Flinders Island - Tasmania - Islands of Australia

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Island Details

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Unique to the Island

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Flinders Island, There are actually three islands named "Flinders" in Australia, named for the famed explorer Matthew Flinders and his kin -- one in South Australia, one in Queensland, and one in Tasmania.

Flinders Island in Tasmania is the largest of the 52 islands in the Furneaux group, located in the Bass Strait about 20 kilometers off the north eastern coast of the much larger island of Tasmania.

Flinders Island is roughly 75 kilometers long, and 40 kilometers wide; the highest altitude is 756 meters, at the peak of Mt. Strzelecki, named for a Polish explorer. Approximately one thousand people make the island their home, most centered in the towns of Whitemark and Lady Barron. Most settlement is on the more sheltered western coast, as the east is subject to sometimes fierce winds and tides.

The island is the administrative center of the Furneaux Islands, and visitors here can explore the many small, empty islands of the chain, as well as numerous shipwrecks and the lighthouses that were built to prevent them. Flinders is also home to many unique plant species, over two hundred varieties of birds, and native Australian animals such as echidnas, wombats, wallabies, potoroos and possums living freely, without competition from the rabbits and foxes that have emptied so many ecological niches on the mainland.

Flinders Island was discovered in the fog by Tobias Furneaux, when his support ship was separated from Captain Cook’s expedition. The island was first fully charted by Matthew Flinders in 1798, and its first Western inhabitants were sealers, some refugees from shipwrecks. They were known to kidnap Aborigine women to serve as near-slaves in their tiny villages.

In 1833, at the urging of George Robinson who was trying to protect them, the last of the Tasmanian Aborigines were evacuated to the Wyballena settlement on Flinders Island. The village provided inadequate shelter and poor hunting, and the refugees did not take well to the “Christian farming life” that was urged upon them. Disease also took its toll. Within fifteen years, only fifty of the two hundred or so people who had been transplanted were still alive; these were relocated again to Oyster Cove (near Hobart in Tasmania). However, there are still many people on Flinders Island who have Aboriginal ancestors.

Grazing leases for dairy cattle and sheep, and flegling fishing industries were launched, but it wasn’t until 1888 that a European man named George Boyes established the first permanent freehold.

After World War II, soldiers from Tasmania and New South Wales were granted settlement rights in return for their labor in clearing and draining some of the more inhospitable portions of the island. These soldier settlers created the towns of Memena and Lackrana, and greatly improved the area’s agricultural fortunes.

The Furneaux Fishing and Processing Company helped make local fishing a more profitable industry; fishing, farming, tourism, and gourmet foods make up the bulk of the modern Flinders economy.


Accommodation (Resorts and Hotels) Flinders Island

 

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Hotels/motels, farms, cottages and apartments for hire.
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Places to Visit Flinders Island

 

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Beaches, sand dunes, wetlands, nature preserves, History Room, Emita Museum, Wyballena chapel and cemetery
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Places to Eat Flinders Island

 

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Shearwater Restaurant, other cafes and takeaways.
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Tours Flinders Island

 

 

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Rock fishing, beach fishing, diving, bushwalking, muttonbirding (in April),
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Activities Flinders Island

 

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Campsites; supermarkets, petrol stations, post office, bank, online access center. No tourist center; brochure and map available by post, in Tasmania, or at island hotels.

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Car, Bike and Boat Rentals/Hire Flinders Island

 

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Facilities Flinders Island

 

 
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How to get there Flinders Island

 

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Small planes from both Launceston (Tasmania) and Melbourne, or cargo vessel from Bridport.

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Unique to the Island Flinders Island

 

Flinders Trail, Strzelecki National Park, Trousers Point
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Facts and Figures Flinders Island

 

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Services Flinders Island

 

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Pictures - Photos of Flinders Island

 

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Map Flinders Island


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