King & Flinders Islands Tasmania

Many visitors to Tasmania simply don't have time to get to the other islands but they have plenty to offer. King Island (north west) is an isle of cheeses, cream, crayfish, beef and seafood with long isolated beaches and the crispest, clean air. Discover a laid-back lifestyle others only dream about, enjoy the abundant wildlife or scuba dive the reefs and shipwrecks. Flights operate from Victoria and from Burnie and Devonport in Tasmania.

It's also a short flight northeast from Launceston to unspoiled Flinders Island for bushwalking, swimming, snorkelling or diving. There are dramatic and varied landscapes from peaks to beaches and an abundance of wildlife and birdlife.

Things to do on Flinders Island

· Take a boat tour from Lady Barron or join qualified divers to explore the many shipwrecks.
· Try your hand at beach, rock, surf or game fishing.
· There are special interest 4WD tours (sightseeing, historical, flora/fauna, photography and birdwatching).
· For bird watching, the amazing shearwaters are a hard act to follow. Each year, in the thousands, they head north to the Arctic Circle to breed and, each year, return to exactly the same burrow.
· Hire some panning gear and fossick for a 'diamond' at Killiecrankie.
· The Walkers Lookout, near Whitemark, has panoramic views of the whole island and you can watch the sun rise over the Tasman Sea and set over Bass Strait.
· For local history, visit the museum at Emita (18km north of Whitemark) and the Wybalenna Historic Site (5km from Emita) where an Aboriginal settlement was established in 1831.
· Take the Flinders Island Drive Trail - a self-guided, interpreted exploration to natural areas with emphasis on birdlife and wildlife.
· There are many local art and craft galleries displaying pottery, paintings, felt products and handmade chocolates. The island is also home to fine knitwear and quality woolen quilts.

Things to do on King Island

· Play a round of golf on Currie's scenic and challenging seaside golf course.
· Drive to Cape Wickham lighthouse on the northern tip for great views.
· Visit the Lavinia Nature Reserve, an internationally significant wetland bird habitat.
· Dive or even snorkel some of the many shipwrecks. Incidentally, Australia's worst maritime disaster happened here in 1845 when the Cataraqui ran aground.
· You can take a coach tour of the island.
· Stroll or take a horse ride along deserted beaches.
· Take time to browse the local galleries and shops for ceramics, painting and kelp craft (kelp is quite a big industry here).
· You can charter boats from Currie or Grassy and only the very unlucky won't return without dinner.
· At Grassy, penguins come ashore to their rookery on the breakwater.
· At Stokes Point, in the south, there's a calcified forest and the mystery of the historic sealers wall.
· On Currie Harbour, drop in for a coffee at the Boathouse. The 'honesty box' says a lot about the island.
· Visit the King Island Dairies Fromagerie for tasting and sales of the island's famous cheeses. The island's cream is also magnificent, the crayfish succulent and the beef tender and delicious.

Flinders Island