here unless they have two layers of red cellophane over them, so the bright lights don't disturb the penguins. I ended up using my phone to get a blurry photo (see final one in the below gallery). Everyone was well behaved and it was a fun experience that is a must do if you're visiting Bruny Island over the summer.