Nov
04
2011

Spectacular seabirds inhabit beautiful Furneaux

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Consisting of 52 separate landmasses off Tasmania's north coast at the eastern end of Bass Strait, the Furneaux Islands are visible reminders of the bridge of land that once connected the island state to the mainland.

At the end of the last Ice Age – roughly 12,000 years ago – this separation was completed, leaving behind a beautiful archipelago that to this day still amazes visitors.

Flinders Island is the largest and most famous of the group, with about one-third of its area covered by mountains. Granite ridges run the entire length of the island and the coastal zones are dominated by sandy dunes.

The island's highest peak is Mount Strzelecki in the south-west, which stands at 756 metres, but
there are many others that have also proven popular destinations for travellers from around Australia and the rest of the world.

With its limestone pavement and granite intrusions, Badger Island is of great geoconservation significance. It is over 1,200 hectares of land extensively grazed by cattle, sheep, wallabies and pademelons.

Babel Island is home to abundant seabird breeding and contains the largest short-tailed shearwater colony in the world. It also regularly plays host to colonies of little penguins, large crested terns and silver gulls, as well as a magnificent variety of reptiles and birds native to the region.

In terms of the number and diversity of species, Chalky Island is also a highly-regarded location for seabird populations.

Some of the breeds you may be lucky enough to see during your time on the islands include the white-faced storm petrel, Pacific gull, sooty and pied oystercatcher, black-faced cormorant and Caspian tern.

Fairy terns are perhaps the most precious inhabitant of all, as they are highly vulnerable to disturbance and therefore listed as rare under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. 

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Comments

  • cnb says:

    Check out the latest accommodation on Flinders Island…absolute beachfront shacks at
    http://www.sawyersbayshacks.com.au

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