Surrounded by over 50 mostly uninhabited islands, more than 65 shipwrecks and with over 120 pristine beaches, Flinders Island is a great place for a relaxing, rejuvenating holiday, being set amid the tranquillity of one of Australia’s idyllic natural settings. Not many people live there, and not many people go there, so this is the place to be if you don’t want to share your holiday destination with the rest of Australia.
Around 900 people live on the island, with farming and fishing being important industries. The farmers producing quality beef and lamb as well as clean fine wool and the fishermen harvesting crayfish, abalone, scallops and giant crabs. The major population centres are Whitemark (which has the island’s main airstrip) and Lady Barron (the port). A little over a third of the island is used for farmland, with the remainder being National Park. Bushland, lagoons and coastal reserves provide the visitor with a superb opportunity to explore and images Flinders Island’s little changed natural setting, with an abundance of wildlife and a fascinating history thrown in for good measure.
Where is it?: Flinders Island is located in Bass Strait off the north eastern tip of Tasmania and is part of the Furneaux Island group.
How to get there:
Sharp Airlines provides regular, daily services from both Launceston and Melbourne (Essendon) to Whitemark. For more information or to make your flight booking visit Sharp Airlines or telephone 1300 55 66 94.
Cars can travel to Flinders Island on the Southern Shipping Company’s weekly (scheduled for Mondays) service between Bridport (north east Tasmania) and Port Welshpool (Flinders Island). Call (03) 6356 1753 for more information or to make a booking. The journey takes 8½ hours one way; bookings essential (four to six weeks in advance).
Best time to go:
The Furneaux Group boasts a maritime climate, with the average rainfall ranging from about 600mm in the southwest to over 800mm in the central hills.
The climate of this region is generally mild as the sea has a moderating effect protecting the islands from extremes of temperature. Cooler than Melbourne in the summer and unexpectedly warmer than Melbourne in the winter. On Flinders Island, we have more sunny days than the Gold Coast.
Winds are predominantly westerlies and can blow unabated for several days during late winter and spring, with cooling sea breezes during the summer months.
The Furneaux group of islands is situated within the infamous Roaring Forties and coastal waters can be exposed to strong and variable winds and high seas all through the year. Swells can come in from distant oceanic storms, creating dramatic effects on the headlands of Trousers Point facing the West, or sometimes on the eastern side of the Island. Flinders has a reputation for being windy, but in actual fact, is less windy than the western islands of Tasmania and even the western part of the mainland. It is definitely ‘windy’ about 10% of the time particularly in the spring when the “Roaring Forties” are at their peak.