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Bruny Island



Community, Business and Visitor Guide

Bruny Island Local History

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Bruny Island, a small island off the southern coast of Tasmania, has a rich and diverse history spanning thousands of years. From the island's indigenous community to European settlement, Bruny Island has seen countless changes and transformations. Indigenous History The Nuenonne people, who were part of the larger South-Eastern Tasmanian Aboriginal nations, were the original inhabitants of Bruny Island. Evidence indicates that the Nuenonne people lived on the island for over 30,000 years. A midden found on the eastern side of the island gives a snapshot of what life was like for the Nuenonne people. The midden contains evidence of seafood, such as shellfish and fish, as well as bones from seals and wallabies, indicating that the Nuenonne people participated in hunting and gathering. European Settlement In 1773, the island was first sighted by British explorer Tobias Furneaux, who named it after his fellow explorer, Bruni d'Entrecasteaux. However, it wasn't until 1792, when Captain William Bligh, of the infamous HMS Bounty, anchored in Adventure Bay, that European settlement began. After Bligh's visit, sealers and whalers began using Bruny Island as a base, and in the following years, a small farming community formed. In the 1820s, the island's population grew, and settlers began to clear the land for farming and grazing. Wheat, potatoes, and other crops were grown, and by the early 1830s, there were enough settlers to warrant the establishment of a school and church. Maritime History Bruny Island has a rich maritime history, from the early sealers and whalers to the island's lighthouses. In 1836, the Cape Bruny Lighthouse was built, marking the southernmost point of Tasmania and playing a crucial role in the safe passage of ships around the island. The lighthouse was manned until 1996, when it was fully automated. During World War II, Bruny Island played a vital role in defending Australia's southern coastline. Several gun emplacements were constructed across the island, and the disused lighthouses were fitted with radar equipment. The island also served as a training ground for Australian soldiers and played a crucial role in the Allied victory in the Pacific. Tourism and Conservation In recent years, Bruny Island has become a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. The island's pristine beaches, rugged coastline, and abundant wildlife make it an ideal location for nature lovers. Throughout the island, there are numerous walking tracks, bird-watching opportunities, and stunning views to be had. Bruny Island is also home to a range of conservation projects, aimed at protecting the island's unique flora and fauna. The South Bruny National Park covers over 40% of the island and is home to several endangered species, including the forty-spotted pardalote and the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle. Efforts to protect these species have received widespread support, with numerous non-profit organizations and community groups working to ensure the island's unique environment remains intact. In conclusion, Bruny Island's rich and diverse history is a testament to its enduring spirit. From indigenous culture to European settlement and beyond, the island has seen countless changes and transformations. Today, Bruny Island is a vital part of Tasmania's cultural and natural heritage, and it continues to inspire awe and wonder in all who visit its shores.

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Spectacular views of the cliffs and Penguin Island Photo thanks to Benny Marty
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