Bass Strait Islands
Tasmania is located off the southeast corner of mainland Australia. It is Australia’s smallest state in terms of both size and population, yet is a major tourist attraction due to the diverse and spectacular scenery, unspoilt wilderness and heritage.
Many Tasmanian food producers rely on Tasmania’s pristine environment to manufacture high quality delicacies. For instance, Tasmanian beer is brewed from some of the cleanest water in the world, and the green pastures of King Island ideally suit the area to cheesemaking.
Although at a greater latitude than New York, Tasmania enjoys much the same temperate climate as other southern Australian states. Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, receives less rain than any other Australian capital except Adelaide. The capital city of Tasmania is Hobart, located in the south-east of the state. Launceston is the largest city in the north.
There are regular flights to King Island from airports in Hobart, Launceston and Wynyard in Tasmania and from Melbourne in Victoria. Car hire is available on the island. Accommodation options include camping, country B&Bs, farmstays and motel-style.
The island is the site of Tasmania’s first wind farm, where the Hydro has constructed wind turbines on Huxley Hill. On-site interpretation tells the wind power story.
Activities on King Island range from some of the best beach walking you’ll ever do – waves breaking on the western beaches have marched for thousands of kilometres across the Southern Ocean – to horse riding, fishing, diving and even viewing seals at the Reid Rocks breeding colony.
Take the short walks to the sites of two of Australia’s worst shipwrecks, on British Admiral Beach and Cataraqui Point.
On a clear day at Cape Wickham lighthouse on the northern tip, you may glimpse the Victorian coast – in the south of the island, take the short walk to the calcified forest to see the ghostly skeletons of ancient sand-engulfed trees.
Flights to Flinders leave from Launceston Airport, or you can put your car aboard the Matthew Flinders cargo vessel which departs from Bridport. Car hire is available on the island, and accommodation choices include camping, B&B, farmstay and hotel-motel.
Flinders Island beach walking is magnificent. Try three of Tasmania’s Great Island Walks – from Allports Beach to Castle Rock, on the west coast; the Trousers Point beach walk, under the peaks of Mt Strzelecki, in the south-west; and the Strzelecki ascent itself, a day walk with spectacular views across the sea and islands to the west and south.
The fishing and diving around Flinders is magnificent, and wildlife is plentiful – follow the Flinders Island Drive Trail to learn more about the abundant birdlife and its different habitats.