Coastal walking on Flinders Island | Andrew Bain
Combined with its natural beauty, peaceful location, exotic wildlife and fresh seafood delights, Flinders Island is a wonderful walking destination for such a tiny island.
The Tasmanian island's history is almost as raw and rugged as its weathered coast, and its isolation and remoteness enhance its uniqueness and charm.
Here are five top experiences for those who choose to explore the island on foot.
Walk one of the three Great Short Walks of Tasmania
Home to three of Tasmania's listed 60 Great Short Walks, Flinders Island packs a punch when it comes to coastal and island walking.
From conquering Mt Strzelecki, Flinders Island’s highest peak that offers some of the most awe-inspiring views on the island, to trekking along the rolling green pastures with sparkling coastal vistas; walking Flinders Island gives you a chance to experience the highlights of the island at a relaxed pace.
You have more time to stop and take photos, marvel at the views and enjoy the island in all its facets than a bus tour ever could.
Although a small island of only 1,333 square kilometres, Flinders Island hosts an amazing array of ecosystems from dunes and lagoons to woodland and mountainous granite ridges which produce spectacular and unique species of flora and fauna.
Learn about Indigenous Australian history
Flinders Island has a rich history that dates back more than 35,000 years. The original inhabitants of the island survived on its ample natural resources until about 4,500 years ago when an acute El Nino climate shift affected their ability to source food and fresh water and the population died out.
It stretches from the first European discovery of the island in 1773 by Tobias Furneaux to the first settlement sites of Tasman Aborigines, exiled to the island in 1833, to the present day.
A visit to the fascinating Flinders Island Museum and the historic Wybalenna is an important and historically significant place to learn about.
The site of Wybalenna ‘Aboriginal Settlement’ echoes a sad history of the indigenous resettlement scheme back in 1834 where Tasmanian Aborigines were transported after the mission to round up and remove Aboriginal people from mainland Tasmania.
With a knowledgeable guide at hand, you are given the chance to learn more about what happened there.
See unique and abundant wildlife on a walk
Bird watchers, rejoice! Flinders Island is home to an abundant and diverse range of birds. From albatross to mutton-birds, pacific gulls, wedge-tailed eagles, sea eagles and Cape Barren Geese, there’s no shortage of winged wildlife circling overhead.
Keep an eagle eye out for the endangered forty-spotted pardolate (one of the smallest birds in Australia). Plus, more than 200,000 Tasmanian pademelons and red-necked wallabies roam the island.
You may even be lucky enough to spot a long-nosed potoroo (part of the rat-kangaroo family). If you have time, visit the volunteer conservation venture, Patriarch Wildlife Sanctuary, and enjoy the chance to get up close to some of the island’s native animals.
Savour delicious local food and wine
Flinders Island is well known for its fresh seafood and famous meat – and there are few better places to experience the culinary delights than Lady Barron, a small seaside township that is the base for many fishing charters.
Dine on fish, crayfish, some of the world’s finest organic beef and lamb, as well as locally produced honey, fruit and vegetables... the list goes on!
Enjoy an 'island style' meal with the locals at The Wharf restaurant or head to Furneaux Tavern for a cold Tasmanian beer. You'll meet some of the colourful characters of the island and hear their yarns about island life.
Camp under the stars
Take your Flinders Island visit to the next level and immerse yourself in nature by sleeping under the stars. Falling asleep to the sounds of nature does wonders for the soul, not to mention the forced digital detox that allows you to reclaim your spare time!
Instead of finishing your evenings in a hotel and watching television, spending your nights camping comfortably under the stars gives you a chance to ponder, chat with other travellers, read that book you've been telling yourself to make time for or simply recount the day's experiences in your mind.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, jump on our island walking adventures to Flinders and experience a week of rugged ranges, sparkling beaches, clear sapphire waters, abundant wildlife and fresh, locally produced meals. View trips >