5-day adventure holiday on Flinders Island
Catch crayfish, picnic, hike and dive the remote Tasmanian island of Flinders. Here, the great outdoors is a way of life.
By Elspeth Callender
If you haven’t already heard of or visited Flinders Island, then you’re in for a real treat. This gem is the largest of the 52-island Furneaux Group that lies off the northeast coast of Tasmania in the Bass Strait. Flinders is about 70 kilometres (44 miles) long and 40 kilometres (25 miles) wide, has more than 200 beaches and is home to nearly 900 salt-of-the-earth locals – many of them real characters.
Flinders has some wild corners to explore with striking rock formations and abundant wildlife. It is also partly cultivated, and many residents are farmers, fishers, growers and makers keen for you to enjoy their organic produce or catch of the day.
Day 1: Mainland Australia to Flinders Island
If you’re coming to Flinders Island from cities such as Adelaide or Sydney, then hop on a direct flight to Launceston with one of the main domestic carriers. A small regional airline, Sharp, runs a daily service direct to Flinders Island Airport from Launceston (35 minutes) and from Essendon Fields Airport in Melbourne (one hour). You can also charter a flight with Flinders Island Aviation or Kirkhope Aviation from Melbourne or northeast Tasmania.
Once you’re on the island, pick up your rental vehicle from Flinders Island Car Rentals, which services various locations including Flinders Island Airport just outside Whitemark, the island’s main settlement, and Lady Barron Aerodrome. Flinders Island’s other three main townships, Killiecrankie in the north, Lady Barron in the south and Emita in between, are spread out across the length of the island, but it takes no more than an hour to drive between any of them. The most important thing to remember when driving on Flinders: everyone will wave hello, so wave back.Show more
Day 2: Strzelecki National Park
Enjoy breakfast at your accommodation, organise your packed lunch then drive, cycle or walk the short distance to the entrance of Strzelecki National Park (Mountain Seas Lodge is right on its doorstep while Sawyers Bay Shacks is a 30-minute drive).
Your mission today, if you choose to accept it, is to hike to the island’s highest point: Strzelecki Peaks, at 756 metres (around 2,500 feet) above sea level. The Grade 4 walk (recommended for experienced bushwalkers) is about 5.6 kilometres (3.5 miles) in total, and takes around four to five hours return. Ascend through ferns, stands of she-oaks and wildflower heathlands. Make sure you’re carrying plenty of water, food and extra wet and warm weather gear. You’ll have 360-degree views from the exposed granite peaks at the top.
Days 3 to 5: Explore Flinders
Now that you’ve settled in, stretched your legs and got your bearings, it’s time to see some more of the island. If you’re still feeling energetic after yesterday’s hike, join a scuba tour: contact The Flinders Wharf for information. There are also plenty more coastal trails to hike, or hire a bike and do a vineyard or twilight tour with Mountain Biking Flinders Island. Local operator Rockjaw runs all-inclusive fishing, hunting and history tours of Flinders and nearby Vansittart Island.
Perhaps it’s April and you’ve timed your visit for the annual Flinders Island Food and Crayfish Festival. If so, look forward to long lunches, celebrity chef demonstrations and culinary adventures across the island, as the passionate local community celebrates its remarkable food culture and, naturally, crayfish season. At other times of the year, see what’s cooking at Flinders Wharf as part of its visiting chef series, On-Island Time.Show more