Feb
10
2014

Exploring Flinders Island and Strzelecki National Park

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There's so much to explore on ‘mainland’ Tasmania it can be easy to forget that there are plenty of magical places to discover offshore, too.

Flinders Island is the main island of the Furneaux Group. This is made up of 54 islets in the Bass Strait, found off the northeast coast of Tasmania.

It's here you'll find Strzelecki National Park. This was established in 1967 and was named after Polish explorer Count Paul Edmund Strzelecki in 1972, who explored much of the island in the 1840s.

Set aside to explore some of the park's 4,216 hectares, located in the island's south west. From a wide range of fascinating animals, to rare plants and vegetation, to an amazing landscape, this part is not to be missed. 

What's on offer Strzelecki National Park

To get to Flinders Island, you can travel by plane or sea. Remember, once you arrive on the island there is no public transport, however there are bikes and cars available to rent at Whitemark. Your best bet is to hop in a hire car and start your explorations of the island, and of Strzelecki Park, from there. 

What can you expect to see once you're in the park? Plenty of awe-inspiring rock formations, for one. There are huge granite peaks that formed approximately 370 million years ago, and there's no better example of this than Trousers Point headland. Here there are vast beaches and sand dunes, plenty of granite boulders and striking peaks and valleys. 

Then there is the huge variety of flora and fauna the park is home to. There are endemic species not found anywhere else in the world, as well as some other rare and threatened varieties. 

Tea trees, acacia, blue gum and Oyster Bay pine are some of the trees you'll notice when you enter the park, not to mention sassafras-musk rainforest. What will also become clear as you begin to explore this landscape is how some of the forest has been damaged by significant fires, and in contrast, heavy rainfall. Some parts of the park resemble wet forest, while others are incredibly dry and scarred by fire.

When it comes to wildlife, few leave Strzelecki National Park without having seen a wombat, Bennett wallaby or pademelon! Long-nosed potoroos are also commonly sighted. 

When it comes to reptiles, there are a few types of snakes, skinks, frogs and even a mountain dragon. 

Bird life in the park is also incredibly diverse. There are around 114 species on record, as many birds make a stop at areas of this park as they migrate between the Australian mainland and Tasmania. Varieties of particular interest include the grey-tailed tattler, the hooded plover, the forty-spotted paradalote and the swift parrot. 

History in action at Strzelecki

Like many parts of Tasmania, this National Park has plenty of Aboriginal heritage. There are sites the Aboriginal people inhabited dating back thousands of years, with shell middens, stone artefacts and relics found in caves that signal the Indigenous significance of this area. 

Then there's the history relating to the European settlement of Tasmania. In 1773, Captain Tobias Furneaux happened upon the Bass Strait Islands, and eventually they were even named to honour his discovery. In the years that followed, large colonies of seals on the island were hunted and land was used for farming. 

What to do

One of the best ways to discover what's on offer at this beautiful park is to explore by foot. You'll probably be relieved to hear that Flinders Island has hotels, shops and a petrol station so it's easy enough to base yourself on the island to make the most of your time exploring. There's a camping ground located at Trousers Point too.

Get ready to laze on beautiful beaches, splash around in the surf, have a picnic on beautiful lawns and even go fishing, snorkelling or diving. 

Embark upon some great day walks that will show you amazing sights and provide stunning views, but remember to check the weather before you leave as conditions can change quickly and rain and wind are common. Don't forget your map!

Atop Mt Strezlecki Flinders Island - Image Credit Nat Weaves  IG

Flinders Island another of Tasmania's very special places - image credit: Graham M Freeman IG

Island Life on Flinders Island - Image Credit: IslandLifeStyle blog via  IG

Trouser Point Flinders Island - image credit: Holly Murrells IG

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