King Island Tourism & Travel
King Island Australia
Situated in Bass Strait, off the north-western tip of Tasmania, King Island is half way between Tasmania and mainland Australia. The friendly Island of vast natural landscapes and refreshingly clean air is renowned for the award-winning creamy cheeses of King Island Dairy, some of the best beef in the world, succulent local seafood, and famous long surfing beaches. Lighthouses, shipwrecks, rocky coastlines and numerous art and craft galleries are just waiting to be explored at this beautiful Island getaway. A population of 1,723 souls resides in the Municipality of King Island.
King Island Attractions
The King Island Historical Museum showcases interesting local history and remnants of maritime disasters. Fascinating local arts and crafts are found at the King Island Cultural Centre, the Boathouse Gallery, and the King Island Kelp Craft store utilising the bull kelp as a medium.
The vast and varied landscape of King Island is abundant with natural wonders, including an ancient calcified forest at Seal Rocks Reserve; the scenic Lavinia Nature Reserve consisting of beautiful beaches, heathland, dunes, wetlands, and lagoons; and abundant wildlife, comprised of 78 bird species including the many little penguins fairy penguins that can be viewed returning to the shores at dusk.
Many other popular attractions are found across King Island, such as the tallest lighthouse in the Southern Hemisphere at Cape Wickham, the King Island Golf and Bowls Club, and the King Island Observatory.
King Island Beaches
The many glorious beaches around King Island are ideal for surfing, diving, and water sports. Excellent surfing spots are found at British Admiral Beach and Martha Lavinia Beach, which is reported to have some of the best waves in the world. For those less inclined, swimming is popular at secluded beaches and freshwater lagoons around the Island, and the many shipwrecks on the King Island Maritime Trail are waiting to be explored on a scuba diving expedition. Fishing for top quality salmon, flathead and whiting is also a popular pastime on the east coast beaches.
King Island Restaurants & Cafes
The main town of Currie houses the most eating options. King Islands succulent seafood is a specialty, particularly the renowned large crayfish, and the appropriately named, King Crab.
King Island Events
Many major events enliven King Island every year, including the King Island Imperial 20 marathon, the King Island Show, the King Island Dramatic Society Play, Queenscliff to Grassy Yacht Race, and the King Island Horseracing Carnival.
King Island - Airport
Flights from Melbourne such as King Island Airlines and Regional Express, and from Devonport, Burnie, or Wynyard such as the regional Tasair airline, commonly service the small scale King Island Airport.
King Island History
Europeans first discovered the land in 1798 and was named for Governor King of New South Wales. Subsequently, seals and sea elephants were hunted by Straitsmen and sadly, many shipwrecks occurred due to the rough conditions of Bass Straight. In 1845, King Island saw the deadliest shipwreck when 399 immigrants died whilst on their ship, the Cataraqui.
King Island Today
Cape Wickham lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in the southern hemisphere now guides mariners safely into Bass Strait. Today, King Islands economy is based on the exportation of its renowned King Island Dairy produce, kelp, seafood, mineral water, and the highly acclaimed King Island beef.