Strzeleki National Park

Strzelecki National Park covers 4216 hectares in the south-western corner of Flinders Island. Flinders is the main island in the Furneaux Group, a group of 54 islands in Bass Strait
off the north-east coast of mainland Tasmania.
The national park protects rich and varied ecosystems as well as spectacular coastal and granite mountain landscapes. Strzelecki forms an area where plant and animal species found on mainland Australia and Tasmania overlap, making the park of important biogeographic significance. The park is also home to a high number of endemic species, rare flora and fauna and significant vegetation communities.

The park was proclaimed in 1967 and given the official name of Strzelecki National Park in 1972, in honour of the Polish scientist and explorer Count Paul Edmund Strzelecki, who climbed a number of the mountain peaks on Flinders Island in 1842.

Encounters with wombats, Bennetts wallaby and the Tasmanian pademelon are a common occurrence in the park. Other mammals of particular interest include the long-nosed potoroo, which favours areas of dense cover. The bird life in the park is rich and diverse, with about 114 recorded species. Indeed, Flinders Island has particular significance as an important stop-over point for bird species migrating between the Australian mainland and Tasmania. Therefore the conservation of large areas of diverse habitat is essential.


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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.


Strzelecki National Park provides a wealth of opportunities for visitors. The beautiful rocky headlands and beaches at Trousers Point and Fotheringate Bay provide opportunities for camping, picnicing, swimming, fishing, snorkeling and diving. This area is an ideal safe environment for children, and is perfect for recreational activities suitable for families and less active people. For those who want the challenge of a climb to the top of Strzelecki Peaks, the main walking track will lead you to a tremendous view of the southern end of Flinders Island and surrounding islands.

Walks

Important! Before planning any walks, check the weather. Flinders Island has a cool maritime climate and strong westerly winds can blow for days on end. The highest rainfall occurs from late spring to mid-winter. Rainfall can vary from 1494 mm in the mountains to 468mm at Trousers Point on the coast. The mean summer temperature on Flinders Island is 21.2 C which occurs between January and March.��A good map is essential.


Strzeleki Peaks Walking Track

Strzelecki National Park covers an area of relatively high relief with steep slopes rising from sea level to over 700 metres in height. The main ridge in the park extends from Strzelecki Peak in the north, southward to Lovett���s Hill. At a height of 756 metres, Strzelecki Peak is the highest mountain on Flinders Island.

There is a well-marked 3 kilometre walking track to the summit of the Strzelecki Peaks. The track starts at Trousers Point Road, about 6km from the B85. This is not an easy walk and wet weather gear and drinking water must be carried. The climb, through wooded slopes and damp fern gullies, takes about 4 to 5 hours return. Regardless of the weather carry a rain coat and warm jumper; it could well be cold and windy at higher levels. Be aware that the weather may close in while at the summit, which may lead to disorientation.


Beach Walks

A short marked walking track starts at Trousers Point camping ground and passes through casuarina woodland and coastal heath before exiting on the coast. North of this is another track which accesses Fotheringate Bay. Walkers can then use the formed road to return to the camping ground or return back along the coast.

An extended coastal walk can be undertaken along the southern coast of Flinders Island, much of it through the park, along coastal reserve or unallocated Crown land to the east of the park. To walk this coastline in its entirety is likely to involve an overnight stop.

Activities

Camping

Within the national park there is a designated camping ground at the southern end of Trousers Point. Basic visitor facilities include a dry composting toilet, rainwater tank, fireplace areas, picnic tables, open areas for tents, information board and rubbish bins. To minimise environmental degradation, visitors are reminded not to cut trees for firewood. By preference, fuel stoves should be carried and used. There is a sheltered, free barbeque at the picnic area at Trousers Point.

Fotheringate Bay is a popular traditional recreation area for the local community. The facilities here consist of a gravel road and car park and a short walking track leading to a small picnic area.

Bird watching

Strzelecki National Park provides excellent opportunities for bird watchers. Don���t forget your binoculars! There are about 114 recorded species. A booklet, The Birds of Flinders Island, is available from the local museum at Emita.


Sea Kayaking

Experienced sea kayakers can explore untrodden beaches, inlets and the off-shore islands. Be aware that the waters of Bass Strait have a well-earned reputation for being treacherous.


Rock Climbing

Rockclimbing occassionally occurs in the park. There are numerous opportunities for short climbs and one cliff of around 230 metres.

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