Bass Strait Islands of Tasmania
Tasmania appears to move at a slow pace compared to mainland Australia but two island groups in the Bass Strait offer the opportunity to drop back a few more gears.
The climate of the Bass Strait islands is maritime and generally mild, with the average rainfall ranging from about 600 to 800 millimetres a year. Winds are predominantly westerlies and can blow unabated for several days during late winter and spring. There are cool sea breezes in summer. The Bass Strait islands of Tasmania are situated within the renowned Roaring Forties. The coastal waters of Flinders Island and King Island can be exposed to strong and variable winds and high seas throughout the year.
Served by the king island council, King Island guards the western end of Bass Strait and is the largest island in the Hunter Group. Only 64 kilometres long and 27 kilometres across at its widest point, King Island’s beautiful beaches, rocky coastline and excellent produce more than compensate for its small size.
King Island is perhaps best known for its dairy produce, although kelp and crayfish are also valuable exports.
World-renowned cheeses from King Island. These have made King Island famous.
© Tourism Tasmania and Nick Osborne
The main township on King Island is Currie, which is also the local harbour. Currie is close to the airport and most of King Island's facilities are located here. Other notable settlements are Naracoopa on the east coast of King Island and grassy on the south-east side.
Visit the our island page of the King Island Council website for links to more information.
The flinders municipality covers four groups of Bass Strait islands off the north-eastern tip of Tasmania: the Furneaux, Kent, Hogan and Curtis groups. Of the more than 60 islands only three have permanent residents: Flinders Island, Cape Barren Island and Clarke Island. Flinders Island has the largest population.
The three main population centres on Flinders Island are Whitemark, Lady Barron and Killiecrankie. Whitemark is the main residential and business centre.
The trading vessel Matthew Flinders sails weekly between Bridport, on the north-east coast of mainland Tasmania, and Lady Barron and, on demand, from Welshpool in Victoria.
Airlines of Tasmania flies daily between Launceston and Whitemark and three times a week between Moorabbin and Whitemark. The region is also serviced by a number of charter aircraft. These carry passengers or freight on demand.
Flinders Island has a thriving rural community that produces sheep and wool, cattle, milk-fed lambs, crayfish, abalone, poppies, cauliflower seed and Cape Barren geese. Other business activities on Flinders Island include rural support industries and tourism.
Flinders Island is a narrow island, 75 kilometres long and 40 kilometres wide. The Darling Ranges run down the centre. The total land area of Flinders Island is 1,333 square kilometres. It has 73 kilometres of sealed roads and 309 kilometres of gravel roads.
For more information, visit the new residents page of the Flinders Island Council website.
DID YOU KNOW?
Tasmania has a total of 334 offshore islands ranging in size from wave-washed rocks in the Southern Ocean to Flinders Island and King Island in the Bass Strait.
The flinders island brochure (pdf 788kb) is produced for those considering business opportunities on Flinders Island. It also contains useful general information about the area.