Stu Gibson
Tasmania
Flinders IslandYou can just breathe here...the coastlines are empty, the people are down-to-earth, the produce is fresh and seasonal, the landscapes are dramatic. Flinders Island is unique, wild and welcoming.
Flinders Island lies 60 km off the north-east tip of Tasmania and has dramatic and varied landscapes - from the pink and grey granite cliffs of Strzelecki and Killiecrankie to the gentle, green farmland that rolls through the northern part of the island. The island has prolific birdlife and wildlife that increases each year when thousands of migratory birds stop to rest at the island's eastern lagoons and inlets on their long flights north to the Arctic Circle. The island's dense coastal scrub also provides shelter for wallabies and wombats. Flinders is an island of friendly locals - take a stroll through the towns of Whitemark and Lady Barron or the little settlements of Emita and Killiecrankie and you'll soon meet people with the time and inclination to stop and chat. The island's colonial heritage is evident at the historic site of Wybalenna where in 1834 the government resettled over 100 aboriginal men, women and children to be "civilised". The graveyard contains unmarked aboriginal graves along with the graves of some of the first European settlers. This place is a must for history lovers, though hauntingly sad. Regular flights to Flinders Island leave from Launceston or Essendon in Victoria. Visitors can also reach the island by ferry from Bridport in Tasmania and Port Welshpool in Victoria.
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Go glamping!
Flinders Island Glamping offers unique pod accommodation set on a two-acre property just metres from the beach. Each pod accommodates two people, in either Queen size or twin single configurations. All with ample bedding and space for luggage. There are 10 pods in total so large groups can easily be catered for. Additional to the accommodation pods you will find the main dome which is the central area which has BBQs, cooking facilities, a fridge, and a dining area. There is ample space for kicking back and reflecting on the experiences of the day around the firepots. Our modern bathroom block has four private cubicles with a shower, toilet, and hand basin in each for your comfort and privacy. Located centrally on the island, it is a one- minute drive from the airport, a two-minute drive to the town centre which has Supermarket, the fantastic Wharf Shed Development, pub, bakery, butchery and other boutique shops. Available is mountain bike tours, fishing and diving charters, day spa, bush walks, bird watching, wildlife sanctuary and the opportunity to go fossicking for your very own Killiecrankie diamonds! Flinders Island Glamping is a 45 min flight from Melbourne and a 30 min flight from Launceston
Explore Furneaux Museum
The Furneaux Museum on Flinders Island showcases the history of the Furneaux Group of Islands. Relics from shipwrecks and other artifacts are housed in seven buildings which themselves are exhibiting. The museum has artifacts from some of Australia's earliest European settlements, including an anchor from the Sydney Cove, wrecked on Preservation Island in 1797 and relics from shipwrecks that occurred around the islands which are housed in the Nissen Hut. The dark history of the Wybalenna settlement is recorded in the Aboriginal Room, together with an exquisite collection of Aboriginal shell necklaces. The Mutton Bird hut gives an authentic glimpse into an island tradition. Other exhibits demonstrate the geology, fauna, shells, birdlife and early pioneering life of the islands. A collection of albums and photographs cover all aspects of life in the Furneaux Group and provide an invaluable tool for researchers. A visit to the museum can be combined with a trip to Wybalenna Chapel and Cemetery and several idyllic beaches. Entry payment is by cash only. The Museum is open every day in Summer/Autumn and weekends only in Winter/Spring. Current opening hours can be obtained by phoning them at any time.
Visit Whitemark
Overlooking Parry's Bay, Whitemark has a rich and fascinating past, with stories of life in a remote and sometimes harsh environment. Whitemark is the main settlement on Flinders Island and with a population of around 150 makes for a perfect holiday getaway - and there are lots to do in Whitemark. Strzelecki National Park, with its beautiful sheltered beaches, is popular for camping, fishing and diving and there are great walks with spectacular island views - wildlife abounds. The island has a rich history and sometimes dark past. In the island's north is the Wybalenna Historic Site where the graveyard contains unmarked aboriginal graves along with those of some of the first European settlers. In 1834, the government settled one hundred and thirty-five Aboriginals from the mainland on Flinders Island where they were to be 'civilised and Christianised'. Warning - this place is a bit sad. Whitemark has places to eat, drink and stay and is the departure point for scenic cruises by air or sea. Accommodation ranges from holiday cabins and self-contained cottages to rooms at the Interstate Hotel. Regular flights to Whitemark leave from Launceston or Essendon, Victoria. You can also reach Flinders Island by ferry from Bridport in Tasmania and Port Welshpool in Victoria.
Visit Bowman History Room
The Bowman History Room offers a unique historical collection, located in Whitemark, Flinders Island. The room was created in 1996 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Bowman Family business, E M Bowman & Co Pty Ltd, established in 1921. This amazing collection of shop items, photographs and account books from 1921 onwards traces both the growth of one family and their business and also the development of the town of Whitemark and Flinders Island as a whole. The most perused item is the huge scrapbook of newspaper and magazine articles collected over many years by Elvie Bowman. You will find catalogues and account ledgers that depict a vastly different world to the one we live in today. Memories will flood back for older generations, while younger generations will wonder how people survived without modern conveniences. Open shop hours for a gold coin donation to the Furneaux Historical Research Association. While you are visiting Flinders Island you can also experience the Patriarchs Wildlife Sanctuary, Wybalenna Historic Site and the Furneaux Museum. The extraordinary jagged peaks of Strzelecki National Park can also be explored. Flinders Island is a 30-minute flight away from Launceston or just under a one-hour flight from Melbourne.
Strzelecki Peaks Great Short Walk
The large granite massifs of Strzelecki National Park were formed during a major continental collision in eastern Australia, approximately 370 million years ago and dominate the southern part of Flinders Island. Strzelecki Peaks 4-5 hour return walk climbs to the top of the 756m granite mountain, with breathtaking views from the summit on a clear day you can see mainland Tasmania. It is one of Tassie's Great Short Walks. Park entry fees of $24 per vehicle apply and can be paid at Service Tasmania in Whitemark. Annual pass holders, please bring your 'Annual all parks card' to Flinders Island. Nearest facilities are located 3.5km away at Trousers Point include toilets, drinking water (tank), free gas barbecues, picnic tables and campsites. Classified as a Level 4 walk. Steep uphill walk requiring physical exertion. However, there is nothing technically difficult about the walk. The walk starts at an elevation of 20m and finishes at 756m. The summit can be cold and windy. For personal safety, please sign the register at the base of the summit and do not attempt the walk on Total Fire Ban days. The 60 Great Short Walks app is available now free from iTunes.
Strzelecki National Park
Strzelecki National Park in the south-west corner of Flinders Island is a wild and remote sanctuary for many plants and animal species. Wildlife found in the park includes wombats, Bennetts wallabies, Tasmanian pademelons and potoroos. There are also more than 100 species of birds, including the rare swift parrot, forty-spotted pardalote, Grey-tailed tattler and hooded plover. Plant lovers will enjoy the park's open forests of Tasmanian blue gum and a dense coastal fringe of Teatree, as well as Sassafras-musk rainforest and many rare orchids. Short walks from Trousers Point and Fotheringate Bay pass through casuarina woodland and coastal heath before exiting on the coast, while the Strzelecki Peaks walking track is a challenging day walk rising from sea level to the 756-metre granite massifs of the Peaks. This is the highest point on Flinders Island and an excellent vantage point over the southern end of the island and beyond. Fotheringate Bay has some unusual rock formations and is a favourite with the locals. These family-friendly areas have campsites, picnic spots, plus plenty of opportunities to swim, fish, snorkel and dive, or simply take a long and lazy beach walk.
Learn to cook seasonally
We offer in-house cooking schools - hands-on and/or demonstrations in a light-filled commercial teaching kitchen at our guesthouse where we can cater for private functions too. Seasonal cooking schools of two nights accommodation with all meals and a day of hands-on school are offered. Minimum numbers apply or book the whole accommodation for your getaway for a wedding, special party or group activity. Make pasta from scratch or curries-not-from-a-jar. Make jams or relishes from seasonal surplus garden produce. Your host and owner, Wendy Jubb Stoney is a trained teacher with a background of cooking with some of Australia's best chefs. Indulge yourself with meals using produce from the garden and the local environment. Sit at the century-old dining table and enjoy being served, matched with something from the cellar. Visiting the website shows upcoming events including cooking schools by Wendy or local and visiting chefs. Stay a few days and do a tour. You are indulged at our guesthouse with 5 guest rooms and en-suites with a separate toilet. Rooms have bespoke furnishings and artworks. The sitting rooms, library, open fire, north-facing courtyard and views to the sea all offer peace and harmony in whatever season.
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