King Island

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DISTANCES: Air to Wynyard 199Km, Air to Melbourne 261Km

King Island is situated in the western end of Bass Strait. The island lies along the meridian of 144 degrees east and across latitude 40 degrees south, being 65 km long and 27 km wide at its widest point. The total area is approximately 126,000 hectares. However, only about half of the Island has been cleared for farming, the rest being natural bush in which native fauna and imported species, such as pheasant and quail, are found.

A rugged, attractive island, it has over 145 km of unspoilt coastline ranging from the beautiful sandy beaches of the east and north coasts, to the rugged cliffs of Seal Rocks and the remote, lonely coastline at the southern end of the Island.

In the early days of last century the Island gained a world wide reputation for the great number of sea elephants (now extinct) and seals which were taken by the sealers and hunters.

The first records of permanent settlement were recorded around 1855, with the Island being thrown open to settlement in 1886.

In 1905, gold and tin were mined, with scheelite resources being discovered in 1911. Mining has taken place since this date, the level of activity being dictated by world prices.

Other industries are cheese making, dairying, kelp drying, crayfishing, abalone and livestock production.

Several airlines run passenger services between the Island and Devonport, Hobart, Wynyard and Melbourne.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO

Explore lonely, lovely beaches, rocky coves and craggy cliffs, lakes and lagoons.

Play golf on a challenging course, enjoy a game of bowls, fish for crayfish, salmon, sweep, mullet, shark, trout and many lesser species, get a licence and dive for abalone or fish for cray.

Skin dive among the remains of 57 wrecks, bush walk down the lonely north coast, swim, snorkel or surf on beaches that offer a challenge to any experienced surfer.

Hike over rolling dune country or see one of the highest lighthouses in Australia.

Shoot pheasant, quail, snipe, wallaby, duck etc in season, go sea fishing - or just relax and enjoy a quiet way of life.

King Island Tourism Inc: 1800 645 014