Situated off the coast of Tasmania in Bass Strait, enjoying a guided holiday on Flinders Island is like stepping back in time. The pace of life here is slower, the locals friendlier, the fresh clean air nurtures you. And it’s only a short flight from either Melbourne or Launceston in Tasmania.
As you approach the rugged Furneaux group of islands, Flinders looks like a motley collection of jumbled mountains jutting out of the sea. It’s 75km long and 40km wide. As well as tall peaks, sea cliffs and idyllic coves, much of the central part of the island is covered in lush green farmland and dotted with tiny settlements.
As recently as 5000 years ago the ocean was about 100m lower than today and Tasmania was connected to Australia.
The walking offers tremendous variety. There are rocky coastlines to explore, interspersed with beautiful sandy beaches. There are serene river estuaries and picturesque inlets.
There’s an opportunity to climb the highest peak on the island as well as several smaller peaks. If you have a good head for heights, there’s a chance to ascend Mt Pillinger, justifiably known to locals as the “Eiger of Flinders Island”.
Wildlife abounds too. There are numerous wallabies (far too many for the locals!), huge Cape Barren geese, wild peacocks, pheasants, birds of prey and large numbers of seabirds. Summer weather is mild compared with most of Australia, and winters never have frost. No wonder locals wouldn’t live anywhere else.
During this walking holiday, our small group are accommodated at a 4 star retreat at the foot of Mt Strzelecki, overlooking Trousers Point Beach.
Starts and finishes on Flinders Island. There are flights from Essendon (Melbourne) and Launceston (Tasmania).
Sections of rocky coastline with some boulder hopping. Inland walks are moderate with a couple of challenging options available. This trip operates with two guides so we can offer easier and harder walk options along the way.
For more detailed information including daily walk distances and times please download our Fact Sheet below.
During this holiday we’ll be based for all six nights at the one accommodation property. This is a 4 star retreat is surrounded by national park. There are great views of the coast and mountains. The property features themed bedrooms, guest lounge with open fire, bar, sun deck and outdoor spa.
Two guides, 6 nights accommodation, all meals (6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners), all transport from Flinders Island airport, beach fishing, entry to Furneaux Museum, National Park fees, insulated lunch bag, maps & map case and info pack.
Alcohol, meals not listed in itinerary, drinks with meals (except tea/coffee and juice with breakfast), flights to/from Flinders Island.
Flinders Island has a temperate coastal climate that is suitable for walking at every time of the year except the winter months.
See the Bureau of Meteorology’s information about average temperatures and rainfall at different times of the year.
We’ll dine in-house on fresh local organic produce, accompanied by an excellent range of Tasmanian wines. On one night there will be an opportunity to learn how to fish (or just watch if you prefer) and then we’ll cook up the catch at a beach BBQ.
This holiday commences on Flinders Island. You can fly to the island from Essendon (near Melbourne airport) or Launceston (in Tasmania) with Sharp Airlines (http://sharpairlines.com/ or phone 1300 55 66 94). This afternoon, we will endeavour to do a short forest walk at the foot of the Strzelecki Ranges (subject to flight arrival times).
Accommodation: Secluded Retreat at Trousers Point, for all 6 nights.
Today we’ll explore the historic Settlement Point area on the west coast of the island.
The walking starts at picturesque Sawyers Bay, with some boulder hopping and beach walking. An historic jetty with a magnificent backdrop of the Strzelecki Ranges will have cameras working overtime. We go hiking across the peninsula then along the beach to Castle Rock, a massive granite boulder standing over 15 metres high.
On a visit to the Furneaux Historical Museum we’ll learn about Wybalenna, one of the most important Aboriginal historic sites in Australia. It was here in the 1930s that the Tasmanian government resettled what it thought to be the remaining Tasmanian Aboriginal people. At the museum you’ll also learn about early sailors and sealers, the early settlers and the amazing present-day mutton birders.
Still on the west side of the island, we head further north today to Mount Killiecrankie. Today’s stunning coastal hike hugs the rocky shores from The Dock to the sleepy fishing settlement of Killiecrankie. Orange lichen decorates the granite boulders and the azure blue water beckons swimmers at Stacky’s Bight. Old Man’s Head, a unique rock formation, dominates the southern section of the hike.
Finish the afternoon searching for stunning white topaz stones, known locally as Killiecrankie diamonds.
The highlight for many will be the challenging ascent of Mt Strzelecki, named after Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki who explored many parts of Australia in the 1800s. He’s well known for being the first European to climb Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain. The track climbs up through the rugged Big River valley where there are waterfalls and a delightful fern gully. As you climb higher the vegetation changes to sub alpine and finally you reach the bouldery summit. At 756 metres, you are on the highest point on the island.
As usual, an easier option will be available. Late this afternoon you can try your luck at beach fishing and our accommodation hosts will BBQ the catch for you.
Today we explore the remote northern shores of the island, starting at the idyllic beach at Palana. There is no track as we pick our way along the coast to North East River. Rocky headlands covered in bright orange lichen are interspersed with short stretches of pristine sandy beaches. Bring the swimming gear today! Watching the speed at which the water enters the river estuary at North East River is a highlight.
The final hike is in the Darling Range in the central part of the island. And what a highlight it is. Starting at aptly named Walkers Lookout, we traverse a high ridge that offers excellent views in all directions. For fit walkers with a good head for heights there’s an optional ascent of atmospheric Mt Pillinger – known to locals as the Eiger of Flinders Island.
This holiday finishes after breakfast with a transfer to the airport.
The great thing about Flinders Island is that nobody knows where it is!!!
That is one of the best things – the isolation and ruggedness of the island is it’s beauty.
To discovery the best of the island you cannot surpass the Auswalk trip with it’s fabulous accommodation and gourmet meals you will not get anything better on the island.
I had a great week. Thoroughly enjoyed the walks, food, accommodation and the island.
Hugh and Marie were fantastic guides and did a great job of looking after us.
The other participants were great people and I look forward to the photo exchange.
It was an awesome week. Thanks to everyone.
I’ve travelled a lot and Flinders Island is up there amongst the most spectacular that I have visited.
The Flinders Island walk was more than a visual delight, all our senses came alive.
The sound of surf and birds, the sight of seahorses and echidnas, the touch of smooth rocks and glorious blue gum trunks, the smell of the Kunzea tree.
There was diversity in terrain; we covered beach, rocks, estuaries, glorious green pastures, a mountain (Mt Strzelecki was a bit of a challenge for me ! but pleasantly so and the guides were great). Accommodation and meals were fine, fresh and fabulous.
We were told of the island’s history, including the early dark tale of indigenous Tasmanians forced to go there, most not to live or return.
But we also heard of explorers and settlers. Guides Marie and Hugh were helpful, informative and full of humor.
I cannot recommend highly enough, the guides, accommodation and food on this trip.
It made the whole experience very enjoyable and I’m so glad that I went.
(A $100 Early Bird Discount is applicable for all bookings made 6 months prior to the the selected departure date.)