BACK TO TOP

Before we planned our trip to Bruny Island I received a warning: “It’s a little quiet,” they said, “There isn’t much to do”. Being an introverted homebody, this sounded like perfection. Give me a roaring fire, a glass of wine, a good book and plenty of cheese and it’s just about my idea of perfection. And yet, there was so much more in store when it comes to the little island off the coast of eastern Tasmania.

It was one winter weekend that we headed to Bruny Island, bundling up as we boarded the island ferry. We’d planned and dreamt of this trip. A card-carrying member of Bruny Island Cheese & Beer Co. for many, many years, we’d looked at photos, poured over videos and dreamt of a windswept island where the land was filled with cheese.

Our cottage was located just off the beach at Adventure Bay. We’d wake up every morning to sleeting rain (my favourite kind) birds and white wallabies (a rare colony inhabits the island), right on our doorstep.  Bruny Island takes a little time to drive across and Adventure Bay is on the far side, but still conveniently located for daily adventures. We, of course, were here for the cheese – and our days soon took on a  loose routine of a drive to Bruny Island Cheese Co, with a stop at the steps of the Neck (the famous spot for Bruny Island sightseeing) on the way, a little cheese board for brunch before we’d do another spring up the steps and pick somewhere to explore.

Along the way, we’d pick up treats for dinner and stock our esky. Then, once we were done, we’d head back to our cottage, stoke the fire, grab a book and drink red wine, eat cheese and watch the local wildlife. If you’re a homebody honeymooner then this, like for us, probably sounds like utter perfection!

I have to preface this with a warning – if you’re looking for a Winter honeymoon where the sun is shining and you can work on your Vitamin D, then Bruny Island may not be for you. If however, you are looking for a honeymoon where you rug up in your woollies, eat cheese and drink wine and light the fire after a day in the freezing cold exploring, then read on – because you’re onto a treat.

Getting there

Kettering, or where the Bruny Island ferry leaves from, is is a two-hour drive south of Hobart. The island itself is only accessible by ferry (which costs $28) and on a busy weekend, it can be hard to get a spot. So make sure you arrive early (it’s advised to get there at least 20 minutes early to purchase your ticket). Also, be aware some hire car companies won’t insure you off-road or on a boat, so make sure you are covered for the trip. The last ferry leaves Kettering at 7pm. so if you’re not staying overnight, plan to make sure you get to the dock on time!

Need to know

  • There are only small convenience stores on the island, and only one public place (Hotel Bruny) open for dinner, so stop on over in Hobart and pick up plenty of food before you make your way down South to avoid having to trek back during your stay.
  • There is no public transport on the island and no taxi service, so you do need your own car.
  • Although Bruny Island is fantastic for a day trip, we advise at least a few days to maximise your relaxation and cheese consumption.
  • It’s cold and blustery. In fact, once upon a time, it even snowed right on the beach. So if you’re heading here during the Winter months, pack thermals and seven pairs of socks.

Where to stay

You have a plethora of choice when it comes to Bruny Island. We chose Adventure Bay, which is about 35 minutes from the ferry on the South Island. We loved this area because it’s further away from the hustle and bustle of the ferry and cheesery, beautifully isolated and very quiet (in winter or in Summer, this is one of the holiday hot spots). Adventure Bay is also where the majority of the island’s white wallabies can be found.

There’s a variety of choice when it comes to budgets too – there are campgrounds and luxury homes, it’s just a matter of finding what appeals to your own honeymoon style.

To Do’s & Good Foods

From the foodie to the homebody, Bruny Island is such a wealth of adventure, if you know where to look. So let’s get into our list of Bruny island honeymoon “must do’s!”

Bruny Island Cheese & Beer Co.

If there was ever a reason for an island to become famous, this would be it – and truthfully, as avid subscribers, the cheese company was the highlight on our list. We’d head here every day and score ourselves a cheesy breakfast. They serve up beer, pizza, coffee and other cheese based fun all day long and of course, they do tastings and you can sign up to the club right there and then. It’s a signature part of any Bruny Island trip and, of course, our favourite.

Bruny Island Premium Wines

This place is great for a long lazy lunch. The country’s southernmost vineyard offering up beautifully house crafted wines and an on-site restaurant with plenty of local produce. Pick up share plates, or order a-la-carte and enjoy a glass of the family run vineyard’s creations.

Cloudy Bay

It was bitterly cold when we headed to Cloudy Bay and I am pretty sure we felt like we were going to get blown away. The most southern tip of the island, there is nothing between you and Antarctica here. On a blustery day, it feels like you’re literally on the edge of the Earth. Pack your walking shoes for this one – the beach itself is 5km long and perfect for a hike.

Get Shucked

Oh so good – they even offer a drive-through service. These guys farm oysters so close you can stand on their driveway and see their nets! They have a licensed oyster bar on site and they serve up oysters any way you can think of. We would stop, grab a dozen oysters and end up with feasts of local wine, cheese and oysters for dinner. We’re particularly big fans of their house-made Worcestershire sauce and stocked up on a few bottles for home.

Hotel Bruny

If you can’t drag yourself out of the warmth, the island’s little pub cooks up a killer garlic pizza, which as it turns out, is just the thing after a day where your ears are aching from the cold. They serve up pub-style food with a focus on local produce. From hot Bruny Island cider by the fire, to locally sourced poultry and produce adorning every meal. Hotel Bruny is one of the only places open after dark, but it doesn’t rest on its laurels one little bit.

Bruny Island House of Whisky

From killer views with a glass of whiskey or gin, Bruny Island House of Whiskey is a must do. If anyone knows local Tasmanian distillers, it’s this crew! They serve up whiskey and gin flights for tasting, as well as a bunch of local treats. And they even dreamt up their own gin – Seclusion which of course, we needed to take home.

Bruny Island Chocolate Company

We found our way to this little chocolate shop when we were on the hunt for something sweet and we fell in love with their fudge. This stuff is addictive (fair warning) and you can also find plenty of other special treats to stock your pantry and evening within the little shed.

The Neck

The most photographed spot on Bruny Island and a brilliant way to work off the cheese you have inhaled! The Neck joins Bruny Island’s north and south island, overlooking the thin strip of land between them. It’s an easy 255 steps to the top and offers the most incredible views of the island with no obstruction. We headed here twice a day on our way to and from our adventures and got to experience Bruny in all kinds of amazing weather. The view is breathtaking and so worth the effort. If you head here at dusk in the warmer months you might even spot a penguin or two.

Hiking

Gotta be honest, I am not a honeymoon and hike kind of girl, but Bruny Island is famous for its amazing hikes. So if you love a walk, pack your boots! From beaches to rainforests, the island offers up some of the most incredible walks you’ll see in Tasmania. Cape Bruny and the Bruny Lighthouse are must visits, as well as the South Bruny National Park.

Bruny Island Smokehouse

When we first hit up this place, just a little way from where the ferry docks, we were a little surprised. It was in a little shed and very unassuming. But full of so much smoked produce it will leave you drooling. Think smoked trout, smoked salmon and well, smoke! The owner sources local produce to hot smoke and sells it all from the island outlet (and you can pick it up at selected stockists around the island and Tasmania itself too).

Photos by Polka Dot Bride

By the end of our Bruny Island holiday, we were starting to plan how we could possibly move here, the land of cheese and oysters, of wine and cosy fires, of the garlic pizza and long walks on the beach. If this is Tasmanian living, count us in, all the way.

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

Crystal & Don

Everyone is a big fan of a holiday and everyone’s a fan of dressing up in their finest gear, so when Crystal and Don combined the two in beautiful Bali, it was a celebration that was pure and utter destination wedding magic. The bride, in the dreamiest of gowns (can we talk about the sleeves?) the groom in what has to be one of my favourite suits (pink linen!) beautiful, endless blooms and a reception under the stars. Combine it all with beautiful imagery by photographer Jason Corroto and we’re well and truly ready to kick off our shoes, grab a cocktail and join in the fun!

The pair met in their twenties through mutual friends at a club – it was adoration at first sight for the bride to be, who tells us their romantic proposal story. “Don proposed while we were on holiday in Bali in 2017. It was completely unexpected and was such a nice little surprise, he did it while we were biking around the town of Ubud. It is also partly the reason we decided to have our wedding there.”

Let’s talk about THAT pink suit! Don chose a pink linen number from MJ Bale, the breathable fabric just the ticket for the tropical weather and the colour something different from the usual bone coloured linen.

This was a wedding full of black tie glamour. “Tropical black tie was our theme.. although it was SO humid on the day that it was more like sweaty black tie! It was a really relaxed vibe, our wedding planner did such a fabulous job bringing my vision and multiple Pinterest boards to life! The atmosphere was incredible, it was an overseas destination wedding and 90% of guests had never been to Bali before so everyone was on a holiday high, it was great.”

The bride wore the dreamiest of gowns designed by Christie Nicole, although it wasn’t what she had originally planned! The bride explains “I actually bought a gown off the rack a few months earlier but the more I looked at it, the more I realised it was not very “me”. I scoured Instagram for inspiration and came across one of Christie’s brides – the detailing on the gown was incredible. Once I met with Christie for our first bridal consultation I was sold! She was so warm and lovely and we got to pick the fabric and applique and design the dress from scratch – an experience I was determined to have since I don’t think I would ever go through a process like that again. The sleeves of my dress were my favourite part and Christie was so great about bringing my vision to life.”

The beautiful Royal Pita Maha set the scene for the day, Crystal and Don planning their day with the help of Botanica Weddings. Crystal telling “We chose to get married at The Royal Pita Maha in Ubud, in the middle of the Ubud jungle. It was such an amazing venue, we had our ceremony there, a garden party with drinks and canapes and our reception all at the same resort which was absolutely huge. We had a late afternoon ceremony and guests were escorted around to various locations within the resort for other activities before being ushered to the reception area. Don and I were adamant we would spend minimal time taking photos so that we could enjoy the day with our guests.”

“I chose a mix of white/pink roses and trailing orchids” tells the bride of the fresh, lush floral details of the day. “The florist and my wedding planner brought my Pinterest dreams to life! I like to think that overall, I was a pretty low-key bride and I put a lot of trust into the experts to execute my vision with minimal input from me. We were truly blown away with how the day panned out.”

Crystal walked down the aisle with both her mother and her father to  Des’ree “Kissing You”.

The ceremony was relaxed, kicking off the celebratory vibes for the day. “We wanted our ceremony to be non-religious, casual and quick. We didn’t want any long-winded readings and/or over the top vows. Prior to our vows, I had one of my bridesmaids read a short extract from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.”

Crystal and Don really couldn’t have been more impressed with photographer Jason. “Jason was amazing. We met him for coffee before deciding to lock him in and basically an hour after our meeting we had made a decision. Given it was an overseas wedding, he was SO easy to deal with and booked his own flight/accommodation without us having to get involved – one less thing for us to worry about!

On the wedding day, we barely noticed him and he got on really well with the videography company we hired for the day (who were Bali based). The two were able to capture the day without stepping on each other’s toes which was great.”

With flames and dancers, the newlyweds were led to their reception with plenty of Indonesian tradition.

Guests were seated at one long table under the stars for the evening reception. The scene and planned with thanks to Botanica Weddings “Our wedding planner (Sanita) from Botanica Weddings was a godsend!” exclaims the bride. “She was so incredibly patient and lovely during the whole process and blew us away with her level of organisation. Could NOT fault her one bit!”

“All guests were on holiday mode with us – it was honestly the best high” reminisces the bride.

And an epic dance floor was definitely on the cards, Crystal and Don kicking it off with their first dance to Angus & Julia Stone’s “Chateau”.

Advice from the newlyweds? Perhaps hold your after party somewhere different than your villa! This is a story Crystal has to tell! “We made sure to include an after-party at our honeymoon villa afterwards for anyone who wanted to party on! It was so great to go for a swim and chill out with our besties after the formalities but in hindsight, perhaps we should have organised the after party elsewhere. Our room was a BOMB afterwards and we barely slept (hardly romantic!)”

A big congratulations you both Crystal and Don! What a day, what an honour to share! Thank you also to Jason Corroto for sharing this beautiful day!

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

Serena & Taylor

For Serena and Taylor, they wanted a day that focused on the non-traditional. They chose Serena’s gown together, they got ready together, they ditched a wedding party and they invited just a few of their favourite people to celebrate with them as they eloped to Tasmania. The date and location? On the very anniversary and the very place, they had their first date.

This in itself is just the beginning of what is endearing about today’s story, and what we fell in love with. Luckily for us, they invited Agape Media House along to capture every photo to accompany their tale.

Their paths first crossed in Hobart, even though the pair are from completely different cities. Serena explains “Taylor is from Melbourne and I’m from Sydney, but we met in Hobart. We were both doing 3-month internships for the same company but didn’t meet through work – we met in the kitchen of our student accommodation. We talked for 4 hours straight that night and became inseparable ever since.”

The groom popped the question one romantic eve. “After two 12 hour days working away from home, Taylor took me out to dinner in the city” shares the bride. “We had a romantic stroll in the rain before returning home. Suddenly Taylor gets down on one knee and proposes – turns out he picked up the ring from the jeweller that morning and asked my parents for permission over dinner the night before. I had no idea and was completely over the moon. He told me that he thought about proposing during dinner or our walk but decided it was too public. I was so happy that he chose to propose at home!”

After a few disappointing in-store experiences, Serena found her gown online at Esther & Co. She explains “I wore a dress I purchased online through the Iconic. It was sheer luck because I managed to buy the very last item and when it arrived it fit perfectly, no alterations needed. It was probably the 6th wedding dress I’d bought online and it was absolutely perfect. I’m of a petite build and 150 m tall, so most dresses swamp me or have too large of a bust. I previously tried walking into a bridal store with Taylor but found the experience to be confronting and very unenjoyable. Those dresses were too extravagant, super expensive, and just weren’t “me”. Taylor and I chose the dress together and at the time of the wedding, no one but him and I knew what I was going to be wearing on the day.”

The bride walked down the aisle with her father.

St David’s Park set the scene for the garden ceremony, and the garden also ticked all the boxes for sentimental value. “We chose St David’s Park as our ceremony venue as we had our first date there 4 years ago. We had the ceremony inside the rotunda which is elevated from the rest of the park and very private.”

Serena and Taylor chose Tracey Bruce to officiate proceedings, telling “We wanted our ceremony to be intimate and totally focused on the love we had for each other. We wrote our own vows together in the month leading up to the ceremony and memorised them for the day. Our celebrant Tracey also spoke about our three favourite things about each other which we loved as it really gave a personal touch to our ceremony.”

Serena and Taylor enlisted the help of Pop Up Weddings Tasmania to make their wedding come to life “Pop Up Weddings Tasmania was wonderful to work within the months leading up to the wedding and on the day” tells Serena. “Tracey was always there to answer our questions and keep the wedding planning rolling while placing zero stress on us. My favourite detail of the day was the styling that they put together at the rotunda for the ceremony. It was simple, elegant and didn’t overshadow the event taking place in front of it. It also matched the park setting perfectly – there were lots of natural colours, greenery and even some romantic candles.”

These two skipped having a wedding party, sharing “We decided not to have a bridal party. We thought it was unnecessary as we wanted to keep the focus on each other as a couple. We also wanted every guest to just turn up and enjoy the celebrations and not feel obligated to perform any roles or duties.”

The flowers were kept simple, Spoil Me Gifts creating a bouquet and boutonniere of white. “We chose ivory white roses and lots of greenery” explains Serena. “We wanted a classic and contemporary look with some greenery to keep it really natural and fresh.”

Of their photographer, the newlyweds were thrilled. “His approach was relaxed and non-intrusive which was really lovely as it allowed us to focus on other aspects of the day.”

And after photos, the party continued with an intimate reception dinner at the Henry Jones Art Hotel. Serena remembering “Our first dance song was “Is That Alright?” from the soundtrack of A Star is Born. We loved the movie and thought it was the perfect first dance song. We figured out a simple dance routine the night before using YouTube tutorials. It ended up being a mix of basic steps, turns, and swaying.”

A big congratulations to you both Serena and Taylor! Thank you to Agape Media House and Pop Up Weddings Tasmania for sharing today’s beautiful celebration.

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Hair & Makeup Artist
  • Bianca Wells