This two-sector tour to two of Australia’s little known but fascinating islands – King Island and Flinders Island.
King Island can accommodate a larger group so we will be heading there first. Some of us may have been to Flinders Island before, or not have the time available to visit both, so for those not continuing on to Flinders Island (limited numbers), we’ll make arrangements for you to head back to Sydney.
Whether you visit one or both islands, you’re sure to have a wonderful time! Come and join the fun!
Rail Holidays Australia’s King Island Flinders Island experience tour starts with King Island which is located approximately 80 km northeast of Tasmania. About the same distance south-east of Cape Otway on the Victorian coast. So it is right in the middle of Bass Strait! With a population of just 1400, King Island is one of Australia’s best kept secrets! It’s often windswept and rainy but it’s rugged and very scenic and it has a fascinating history. Around 60 or so offshore wrecks (a legacy of the dangers of trying to cross and pass through Bass Strait) lie along the reefs just off the 145kms of coastline. Before the arrival of Europeans, the island was richly forested but today it has been cleared for farming and the huge trees have been replaced by low lying scrub and ti-trees.
In recent times King Island has gained an extraordinary reputation for its beef and dairy products. King Island butters, cheeses and creams (particularly clotted cream) made by the King Island Dairy with produce from just 16 dairy farms! Our guide – a long term resident of King Island – is passionate about “all things King Island”. He will ensure we enjoy memorable visit!
At the end of the King Island tour 18 passengers will be able to continue the tour by boarding a charter flight to Flinders Island. This island allows you to get away from it all and experience this unique part of Australia. An island of sparkling beaches with clear sapphire waters, rugged mountain ranges abundant with wildlife and flora..
Thursday 16 February, 2017
SYDNEY TO MELBOURNE
We make our way to the Sydney Airport by direct coach for our early afternoon flight to Melbourne. Our first night on our King Island Flinders Island experience tour. On arrival a local coach will transfer us to our overnight hotel close to Melbourne Airport. Time to freshen up and perhaps meet up in the Westwaters Bistro Bar before dinner.
Friday 17 February, 2017
MELBOURNE TO KING ISLAND
Mid-morning, we make our way to Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport to connect with our 35-minute flight to King Island. Most people will get a view as we fly down the coast. On arrival we are met by our local guide – a long term resident of the Island – who will be with us for the next few days. We take a short transfer to Currie – the main town – for a brief introductory tour. The main points of interest are Currie Harbour, the Kelp Works, the Boathouse, District School, Hospital and Health Centre.
We then check into our motel, a good country motel with walk in showers and views to the coast from all rooms. After we have settled in we are off to a little place called Grassy on the eastern side of the Island for a special welcome dinner. Port Side Links has been recently developed on the Old Grassy Golf Course. It’s a stunning location for our welcome dinner – and afterwards at Grassy Port we get the chance to see the fairy penguins make their way into their burrows after a day of fishing.
Saturday 18 February, 2017
NORTH COAST TOUR
Get set for a day of sensational scenery, plentiful wildlife and amazing shipwreck stories as we head along the Northern Road on our way to the top of King Island at Cape Wickham. Our morning tea stop will be on the west coast near Yellow Rock River looking out to Christmas Island and New Year Island. We will hear the story of the Paddlesteamer Shannon which was shipwrecked in these waters. Its boiler is still on the beach. The loss of life in the late 1800s was becoming so great around King Island that the Colonies finally decided to jointly fund Australia’s tallest lighthouse – a soaring symmetrical stone tower 52 meters high, completed at Cape Wickham near the Island’s northern tip in 1861. The Cape Wickham Light still guards the entrance to the Strait.
Our lunch stop will be special. Penny’s Lagoon is a suspended lake where the water is held by compacted sand and vegetation – one of only 3 in the world. No King Island Flinders Island Experience tour without some of King Is cheese. So we head back to Currie with a stop at the King Island Dairy. Here is the chance to taste some of King Island’s special cheeses and to buy take home packs from the shop.
Sunday 19 February, 2017
THE SCENIC SOUTH
There are a couple of quite unique things to see this morning. Just near Currie are the Kelp Works. This industry was established in Currie in the 1970s. Bull Kelp is harvested along the coast line and brought to the Kelp Works to be dried on huge racks. The kelp is then milled into granules and exported to Scotland where it is further processed. Nearly everything we eat and use every day – cosmetics, sauces, fabric dyes, toothpaste, shampoo, ice cream, beer – all benefit from King Island Bull Kelp!
Morning tea today will be at the Boat House – the restaurant without food! That’s right, we bring our own morning tea but, like the locals, we have free access to the Boat House which is full of art and artifacts as well and tables, chairs, crockery, cutlery, books and magazines. And if you want to purchase something there is an honesty box for your payment! We head south and visit the observation area for the King Island Power Station. We continue south passing Ettrick River, the Calcified Forest and the rugged cliffs off Seal Rocks. The views of the rugged south coast are dramatic. After a great day we head back to our motel for our final evening on the island.
Monday 20 February, 2017
KING ISLAND TO FLINDERS ISLAND or RETURN FLIGHTS TO SYDNEY
We head to the airport for our next adventure on our King Island Flinders Island Experience tour. Our charter flight departs for Flinders Island at 10.30 for our 70-minute flight. having arrived from King Island, we’re now ready to start our next “island adventure”. On arrival at Whitemark Flinders Island, we’ll be met by our local touring coach.
We’ll begin our sightseeing travelling toward the centre of the island to Walker’s Lookout taking in the 360 degree views of the island. We travel through the farming region of Memana which was set up for the soldier settlement scheme in the 1960’s. Our tour takes us to the east coast to an area known as the Patriach’s Wildlife Reserve where we learn of one man’s determination to protect the Cape Barren Geese and establish this reserve. This is a beautiful setting for lunch where the wallabies come from the bush to join us.
This afternoon, we make our way south to Cameron’s Inlet, a breeding ground for birdlife. Keep an eye out to see many of the northern waders that migrate to this area from the north. We take a short stroll along the beautiful east coast beach with fantastic views to Babel Island. We continue south to Lady Barron where we find our hotel at the Furneaux Tavern which overlooks Franklin Sound and the southern islands. As we’re staying here for the next three nights, we’ll have time to unpack and settle in before dinner.
Tuesday 21 February, 2017
EXPLORING FLINDERS ISLAND
This morning we travel the Old Coast Road and the scenic Thule Road as we head to the northern part of the island. We head to North East River, a favourite spot for fishing and surfing. Continuing north to Palana Beach, taking in the splendid views of the Sisters Islands and the beaches south to the Babel Islands. Late morning, we make our way to Killiecrankie, the home of the famous Killiecrankie Diamonds for lunch – and time permitting, a stroll along this beautiful bay with the hope of finding a Killiecrankie Diamond or two! Returning south via the farming region of the Mackana Park, the biggest farm on the island that runs completely east to west.
Wednesday 22 February, 2017
MORE OF FLINDERS ISLAND
We head to the west coast today to the historic Wybalenna Chapel and cemetery where we learn of the hardships of the Aboriginals who were brought here in the hope of saving this race by George Augustus Robinson. Morning tea will be at Allports Beach before a highlight on our King Island Flinders Island Experience tour spending some time in the Flinders Island Furneaux Museum, arguably the best museum of its kind in Australia. We now head to one of the most popular beaches on the island, Trouser’s Point. The area boasts white sands, crystal clear waters and red lichens on the rocks and Mount Strezeleki in the background makes this a breathtaking area with the clear blue waters. After a terrific touring day, we return to our accommodation at Lady Barron.
Thursday 23 February, 2017
After breakfast we join our cruise boat to explore the waters around Franklin Sound and beyond. We take a look at the wreck of The Farsund, a shipwreck here since 1912 which can still be seen today. Back on dry land, we head to the airport for our flight back to Essendon as our King Island Flinders Island Experience tour is coming to an end. From here, we’ll be transferred to Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine). We can purchase our lunch as we wait for our afternoon flight back to Sydney which arrives at 3.55pm giving plenty of time to connect with public transport home, Alternatively take the stay in Sydney for the night (additional cost) and return home at your leisure on Friday.
Join this 8 Day King Island Flinders Island experience tour with 5 flights included for
$4,150. “Special 2 seats available for only $3,950pp”. Sold Out
5 Day King Island only tour. 4 seats available with 4 flights included for $2,150pp.
Bookings to close early December to meet airline group bookings.
Rail Holidays Australia
Po Box 1430, Bathurst, NSW. 2795
Ph: 0418 337 263 or 02 6331 1128