The Docks, Flinders Island, TAS
Need a break from the rat race? If Tasmania has a slower pace than mainland Australia, on the islands of the Bass Strait you can drop back another couple of gears.
Geologically, not much has changed on Flinders Island since before the last Ice Age, when the island was part of a land bridge linking Tasmania to mainland Australia. It wasn't until 1773, 12,000 years later, that Tobias Furneaux first glimpsed Flinders and the 51 islands around it. He had become separated from the Endeavour in a furious fog but stumbled onto something better.
Today you'll get a much clearer view of this tiny island jewel, which is just 40 miles (64 kilometres) long and 18 miles (29 kilometres) wide. Watch out for the pink and grey granite cliffs of Mount Strzelecki and Mount Killiecrankie, and the small streams, coastal sand dunes and gentle green farmland. Fly in from Launceston or jump on a ferry from Bridport. If you're arriving from Victoria, you can fly from Moorabbin or boat in from Port Welshpool.
Only 900 people live on Flinders Island and most of the time you can pretend they're not here. You're more likely to run into the furred and feathered residents: wallabies and wombats; tiny wren and giant wandering albatross. Walk to the eastern lagoons and inlets, where thousands of migratory birds break up their long haul flight to the Arctic Circle. In the sea you can dive for giant crabs and crays and spot seals, dolphins and visiting whales.