Bruny Island too brave for Avis

Bruny Island, southeast Tasmania, is a delightful retreat, a sleepy island community of tiny towns and empty beaches. Sweeping beaches, craggy capes and secluded inlets are the hallmarks of these two half islands joined by a spit of sand. The holiday villages hold fond memories for generations of Tasmanians. Chugging down the Derwent, the beach picnic at Dennes Point and the long grind home on the ferry were pieces in the jigsaw of a Hobart childhood.

But the islanders are not standing still, with boutique cheesemakers and confectioners, holiday cottages, launch cruises and other small-scale, tourism-oriented businesses mushrooming. Bruny is a 15-minute car ferry ride from Kettering on the Tasmanian mainland. But it’s a journey too far for Avis Car Rental, which arbitrarily bans its customers from taking cars across. Other companies do not seem to have the same hang-up; Tasmania has plenty of back roads more remote or less well-maintained than those on Bruny.

I’ve asked why, but haven’t yet heard back. I’m sure the local tourism operators would be curious to know why a multinational car rental operator wants to cut them out of the loop. And ditto for Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

BTW, more pix of Tasmania are here.

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