King and Flinders Island Adventure
King and Flinders Island Adventure
King and Flinders Island Adventure teaser

Tour Leader Chris Slee recently journeyed to the amazing Bass Strait with a group of intrepid villa travellers!

King and Flinders Island Adventure
I have just returned from a fabulous tour to King and Flinders Islands in Bass Strait. If you're looking for ruggedly beautiful scenery, great local produce, friendly people, roads with hardly any traffic, then take a look. The population on King Island has about 1,400 people and Flinders around 600 so they're slowly becoming popular with mainlanders looking for holiday homes with a bit of peace and quiet.
A short flight from Melbourne took us to King Island where we stayed at Boomerang by the Sea, overlooking rugged coastline and with wallabies grazing in front of our rooms.  In fact, with a million wallabies, it could be called Wallaby Island!  Driving at night is an obstacle course and we saw lots lying on the road, " listening for traffic", as driver Mike said.  We'd all heard about the yummy King Island cheeses, grass fed beef and huge lobsters but there were lots of other hidden treasures too.
With its wild coastline and surrounding seas dotted with tiny islands and rocky outcrops, there have been so many shipwrecks, it's a wonder any made it to Melbourne at all.  The new Cape Wickham golf course is world class and another is opening next month.  We had trouble concentrating on our lunch there with the stunning views.  I don't think it will be long before King Island is discovered by avid golfers, so my advice is, get in quick.
The calcified forest was another surprise as was the kelp harvesting.  A local lady makes all sorts of ornaments from it.  At the gallery, villa traveller Ronice tried on a hat made from feral cat fur.  We saw surfers enjoying a couple of nice waves and are now experts on strip farming beef cattle.  The old sheelite mine was interesting as we found out tungsten is used to harden steel.  There is some talk on the island that the mine may re-open.  Feral pheasants and turkeys made an interesting sight and didn't seem concerned about Christmas just around the corner!
The next island, Flinders was just as fascinating.  We'd flown from King Island to Launceston, then later that day in to Flinders.  It's a lot hillier with many truly gorgeous beaches.  Cape Barren geese abound along with wallabies and feral peacocks but my favourite was Wayne the orphan wombat who is being raised by careers. I was sorley tempted to smuggle him home. 
Driver Gary taught us about the life story of the shearwaters (or mutton birds) and have you ever heard of Killerkrankie diamonds?  I hadn't either but these gems are actually topaz and some of the group supported the local economy with purchases.
I was dying to go fishing too as it's a fisherman's paradise…oh well, next time.

Chris Slee 

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