About Robert Pennicott
Robert started his first business as a fisherman in the pristine waters of southern Tasmania, before creating Bruny Island Cruises in 1999 out of a desire to show people the rugged beauty of the Bruny Island coast. His passion and enthusiasm for the business has seen it evolve into a world-class ecotourism experience, which has won numerous awards and accolades for his conservation and sustainability efforts, and business excellence.
Growing up in the stunning natural surrounds of Bruny Island instilled in Robert a great respect for the environment, motivating him to donate a substantial part of his business profits towards conservation efforts. In 2007, Robert founded the Tasmanian Coast Conservation Fund in concert with Wildcare, to ensure that the coastlines that have been crucial to his business’ success will be conserved for generations to come. He has contributed $100,000 to this fund, which played an instrumental role in the successful restoration of the delicate ecosystem on Tasman Island, through a large-scale project to eradicate feral cats that were decimating the island’s native wildlife, killing over 50,000 seabirds each year.
In May 2011, Robert launched his own fund, the Pennicott Foundation, which allows his business to directly contribute to its own nature conservation projects.
A believer in “dreaming big”, Robert hopes to make a substantial difference to the world before he dies, both through his tireless conservation efforts, and his passion to show visitors the pristine beauty of Bruny Island’s rugged paradise.
His Pennicott Wilderness Journeys business is multi-award winning. The original experience, Bruny Island Cruises, has won Tasmania’s Best Tourist Attraction in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and was inducted into Tasmanian Tourism’s Hall of Fame in the latter year. His business won the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism at the Tasmanian Tourism Awards in 2009 and 2010, and was recognised at a national level in 2008, when it received the Australian Small Business of the Year and Australian Award for Social Responsibility.
In the same year, Bruny Island Cruises was hailed by Travel + Leisure as one of the world’s 100 Greatest Trips in their hard-cover yearbook, and in 2009, was named Australia’s Best Ecotourism experience.