4 Day King Island Tour
On arrival into King Island we are met by Matthew, a 5th generation King Islander born and bred who will be our local guide this week. From here we head to Cafe Brewer for lunch. After this we head to our hotel for check in, followed by a guided tour of the main township of Currie taking in the fishing harbour, King Island Cultural Centre, Currie Lighthouse and some of the Island's shipwreck history.
After our tour we head to King Island Dairy for a Cheese tasting before returning to the motel for a short rest before dinner. Which is in house at the motel on this evening. We are lucky enough to have one of the island's best chefs come in and cater for us.
Day 2. Northern King Island
Lunch & Dinner
This morning after breakfast we begin touring the northern region of King Island. First destination is Shag Lagoon Bird Hide to view some of King Island’s beautiful water fowl.
From here we head further north whilst keeping a keen eye out for bird species such as pheasants, peacocks and turkeys which are plentiful in this area and visit King Island Kelp Craft for morning tea.
Our next stop is Quarantine Bay where we will be taking in the views and interesting history of Christmas Island and New Year Island located just off the coast.
Following this we visit the mouth of Yellow Rock River, the wreck site of the Shannon to hear Captain Johnson’s unfortunate story. From here we head to Meet Your Beef for a farm tour with lunch.
After lunch we visit Martha Lavinia Beach, a world class beach break on King Island in Bass Strait.
The wave peak has been voted one of the Top 10 Surf Breaks in Australia and is frequented by pro surfers when in the region for the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Classic. We continue across to Penny’s Lagoon, a rare perched lake found in only three locations in the world. It’s freshwater is held by compacted sand and organic matter and is a favourite swimming spot for locals and visitors. Following this we travel to Cape Wickham, the most northern point of King Island. We view the Cape Wickham Lighthouse, the tallest granite lighthouse in the Southern Hemisphere which overlooks the beautiful Cape Wickham Links Golf Course, one of Australia’s top ranking golf courses.
We continue up past Lake Flannigan and on to Disappointment Bay which is anything but a disappointment - in fact it’s one of King Island’s most beautiful locations.
We drive through Egg Lagoon, once a massive lagoon and now used for farming.
From here we return to our accommodation for a short rest to freshen up prior to our dinner at Wild Harvest Restaurant. The restaurant is one of the best on King Island and showcases the Islands best produce.
After dinner we view the local fairy penguin colony. On dusk the penguins waddle out of the water to go to their burrows where they are able to keep safe from predators to nest, rest and moult.
Day 3. East Coast & Southern King Island
Lunch & Dinner
Today we begin with a visit to King Island Kelp Industries where we learn about its harvesting, its refining and what it is used for and why King Island is the major player in kelp. Next stop is the Restaurant Without Food for morning tea before we head to the east coast settlement of Naracoopa.
We learn more of the area in Naracoopa, as well as the early history including the controversial jetty built in 1915/16. After taking in the stunning views we travel south through some of the most productive farming land on King Island.
En-route our guide Matthew will enlighten us on all things farming, rain fall differences and effects between the north and south of the island and the soldiers settlement.
On arrival into Grassy we discover the scheelite mining heritage of King Islands Dolphin Mine which operated between 1917 and 1992, its closure due to extremely low tungsten prices, rather than a lack of reserves plus hear the news of its possible future. From here we make our way down the hill into the deep water port of Grassy to discuss King Island’s shipping and fishing fleet before enjoying lunch at the King Island Boat Club harbour-side.
The King Island Boat Club is iconic to yachters of the Queenscliff to Grassy Yacht Race, first sailed in the 1970’s and since then has become a major fixture on the Australian Ocean Racing calendar. After lunch we discover Surprise Bay, the southernmost settlement of King Island. Matthew will provide us with the history of the first settlement of King Island. We hear the amazing story of the Bowling family, amd Elizabeth Bowling, and her sons who were the first people to take up land on King Island for farming and settlement in 1889.
We also visit a very rare forest with views over some of King Island’s most spectacular coastline which has had a chequered history, including the worst peacetime maritime disaster in Australia’s history. It claimed the lives of 400 people, a great many of whom were women and their children, when the British barquentine “schooner” Cataraqui was wrecked in a winter storm.
We then move onto the Calcified Forest enjoying a leisurely 30-minute return stroll that takes us to a viewing platform to survey the fossilised stumps of rainforest trees. For those of us not up for a walk, we can relax and enjoy a cuppa from the coach.
Our next stop takes us to one of King Island’s most dramatic parts of the coast, Seal Rocks Lookout, which was used by Dutch and French sealer’s to spot pods of seals.
We then begin our drive back up to Currie via Ettrick Bay, Millers Bay and the Hybrid Power Station before returning to our motel.
This evening we head to View Dining for tea, set in a lovely location with fantastic local produce.
Day 4. Departure Day
After breakfast and check out, en-route to the airport we have one last attraction to visit before we leave the Island, the King Island Historical Society Museum. The museum was established in a former lighthouse keeper’s cottage in 1980. All aspects of the Island’s history are represented in the displays at the King Island Museum including the original lens from Cape Wickham Lighthouse made from crystal. Relics from the large number of shipwrecks around the coastline of the Island are also featured.
Unfortunately our next stop is the King Island Airport for check in and flight home