Effectively two quite different islands connected by a narrow neck of sand, Bruny Island was once home to a large group of Aborginal Tasmanians, (members of the proud Nuenonne tribe, who were decimated by violence and disease following European settlement) the island still carries the evidence of their pre-European existence in shell middens on its beaches. Many of Bruny's landmarks are named after these original inhabitants.
The Island was first sighted by Abel Tasman in 1642 and later visited by Furneaux, Cook, Bligh and Cox between 1770 and 1790, but was named after Rear-Admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux, who explored and surveyed the area in February 1793. Confusion existed about the spelling, and in 1918 was changed from Bruni to Bruny. Bruny Island Neck was named St Aignon Isthmus by D'Entrecasteaux, after a member of his expedition who waded ashore near here naked after the accidental beaching of his boat.
Located to the south of Hobart, the Huon River flows via an estuary through some of the most fertile farmlands of Tasmania and the southern most local government district in Australia before emptying its waters into D'Entrecasteaux Channel. The Huon municipality encompasses the town of Huonville, on the Huon River, some surrounding towns, and many protected areas and forestry plantations. The Huon Valley is considered to be one of the most scenic places in Australia. It was the Huon Valley that underpinned Tasmania as "the Apple Isle" for much of last century, and though its orchards still thrive, the valley is known for much more these days - its waterways and wilderness - comprising mountains over 1,000 metres above sea level, button grass plains, extended forests, gorges, dolomite caves (Lune River and Hastings), ravines, drowned river valleys, glaciated land forms, coastal headlands and lagoons.
South Arm peninsula is a U-shaped narrow neck of land at the northern entrance to D'Entrecasteaux Channel opposite Blackmans Bay, which stretches south from Lauderdale, separating the River Derwent estuary on its western side from Frederick Henry Bay to the east. For nearly two hundred years the Iron Pot Lighthouse at South Arm has welcomed sailors to the mouth of the Derwent River. The structure was built following a request by Governor Arthur who, in 1830, suggested to the Hobart Port Control that a lighthouse be established due to the wreck of the colonial trading ship 'Hope' in 1827. The Hope was wrecked opposite Bruny Island on the beach which now bears its name and soon became legendary as stories of the lost treasure onboard spread far and wide.