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Bruny Island Art Retreat

-an art retreat for travellers-

December 1-3, 2023 | $2,650 


Have you dreamt of travelling the world and sketching or painting the places you see? Join Handmark Gallery's Julie Payne on the remarkable Bruny Island for three days of walks, drawing and painting workshops. Transform how you record the places you visit, wherever in the world you may be — starting with Tasmania’s hidden gem, Bruny Island.

Each day, on our Art Retreat for travellers, you'll embark on short walks with light packs to beautiful places and learn the skills to quickly draw, apply watercolour washes and record memories. These new skills can then be easily applied to your ongoing journeys. Taking the time to record a place through drawings is a rewarding way to not only become more observant but it’s also a great way to interact with the locals and other travellers, whatever the language. 

Each evening, you'll enjoy the famed food and wines of the island, great company, conversations, kindness and laughs.

This is an wonderful opportunity to learn from Handmark Gallery's Julie Payne. She has decades of experience teaching and making travel journals in places as diverse as Egypt, Italy, Norway, Japan, New Zealand and of course Australia. There will be a variety of examples of journals to inspire you, from detailed realism to the abstract. Learn which materials and colours to take and how to create stunning journals on your travels.

This retreats suits artists of any level interested in drawing and painting. Julie can apply different techniques for different personalities and skills. Partners are welcome but must be supportive of the workshops in the field. The signature three-day itinerary has been re-designed to accommodate shorter walks and time for workshops.

The award-winning Bruny Island Walk takes you by private boat from Tasmania’s capital Hobart to Bruny Island. During your three-day walk you will be treated to coastal walks, produce directly from the source, forest glamping and exquisite meals.

For all enquiries and bookings please contact Tasmanian Walking Company on (03) 6392 2211 or email bookings@taswalkingco.com.au

Materials 2

Art Materials - Packing List

Bring your favourite sketchbook, pencils and a few watercolours to capture the essence of Bruny Island. We will be working both en plein air at beautiful locations around Bruny, and from photographs when we are back in camp.  

Essential items: 

  • Sketchbook suitable for watercolour and minimum of 250gsm, smooth hot pressed paper recommended. Sketch books may be concertina or standard page format but no larger than A5 for the ease of carrying. 
  • Water Brush 
  • Watercolours, either a small set or even just one favourite colour. ie Payne’s Grey
  • Waterproof .5 or .2 pen of any colour. Sepia is a more subtle colour.

Optional items:

  • Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils 2B and 4B or any other preference. 
  • Water soluble coloured pencils.
  • Enclosed Staedtler pencil sharpener. 
  • Kneadable eraser
  • Other items and colour as in the photograph or materials that are your favourites. Water-based paints only. 
Boat Leaving Hobart

Day 1: Hobart to Bruny Island

Approximately 5-6 hours walking, drawing and painting.

This morning you will meet your tour guides and fellow guests (maximum of 10) on the waterfront of Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart. Step aboard your private boat and let the adventure begin with a cruise down the Derwent River to Bruny Island.

After disembarking at the most northern tip of Bruny Island, our first stop is The Neck, a narrow tract of land that enables us to take a short walk to experience sketch and paint. The east coast of Bruny Island is expansive and the ocean stretches to the horizon. On returning from our walk we will wade out into the crystal clear waters of Great Bay to learn how the famous Bruny Island oysters are farmed and shuck them straight out of the water. It's the perfect way to cool down after a walk.

Next stop; our camp. After a warm shower overlooking a forest glade, join us at the dining house for a drink and to begin our art workshops. The guides will be busy preparing your dinner sourced from on the island or in the waters surrounding it. Evening workshops take place around the rustic dinner table or by the fire under the night sky.

Bruny 108

Day Two: Mavista Falls, Grassy Point and Adventure Bay

Approximately 6 hours walking and painting or drawing

Rise early and explore the 100-acre property and try to spot some of Bruny Island’s 150 species of birds (including all 12 Tasmanian endemics). Gather at our rustic dining table for coffee and croissants.

Once we farewell camp, we will wind our way up Mt Mangana and take a short walk along the entrancing Mavista Falls track, through ancient towering tree-ferns and lush cool-temperate rainforest with species like Nothofagus and Sassafras.

After the shady rainforest, we shall contrast that with a walk to sunny Grass Point, looking out to Penguin Island and towards Fluted Cape.  This lovely flat coastline walk takes you through Casuarina forest and past the sites of the ancient whaling stations of Adventure Bay. We'll picnic, draw and paint in one of the many sheltered stunning spots.

After the walk, plunge into the stunning waters of Hanssons Beach. A warm shower welcomes you back to camp before we settle in for another evening of fine food and art workshops. These take place around the comunal table while conversations continue around the fire.

Bruny Island Lighthouse

Day 3: Cloudy Bay Lighthouse to Hobart

2-3 hours walking, painting and drawing

A final day of new sights, walking, painting and sketching takes us to the southern most tip of Bruny Island. 

After a few stunning lookouts, we'll wander down to the white sands and eucalyptus-hugged Jetty Beach. We'll pause for morning tea and a break in the shade of tall canopies. We'll learn of the ecosystem in which birds, reptiles and marsupials dwell. Bruny Island is a great place to see Bennetts Wallaby, Tasmanian Pademelon, tree-ferns, and some native terrestrial orchids that mostly flower between August and March. The lighthouse is a few minutes drive up the hill and can be exposed to ferocious winds or gentle sunshine. 

On our final journey north, we'll pause for a final stop and shop at Bruny Island Cheese Co. You can buy the best kind of souvenirs here: a young fresh cheese or wood-fired baguette to be dipped into fresh olive oil or a mature raw milk cheese to take home.

To finish your long weekend in style, Ray Jones at The Jetty Café will serve lunch as we await the arrival of our private boat on the beach below. There will be time to explore the cafe gallery showcasing some of Bruny’s 60+ artists. The return boat trip to Hobart offers a scenic farewell to your adventure. 

Oysters At Lagoon

Your Bruny Island Long Weekend guides

What truly defines the professionalism, passion and dedication of our Bruny Island Long Weekend guides is their unparalleled focus on delivering an exemplary guided walking experience for you.  This is reinforced by their passion for Bruny Island, detailed knowledge of the local flora, fauna, geology and history; and their love of cooking using local produce to deliver a diversity of delicious cuisine each evening.

We consider our guides to be highly trained experience artisans, seamlessly bring together all the attributes of a great walking experience to deliver something that is truly unforgettable. 




Itinerary Details

Bruny Island Art Retreat

Price per person for departures (inc. GST) 

December 1-3, 2023 | $2,650 

  • Each trip requires a minimum of 6 guests (twin-share). The maximum is 9.
  • Available anytime by request for private groups.
  • All accommodation is twin share. A single supplement of $842 per person is available upon request to guarantee a private tent.


Special Interest Walks — Terms and Conditions 

Our standard booking terms and conditions apply to all bookings. In addition:

  • Cancellations
    • more than 90 days from the scheduled departure date, a fee of $350 per person will be charged with the balance payment refunded;
    • within 90 days of departure, no refund is available. Bookings are transferable to another name.
  • Minimum numbers are required four months before departure.
  • This walk cannot be booked in conjunction with any other offers and discounts.

COVID-19 Peace of Mind Booking Assurance

After the minimum number of bookings has been achieved, the departure will be confirmed.  Due to the high fixed costs on these trips, guests on our ‘Limited Edition Walks' who postpone due to COVID-19 as per our Peace of Mind Booking Guarantee, will incur an amendment fee of $500 to reschedule to another departure date. All cancellations by guests will incur cancellation fees according to our standard terms and conditions. Bookings are transferrable.


  • Return transfers between Hobart and Bruny Island.
  • Accommodation (twin-share) each evening in one of our five private tents.
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages, plus a limited selection of Tasmanian wines.
  • All bedding and linen.
  • Workshop sessions with Julie Payne.

Additional information

  • Have a burning question?  Check out our  FAQ page, and if you need further help please don't hesitate to contact our friendly reservations team.
  • Ready to start planning your next adventure and want to know what to bring? Check out our detailed gear list, including details on what's provided. If you're unsure about anything on the gear list please call us or talk to you local outdoor adventure store.


Need help deciding? Talk to an expert

We're here to help 9am – 5pm Monday to Saturday, otherwise, email us anytime and we'll be in touch.