2023 King Island

2023 King Island

4 day Air/Coach Tour

4 Days

6 – 9 February 2023

From $3,315

King Island is located approximately 80 km northeast of Tasmania and about the same distance southeast of Cape Otway on the Victorian coast – so it is right in the middle of Bass Strait! With a population of just 1400, King Island is one of Australia’s best kept secrets! Its often windswept and rainy but its rugged and very scenic and it has a fascinating history. Around 60 or so offshore wrecks (a legacy of the dangers of trying to cross and pass through Bass Strait in the early days) lie along the reefs just off the 145ks of coastline. Before the arrival of Europeans, the island was richly forested but today it has been cleared for farming and the huge trees have been replaced by low lying scrub and ti-trees. In recent times King Island has gained an extraordinary reputation for its beef and dairy products. King Island butters, cheeses and creams (particularly clotted cream) have found their way into fashionable suburban delicatessens on the mainland – made by the King Island Dairy with produce from just 16 dairy farms! Our guide – a long term resident of King Island – is passionate about “all things King Island”. He will ensure we enjoy a memorable visit!

4 days
Twin / Double $3315.00 pp
Single $3615.00
Deposit $500.00

Itinerary

Day 1: Brisbane - Melbourne - King Island - Monday 6 Feb 2023 (D)

Welcome to our special 4 day tour to King Island in Bass Straight.

Departing from the Sunshine Coast by Coach to Brisbane Airport we will board our flight to Melbourne. From Melbourne Airport we connect with our late afternoon flight to King Island. Most people will get a view as we fly down the coast prior to landing. On arrival we are met by our local guide – a long term resident of the Island – who will be with us for the next few days. After the coach is loaded, we make the short transfer to Currie – the main town and check into our motel accommodation – the Boomerang by the Sea Motel.

This is a good standard country motel with walk in showers and views to the coast from all rooms. The restaurant here is stunning with sensational coastal views, good food and country hospitality. After we have settled in we are off to a little place called Grassy on the eastern side of the Island for a special welcome dinner at Wild Harvest. This is one of the Island’s best restaurants offering a true paddock to plate dining experience set in the old mining town of Grassy with spectacular views of Grassy Harbour. Afterwards at Grassy Port we get the chance to see the fairy penguins make their way into their burrows after a day of fishing.  

Boomerang by the Sea Motel, Currie, King Island  – 3 Nights
Welcome dinner at Wild Harvest, Grassy, King Island
(REX Airlines Flight ZL3937 Departs Melbourne at 2.45pm/Arrives Currie King Island Airport, at 3.40pm).

Day 2: Exploring King Island - Tues 7 Feb 2023 (BLD)

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 waterfowl. 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. Morning tea is at King Island Kelp Craft.

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. Then, onto Cape Wickham Golf Links for lunch. This course is ranked 24th in the world with spectacular views across the bay towards the lighthouse. Cape Wickham is the most northern point of King Island. This afternoon we view the Cape Wickham Lighthouse, the tallest granite lighthouse in the Southern Hemisphere which overlooks the beautiful Cape Wickham Links Golf Course. We will hear some history of the Island’s shipwreck past and learn why lighthouse was constructed.

Then we travel 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. At Martha Lavinia Beach, there is a world class beach break. 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. Its freshwater is held by compacted sand and organic matter and is a favourite swimming spot for locals and visitors. Finally, we drive through Egg Lagoon, once a massive lagoon and now used for farming and on for some cheese tasting.

It will be a great day! Dinner tonight is at The Boomerang with stunning views over the Currie coast, hosted by Jye, one of the islands top chefs.

(Meal inclusions: Breakfast and dinner in the Boomerang Motel/Lunch at Cape Wickham Golf Links)

Day 3: Touring King Island - Wed 8 Feb 2023 (BLD)

Today we begin with a visit to King Island Kelp Industries where we learn about how the kelp is harvested and refined and what it is used for. King Island is the major player in kelp production. Next stop is the Restaurant Without Food for morning tea before we head to the east coast settlement of Naracoopa. We will hear about the early history of the area and 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 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. It closed due to extremely low tungsten prices, rather than a lack of reserves. Does it have a future? We will find out. 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. We will hear the history of the first settlement of King Island and the amazing story of the Bowling family – 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 is the dramatic 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 dinner, set in a lovely location with fantastic local produce. (Meal inclusions: Breakfast in the motel/Light lunch/Dinner at View Dining)

Day 4: King Island - Melbourne - Brisbane - Thurs 9 Feb 2023 (B)

After our breakfast we complete our check out formalities and load the coach before our visit to the Currie Museum, housed in the old lighthouse keeper’s residence. This is a really high quality museum where the Island’s history comes alive. It is also home to the original led crystal lens from Cape Wickham – 1.8 tons of led crystal. After a little free time in Currie, we transfer back to the Airport for our flight to Melbourne. (REX Airlines Flight ZL3866 Departs King Island at 11.50pm/Arrives Melbourne at 12.45pm).

(Meal inclusions: Breakfast in the motel)

All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times or days of some attractions. We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures or inclement weather.

Tour Inclusions

  • 3 night’s motel accommodation
  • 3 cooked motel breakfasts
  • 3 motel dinners
  • 2 included lunches
  • Guided touring on King Island as per itinerary
  • Coach t/fer from Sunshine Coast to Brisbane airport and return
  • Return flights – Brisbane > Melbourne > King Island

Accommodation

  • Boomerang by the Sea Motel, Currie King Island

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Coolum Tours and Travel
Wpac Acc
BSB 034-198
Acc # 666873