Sep
21
2013

Discover King Island

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Do you dream of travelling somewhere new, somewhere beautiful, remote, peaceful and relaxing? King Island might be the holiday location of your dreams.

This paradise is a beautiful island located in the Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania. It's known for its gorgeous sandy beaches, fresh produce from its rich soil and pristine seas, and friendly locals. Visit this location and its tranquillity will have you wanting to extend your stay, or come back quickly. 

Around 1,000 people live on this island, so it's a close, tight-knit community. They are resourceful, independent and love to share their heritage with visitors. Many of them have close ties to the history of the island, whether it's through families of fishermen and divers, the land, or a link to one of its lighthouses.

One of the island's unique features is that it is in the path of the Roaring Forties. This is a constant flow of westerly winds circling through some Southern areas of the world. This makes for a fascinating history as this wind has caused many ships in the past to sink on their journey or cascade into the island's rocky coast.

Get up close and personal with wrecked ships

One of the best things you can do during your stay on King Island is check out the shipwrecks and lighthouses.

There is a shipwreck trail noting sites of significant wrecks, and there are signs around the island pointing them out and explaining some of the stories and background behind them.

Australia's worst maritime disaster actually took place in this area in 1845 when the ship Cataraqui grounded, on its way from Liverpool. It was packed with cargo and 367 passengers.

When it reached the Bass Strait and neared King Island, bad weather caused the ship to lose its navigation and it struck rocks on King Island. It began to break up in the sea and many people were swept away. Only nine people survived – eight crew and one passenger, who were rescued by D. Howie who was hunting on the island. Fragments of the wreck remain, and there are items removed from the wreck by divers at the King Island Museum.

Now, Cape Wickham lighthouse allows boats and ship to travel safely – it's the tallest lighthouse in the Southern hemisphere.

A tasty experience

King Island Dairy will be a highlight of your holiday. It's one of the country's most famous cheese producers, making high quality camembert, blue cheese, brie, cheddars, clotted cream and yogurt.  Ingredients come fresh from the island's 7,500 dairy cows. Visit and try some of the products while getting a glimpse behind the scenes.

There are several places that you can eat, drink and stay at on King Island, such as Currie's motel and pub, bed and breakfasts and more. No matter where you stay you will be in comfort and the friendly locals will look after you.

Go walkabout and get back in touch with nature

King Island has a plethora of fantastic walks. Head out amongst hillsides by the sea covered in tussocks, or wander the Lavinia Nature Reserve.

You're also likely to spot a variety of creatures on your outings. King Island is home to seals, fairy penguins, platypuses, parrots, sea eagles, pheasants – and if you're lucky you may even see an albatross.

It's easy to get to King Island, just fly from mainland Australia, or Launceston or Burnie from mainland Tas. Book a trip and you'll be yearning to come back time and time again.

Currie Lighthouse King Island - image credit: Ruth Forest

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Comments

  • Sydney North says:

    Thanks for posting such useful information about Tasmania, this has given me some super ideas about what to do on one of our next tours. The photos look beautiful! Great post!

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