Waiting enticingly 80km off Tasmania’s north-west coast, King Island has craggy coastline, famously good produce and seafood, a rich seafaring history and some of the world’s finest golf experiences.
Two of King Island’s oceanfront links are ranked among Australia’s top 13 golf courses by Australian Golf Digest: Cape Wickham on the rugged north coast (ranked #2), and Ocean Dunes on the west coast (ranked #13). Expect greens right on the edge of Bass Strait and sightings of whales and seals. Take a deep breath of salty air, and swing.
Island life is laidback and quiet, and that’s how the locals like it. But there’s plenty here to pique the interests of discerning travellers: gaze up at Cape Wickham lighthouse, built in 1861 and the tallest in the Southern Hemisphere; follow the shipwreck trail for stories of heroism and heartbreak surrounding a few hundred wrecks; uncover the island's stories at the King Island Historical Museum in Currie (open October–May); and see the Calcified Forest, the limestone remains of an ancient woodland near the island's southernmost tip.
Fresh produce is king of the island – seafood, beef, cheese, honey, fruit and vegies – and there are plenty of opportunities for a local whisky, craft ale, or just-caught crayfish and abalone. Hook your own dinner on a local charter boat; visit a farm gate; grab a meal with the locals at an island eatery; or pull together a hamper and head to the colourful, BYO-everything Currie Boathouse – aka the Restaurant with no Food.
Surfers can find waves at Martha Lavinia, a highly rated beach break; while Pennys Lagoon, a rare ‘perched’ freshwater lake on the north-east coast, is an idyllic spot for a swim and picnic. The island also offers an assortment of nature walks and unique wildlife, including the elusive platypus and the rare orange-bellied parrot, which visits the island on its annual migration.
Accommodation options include everything from cosy B&Bs to luxe coastal retreats and friendly hotels.
King Island is accessible by air from Melbourne, Hobart, Launceston and Burnie–Wynyard.
For more local information on King Island visit www.kingisland.org.au