OK, getting to Flinders Island would be a pretty expensive daytrip, but if you really want to get off the beaten track, it’s the place to go. Outside of the main town, Whitemark (think pub, supermarket, newsagent and bakery and you’ve pictured the whole town), you can drive the length of the island and probably not see another soul.
Flinders is the largest of the Furneaux island group in eastern Bass Strait – 52 islands that once formed a land bridge between Tasmania and mainland Australia. Its spine of steep granite mountains is part of the same range that forms Wilsons Promontory in Victoria and the Hazard Mountains of Freycinet Peninsula on Tassie’s east coast.
Its necklace of almost 100 white sand beaches shared between less than 800 people means you’re almost always guaranteed to find an empty one. Start your drive near the southernmost point, which is also where you’ll find the island’s most famous beach, Trousers Point, a curve of white sand lapped by turquoise water and bookended with striking orange lichen-covered boulders.
If you fancy a golfing challenge, the nine-hole course at Whitemark has been parred only once in its 40-year history (blame the distracting ocean views – or maybe it’s those challenging sea breezes).
The diamonds washed up on the beaches at Killiecrankie Bay are actually white topaz, but only an expert could tell the difference.
The remains of Wybalenna Historic Site can be explored: 135 Tasmanian Aborigines, many the last of their tribes, were forcibly resettled here in 1835; almost all died. Its history is detailed in the excellent Furneaux Museum at nearby Emita.
When you get North East River, another gorgeous beach with rock pools, granite bluffs and lichen-covered rocks, you’ve made it to the top.
Distance // About 60km.
Getting there // Sharp Airlines (sharpairlines.com.au) has daily flights from Launceston and Melbourne and sells fly/drive/stay packages; you can also hire a car on the island from ficr.com.au.
More information // www.visitflindersisland.com.au
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